While out on our Appalachian Trail trek last week, we met lots of cool people. We were southbound in the Nantahala N.F., and the early thru-hikers were northbound. Guys with names like: "Firewalker", "Doc", "Sherpa & Ducky", "Mouse", "Iceaxe", "Wildcard", "Busch", "Red Oak", "Squirrel", and many more. They were a delight to get to know a bit. We asked a lot of questions about strategy, gear they carried, as well as many about how they came to find themselves on a long distance hike.
I was impressed with how easy to talk to they (nearly) all seemed to be. It was interesting to hear their stories. Each of us had our favorites, but we are pulling for each of them to finish the trail. And we were all insanely jealous to only be on the trail with them for a week, when they get all summer.
If you are curious to the mindset or process that they will go through, one of them is blogging his trip by phone from the trail. Busch wasn't a backpacker before he started his trip. He told me that prior to Springer Mtn., he had never slept in a tent before. So his take should be interesting. Here's the link to: Wheresbusch.blogspot.com