After many years of contemplation, it is finally the right time for me to hike the Appalachian Trail (“AT”). My trek north will begin in time for the leap year on February 29, 2012, though I may leave a little earlier.

Updates on my progress will be transmitted to the "real world" a few different ways. A GPS tracking device will allow you to click here (Spot Satellite Tracking- Past 7 days) to see all my position updates on a Google Earth type map, including my last known position in real time. I will also be keeping a daily trail journal (Trail Journal- Birdman AT 2012) with trail conditions, shelter conditions, mileage, weather conditions, meetings/ greetings, trail gossip, notes, etc... in addition to this more freehand blog on blogspot no less than weekly. I may also be on Facebook for a minute here and there, but it will probably only be to post a blog link and review PM's... so make sure to click the "Follow" button and talk to me through your comments on this blog.
To my friends and family that may have heard of the AT, but don’t know a lot about it, here are a few fun facts:

- The AT is one of the world’s longest continuously marked footpaths, running roughly 2,180 miles from atop Springer Mountain in Georgia toward Mt. Katahdin in Maine, crossing through 14 states in the process.
- The AT does NOT cross the tallest mountain on the East Coast (Mt. Mitchell, NC @ 6684’; hiked 2010), however, the tallest point on the AT is at Clingman’s Dome, Tn @ 6643’.
- The entire elevation gain of the AT is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times!
- Between 1800 and 2000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the trail each year with a roughly 25% success rate. A “thru-hike” is attempting to walk the entire length of the marked trail in one calendar year.
- Though the AT was completed in 1937, the first successful thru-hike is generally held to have been completed in 1947.
- In 2004, the oldest thru-hiker became Lee Barry at age 81.
- The youngest thru-hiker was aged 6 in 1980.
- Typically it takes a hiker 5-7 months to complete their hike, however, the fastest thru-hike was completed in just 46 days in 2011!

Interactive GoogleEarth AT Map:

I know that many of you will have a ton of questions for me before, during, and after my trip. Anyone is welcome to reach out. It would make me happy to discuss the AT to your heart’s content. There are also a number of different resources available, if you would like to poke around on your own. These should get you started:

- Appalachian Trail Conservancy
- White

Also, FYI, this is my first blog entry in a very long time. I promise I will get better. But, in the meanwhile, please post your suggestions and comments. It will be greatly appreciated :)

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