That’s us on the cover. We are so

thrilled! [My husband and I] thru-hiked in 2016. Here is a short summary of our hike: Fourteen bears, charged by a moose, 90 mph winds on Mount Washington, lightning on Mount Moosilauke, and frozen hands on Roan Mountain. Best time of our lives. Thank you to all the volunteers and the ATC who work to keep the Trail what it is.

Lindsey “Charge” Loving and Nicholas “False Top” Bast

Debary, Florida
I saw the “14 State Challenge”

article in the Winter 2018 issue and cheered. This is my journey. I have hiked in seven states: New Jersey and all states north. My requirement is a three-day-trip, minimum, with two nights on the Trail in each state. This year, I will be hiking from Snicker’s Gap into Harpers Ferry to cross off West Virginia as my eighth state. I fly from Alaska almost every year to hike in another state on the A.T.  I am glad to see that my way of hiking the Trail is recognized.

Joan Travostino

Anchorage, Alaska
We completed the Appalachian

Trail “14-State Challenge” in June 2018. It was a perfect way for a couple in their late 70s to get back on the Trail after a cold winter. In the 1950s, as Scouts we hiked the Trail in Georgia and North Carolina. This hiking grew into a group called the Ancient Scouts of North Atlanta. Over the years, individuals and the group returned to the A.T. when we could. We had visited the Trail in ten states. So, this Spring, the two of us returned to the Trail at Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. There we watched the sun set into the clouds, walked a bit, and at night listened to winds howl outside Bascom Lodge. We also met a thru-hiker who had left Springer Mountain on March 15 (590 miles left to go). He shared his experiences with people he met about working with the elements. Next, we joined the Trail near Woodstock, Vermont crossing a creek and heading up through a peaceful pasture. The people we met here talked about connection, sustainability, and working with nature. On our return south, we simply put our feet on the A.T. east of Greenwood Lake in New York, and where it crossed highway 94 in New Jersey. In New Jersey, after crossing a sturdy stile into another peaceful cow pasture, we celebrated at Heaven Hill Farm just up the road. The parts of Trail visited were lovely and marked and maintained well. The fact that the Appalachian Trail extends from Maine south to Georgia through 14 states is stunning. Our planning was assisted excellently through the ATC’s website and the New York- New Jersey Trail Conference website. Thank you to all the individuals, past, present, and future who care for and support this amazing walking system.

Bruce Beveridge

Catonsville, Maryland

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Letters to the Editor
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
P.O. Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807

Poured rain for days, the Trail turned into a creek 😉 then I walked in the clouds toward Big Meadows.

My father, Gilbert Gray, used the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah NP as a classroom to engage at risk kids from poverty-stricken Page County. Many of those who went on to finish school credited this as a primary reason they made it.
– Michael Gray

I went down to the AT and helped with a fine group cleaning and fixing up the trail in Cumberland Valley. They sure do some hard work. Thanks to all the crews who keep the AT beautiful and passable.

Thanks from Ohio! We’re hitting the area around Shenandoah Nation Park in July. It wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for all of your effort.

 I accidentally hiked some of the Appalachian Trail one Thanksgiving Day in Dalton MA some 55 years ago. I got bored at Thanksgiving at my mother’s best friend’s whose house bordered the A.T. Eventually I found my way back. A couple decades later a friend of mine and I started hiking the A.T. off Hoyt Rd in CT and eventually we hiked that same stretch in Dalton that I had walked as a kid. – Sky Cole

My first A.T. experience was in ‘70 as a 3 year old. Amicalola Falls to Neels Gap. I’m thankful to my parents for raising me as a hiker and survivalist long before either were common terms in society.