Jan Leitschuh, at the time more comfortable on a horse than hiking through the woods, found herself contemplating a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail following the death of her mother in 2001. To prepare, Jan hiked over 500 miles, including the entire length of the Long Trail. In 2003, she was ready to go. She had already done a trail journal from the Long Trail so it seemed natural to keep that idea alive on the AT. Her journal was all the more remarkable because this was nearly 15 years ago, before the iPhone. Jan used a device called Pocketmail. Reading the journal now gives us a great representation of what it was like to hike the AT at that time. The link above takes you directly to the AT story, though you may find yourself reading her Long Trail journal as well.
Jan also produced a book about her Long Trail journey. You can link to that here.
You can reach out to Jan via Facebook.
I’ve added a little section about my own return to the Appalachian Trail in the first week of July. We had a blast and I produced this silly little film just for the fun of it. I clearly have waaaaay too much time on my hands. In the picture below we are, from left to right, Lefty Righty, Skeezix, Golden, Sherpa, Skates, Mighty Blue, and Turd Ferguson.
Attie continues her quest and is now in Vermont. Her renewed enthusiasm for the trail has been a delight to me.
Once again, thanks to those of you who have supported my Last 10,000 Feet Challenge by pledging money to the Family Partnership Center here on the Florida Gulf Coast. It is so much appreciated. If you’d like to support, just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a figure for how much you’d like to pledge and I’ll only be coming back to you for the pledge if (when) I complete my John Muir Trail adventure in August.
Returning once more to Jan, today, along with her regular hiking activities, Jan has taken a role in a farm to table co-operative in the Sandhills of North Carolina. It is an interesting website that may be of interest to some of you if you’re in the area.