Apparently Jen Snores Now!
Day 10 38 miles Start time: 4:45am End time: 9:15pm Well, it was an incredibly challenging day with more nasty weather but we are officially out of the Whites! Jen camped with Melissa last night at the Gale River trail junction. Melissa said she didn’t get much sleep because of two things: the driving wind and Jen’s snoring. (Jen’s never snored before. I’m sure she’s doing it because she’s...
Day Four = 42 Fabulous Miles
Day 4 42 miles start time: 4:20am end time: 9:10pm From Brew—Another great day on the trail. Jen got to fulfill a dream of hers this morning: fording the Kennebec River. The Kennebec is the most legendary “ford” on the AT. Since 1985, outfitters in Caratunk have provided a canoe ferry twice a day so that hikers can avoid it, but Jen had her heart set on walking across. The water...
AT 2011 Record Attempt FAQs
Why do you want to try for the record?
Because my heart tells me that I should.
When will you start?
Mid June - We will head up to Katahdin and then check out the trail condition and weather before deciding on the exact day.
Why hike Sobo (Southbound)?
It is a great feeling to have Maine and New Hampshire finished at the beginning of the journey. It is also nice to hike home.
Are you posting updates?
Yup. Pics, video, and blogs will periodically appear on facebook, www.blueridgehikingco.com and this blog.
Are you taking a GPS or Spot or cell phone to track your progress?
Well, how will people know that you are not cheating?
If I wanted to cheat, don't you think I could figure out how to do it with a GPS or Spot? Trail records are based on integrity and a personal honor code. I think that's really cool, and it is one of the reason's I love trail records.
Does the ATC or the NPS recognize trail records?
No, nor should they. I am a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the last thing that I would want my resources spent on trying to validate trail records. The ATC is doing a great job of protecting, building, and promoting the trail.
How do trail records exist if there isn't an organization that recognizes them?
They don't need to be recognized by an organization, they are acknowledged by the community and held close to the heart of those who attain them. Setting a trail record is a truly amateur pursuit. There is no reward, t-shirt, or trophy at the end. The people that have set records have sacrificed a great deal personally, financially, relationally. The word amateur comes from the latin word for love. You HAVE to love the trail to set a trail record.
Okay, but aren't you sponsored?
I have spent my own money to fund over 9,000 miles of hiking on six different continents and volunteered countless hours promoting the trail and long distance hiking. But now that my husband and I are looking towards the future, our yearly hiking fund has become a baby savings account.
I am so thankful that Salomon is supporting me this summer. I used their products before this summer and I truly believe that they are the most performance focused outdoor company. They are providing some amazing shoes and packs, and helping me pay for the endeavor. In fact, because they are helping protect the baby fund, we may consider naming our firstborn son Salomon. Okay, not really, but it is an amazing company and I am “working” for the sponsorship by helping them with a lot of product feedback and development.
Also, I want to give a huge shout-out to my lifelong outfitter in Asheville, Diamond Brand Outdoors. They are providing some yummy cliff bars, Mountain House, and a lot of love and support! I love you guys!
Do you really think you can break the record?
Yes, I would not have spent the countless hours training and dedicated 7 weeks of my summer to this effort, if I didn’t believe that I could set the overall record. And I guarantee that my husband would not sacrifice his summer vacation (again) if he didn’t believe that I could set the record.
But you’re a girl?
Good observation. My previous AT hike in 2008, taught me that setting a record wasn’t about being fast or strong. It is all about fortitude, intelligence, and perseverance. The fact that women give birth and live longer than guys makes me think that we might even have an evolutionary edge.
Who’s helping you on the trail?
Mostly my WONDERFUL husband, Brew. Our good friends Warren Doyle, David Horton, New York Steve, and Melissa will support us through certain sections as well.
Do you feel ready?
Yes. My training went well, and I am just really excited to be on the trail. This doesn’t feel out of the ordinary or strange. I have spent the past 8 summers hiking, so my body is screaming at me to get on the trail. I am also VERY ready to stop talking the talk, and just start walking the walk.
So you have an AT book out and a hiking company, is this a well-devised publicity stunt?
There have got to be easier ways to get publicity. This attempt is a calling, passion, and desire. I approached my husband, Warren, and David with these idea well before I had signed a book contract.
Surely you can’t enjoy the trail when you are hiking 45 mpd?
Well, I do. I am not saying that everyone could or would. But I love experiencing the trail in this fashion. There are obviously differences between a record attempt and a thru-hike or section hike. I have said it before, and I will say it again. It is not about how long you are on the trail or how fast you go, it is about what you take from the experience.
So are you running?
Only if I can. It is great when I find a flat stretch or a gentle downhill and my body is willing and able to run. But most of the time I will be hiking. In fact, my average speed for the entire trip will likely hover somewhere between 3 and 3.5 miles per hour. Most hikers never realize that I am out trying to set a record. They just think that I am a day hiker or a really slow trail runner.
How are you feeling, now that the attempt is finally here?
EXCITED!!!! I love the trail and I can’t wait to be on it. Like I said earlier, I am tired of talking the talk. So this is a good point for me to sign off - and go and do my thing. I hope everyone gets some great hiking in this summer!