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Walked the Appalachian Trail for Three Days.

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
I decided I needed to get away from the US election for a few days, what could be nicer than a long walk with barely a soul around. I also had a new Gregory Stout 45 that I wanted to field test (I found it a competent pack). I’m lucky enough to be just a few hours away from numerous sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) along the North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee borders. I’ve been walking sections of the AT since the late 90’s, though it had been years since my last trip. It was my enjoyment of walking the AT that got me started looking for other long walks, which led me to Spain and the CF. After having walked the Camino Frances it’s hard not to make comparisons.

The first thing that becomes apparent is you need a lot more stuff on the AT. By the time I’d placed my sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, and food in the Stout 45 there wasn’t a whole lot of room left. I added a couple of pairs of socks, a raincoat, some outerwear and the pack was more or less full. There’s a lot to be said for tortilla and Cafe con Leche served in a warm bar 50 meters from the trail and a bunk in a room full of snorers.
05D2CB86-A5D0-4CDB-8E31-16059EACEFBF.jpeg Stout 45

I also realized how special it is to walk through multiple historic towns and villages in a day. From where I was on the AT it was three days hike to the nearest town, Damascus Virginia. It does keep one from stopping every hour or two to study a ruined church or a town centuries older than the United States, so I hiked farther in a given period of time than on the CF. One advantage of the AT is you can pitch a tent nearly anywhere, so I could walk until I was tired then set up camp.

This time of year there a very few thru hikers on the AT, so I only met 3 or 4 other hikers over the three days. The conversations were very similar to those on the CF. Where are you from? How far are you going today? Do you have two of those chocolate bars? One group that was out in full force were deer hunters. Not sure how it is in other countries, but in this part of the U.S. the hunters are dressed head to toe in camouflage and wear a bright orange hat so not to be mistaken for a deer. Unfortunately I didn’t bring anything bright orange and had to make due with singing loudly and out of tune.

2E77EAF1-474A-43D8-A06C-7FE9A69EB4C8.jpeg A typical AT trail.

It was great to disconnect from U.S. politics and just walk. Though I sure missed the menu perigrino, the wine and coffee, and the camaraderie of Camino. Here’s to hoping the vaccine really will be shortly available and we can all return to the Camino of our choice in 2021. Peace

frm
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@FRM, my son hiked the southern half of the AT from Georgia and it took almost three months to get to Boiling Springs, PA. His 75 L Osprey pack carried sometimes up to 50 pounds when he resupplied with over a week of food at a time and no ulra-lite gear. He went on to hike the complete John Muir Trail and the Colorado Trail.
I was excited about his adventures, but knew I could never do those grueling backpacking trips carrying a tent and so much food.
I then saw the movie "The Way", which opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me. I retired early and have walked five Caminos... my sixth one aborted due to covid.
How nice for you to be a section hiker living not far from the the Appalachian Trail.
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Camino Chrissy,
No doubt about it, self sufficient backpacking is a tough way to travel. At 60 years old I’m no longer willing (or fit enough) to endure it for more than a few days. The Camino is a kinder and gentler way to walk a long distance.

frm
 

lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
I decided I needed to get away from the US election for a few days, what could be nicer than a long walk with barely a soul around. I also had a new Gregory Stout 45 that I wanted to field test (I found it a competent pack). I’m lucky enough to be just a few hours away from numerous sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) along the North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee borders. I’ve been walking sections of the AT since the late 90’s, though it had been years since my last trip. It was my enjoyment of walking the AT that got me started looking for other long walks, which led me to Spain and the CF. After having walked the Camino Frances it’s hard not to make comparisons.

The first thing that becomes apparent is you need a lot more stuff on the AT. By the time I’d placed my sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, and food in the Stout 45 there wasn’t a whole lot of room left. I added a couple of pairs of socks, a raincoat, some outerwear and the pack was more or less full. There’s a lot to be said for tortilla and Cafe con Leche served in a warm bar 50 meters from the trail and a bunk in a room full of snorers.
View attachment 87268 Stout 45

I also realized how special it is to walk through multiple historic towns and villages in a day. From where I was on the AT it was three days hike to the nearest town, Damascus Virginia. It does keep one from stopping every hour or two to study a ruined church or a town centuries older than the United States, so I hiked farther in a given period of time than on the CF. One advantage of the AT is you can pitch a tent nearly anywhere, so I could walk until I was tired then set up camp.

This time of year there a very few thru hikers on the AT, so I only met 3 or 4 other hikers over the three days. The conversations were very similar to those on the CF. Where are you from? How far are you going today? Do you have two of those chocolate bars? One group that was out in full force were deer hunters. Not sure how it is in other countries, but in this part of the U.S. the hunters are dressed head to toe in camouflage and wear a bright orange hat so not to be mistaken for a deer. Unfortunately I didn’t bring anything bright orange and had to make due with singing loudly and out of tune.

View attachment 87269 A typical AT trail.

It was great to disconnect from U.S. politics and just walk. Though I sure missed the menu perigrino, the wine and coffee, and the camaraderie of Camino. Here’s to hoping the vaccine really will be shortly available and we can all return to the Camino of our choice in 2021. Peace

frm
Thank you for sharing your report. It sounds like a welcome escape from the election madness happening in the US at the moment. With your previous Camino experience, hopefully you were better prepared to begin your journey than Bill Bryson was when he started the AT (see his book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)! Good for a few laughs if you have not yet read this book.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thank you for sharing your report. It sounds like a welcome escape from the election madness happening in the US at the moment. With your previous Camino experience, hopefully you were better prepared to begin your journey than Bill Bryson was when he started the AT (see his book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)! Good for a few laughs if you have not yet read this book.
I've read Bill Bryson's book and also a movie was made of the same, starring Nick Nolte and Robert Redford...hilarious.😃
 
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Camino Chrissy,
No doubt about it, self sufficient backpacking is a tough way to travel. At 60 years old I’m no longer willing (or fit enough) to endure it for more than a few days. The Camino is a kinder and gentler way to walk a long distance.

frm

Hi FRM. Good for you getting out and enjoying the AT. When I retired, I drove down from Canada and section hiked the AT over an eight year period. "Slow and steady wins the race" ;) You are so right. Having an albergue, instead of a three sided shelter, at the end of the day is great. You run into a lot more and a greater variety of people on a Camino but I wouldn't have missed the AT for anything.

Having an interest in the American Civil War, it was interesting in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania etc. to walk through battle sites and descriptive plaques. Very sobering. Walking down hill into Damascus, VA during "trail days" was a shock after days of solitude. Keep at it and may we all get to meet on a Camino in the near future.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have not done it yet, but next Spring, I hope to walk a couple of sections of the AP trail in northeastern PA that starts only 10 miles from my house. We do not intend to camp overnight, but our section allows various places to park near the trail park...so we will do several day hikes in a row....and we will evalate the experience....
 

jayree

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to SdC 2012
Irun to Fisterra 2013
Shikoku 2015
CP 2016
I decided I needed to get away from the US election for a few days, what could be nicer than a long walk with barely a soul around. I also had a new Gregory Stout 45 that I wanted to field test (I found it a competent pack). I’m lucky enough to be just a few hours away from numerous sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) along the North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee borders.
I'm not sure how close you are to Asheville, NC but the local APOC there has set up a 15 mile CF route and a shorter CN route to simulate the Camino experience. There is even cafe con leche and Spanish tapas along the route.
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
I'm not sure how close you are to Asheville, NC but the local APOC there has set up a 15 mile CF route and a shorter CN route to simulate the Camino experience. There is even cafe con leche and Spanish tapas along the route.
Asheville is just an hour and a half from me. I’ll definitely look into this. Thanks for the info.

frm
 
Camino Maps
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
I'm not sure how close you are to Asheville, NC but the local APOC there has set up a 15 mile CF route and a shorter CN route to simulate the Camino experience. There is even cafe con leche and Spanish tapas along the route.

Wow! How fun! I had planned to re-walk the first 100 miles of the AT last April. I was going to fly out of Asheville afterwards. If COVID-19 settles down in the USA, I certainly add an extra day to experience the local Camino.
 

james lonewolf

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2 weeks in september 2018 fromBurgos
Really enjoying hearing about the AT experience's. I am planning a thru hike in 2022, would have done it next year but I can't get a visa until August. So instead am looking at doing my second Camino, possibly with a lightweight tent incase the alburgues are full. See you on either trail !
 

Ian L

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
I did some day hikes on the AT this summer. My favorite was Mount Katahdin in Maine. Baxter Peak on the mountain is the northern end of the AT. The 10.4 mile (16.7km) trip up to the peak and back took me about 11 hours. Mount Katahdin is also the highest point in Maine at 5,269 feet (1,606 m). It was a very tough climb, but worth it.
 

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Jim Bispham

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
France, 2015 Portugues, 2017
I decided I needed to get away from the US election for a few days, what could be nicer than a long walk with barely a soul around. I also had a new Gregory Stout 45 that I wanted to field test (I found it a competent pack). I’m lucky enough to be just a few hours away from numerous sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) along the North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee borders. I’ve been walking sections of the AT since the late 90’s, though it had been years since my last trip. It was my enjoyment of walking the AT that got me started looking for other long walks, which led me to Spain and the CF. After having walked the Camino Frances it’s hard not to make comparisons.

The first thing that becomes apparent is you need a lot more stuff on the AT. By the time I’d placed my sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, and food in the Stout 45 there wasn’t a whole lot of room left. I added a couple of pairs of socks, a raincoat, some outerwear and the pack was more or less full. There’s a lot to be said for tortilla and Cafe con Leche served in a warm bar 50 meters from the trail and a bunk in a room full of snorers.
View attachment 87268 Stout 45

I also realized how special it is to walk through multiple historic towns and villages in a day. From where I was on the AT it was three days hike to the nearest town, Damascus Virginia. It does keep one from stopping every hour or two to study a ruined church or a town centuries older than the United States, so I hiked farther in a given period of time than on the CF. One advantage of the AT is you can pitch a tent nearly anywhere, so I could walk until I was tired then set up camp.

This time of year there a very few thru hikers on the AT, so I only met 3 or 4 other hikers over the three days. The conversations were very similar to those on the CF. Where are you from? How far are you going today? Do you have two of those chocolate bars? One group that was out in full force were deer hunters. Not sure how it is in other countries, but in this part of the U.S. the hunters are dressed head to toe in camouflage and wear a bright orange hat so not to be mistaken for a deer. Unfortunately I didn’t bring anything bright orange and had to make due with singing loudly and out of tune.

View attachment 87269 A typical AT trail.

It was great to disconnect from U.S. politics and just walk. Though I sure missed the menu perigrino, the wine and coffee, and the camaraderie of Camino. Here’s to hoping the vaccine really will be shortly available and we can all return to the Camino of our choice in 2021. Peace

frm
Thanks for sharing your photos of the AT. I hiked the full trail and finished on Mt Kathadin on my 60th birthday and also became a Triple Crown hiker having all ready hiked the PCT and the CDT. Photos brought back happy memories.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thanks for sharing your photos of the AT. I hiked the full trail and finished on Mt Kathadin on my 60th birthday and also became a Triple Crown hiker having all ready hiked the PCT and the CDT. Photos brought back happy memories.
Wow, hiking just one of those three famous US trails is a huge accomplishment as there is very little lodging or food available for long stretches of time on any of them. Carrying a tent and a week's supply of food at a time is mandatory, along with a 6 month commitment of time allocated for each of them. Being a "Triple Crowner" is remarkable...kudos to you!👍
 
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FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Thanks for sharing your photos of the AT. I hiked the full trail and finished on Mt Kathadin on my 60th birthday and also became a Triple Crown hiker having all ready hiked the PCT and the CDT. Photos brought back happy memories.
Jim,
I’m very impressed by the triple crown. On the couple of occasions I’ve been on the AT more than 2-3 days I find myself getting a bit bored. On the Camino the villages and towns breaking up the day meets some need I have when walking long distances. Have you experienced anything similar?

frm
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I find myself getting a bit bored. On the Camino the villages and towns breaking up the day meets some need I have when walking long distances.
I find I feel similar to you when I walk locally. I much prefer the stimulation of the ancient villages and towns on the caminos mixed with a variety of different terrain and meeting people from other countries.
 

Jim Bispham

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
France, 2015 Portugues, 2017
Jim,
I’m very impressed by the triple crown. On the couple of occasions I’ve been on the AT more than 2-3 days I find myself getting a bit bored. On the Camino the villages and towns breaking up the day meets some need I have when walking long distances. Have you experienced anything similar?

frm
Hello, of the 3 big trails, the AT is the most social, towns are more frequent. On the CDT apart from a town roughly once every 5 to 7 days where I saw people from Middle Wyoming to Mexican border I only saw 5 hikers altogether on the trail. I was hiking alone. I am happy hiking on my own, I have now done 7 camino, only 2 with another person. I have never joined others on camino, but nice to see others though. The American trails are a totally different experience to caminos.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
Camino Chrissy,
No doubt about it, self sufficient backpacking is a tough way to travel. At 60 years old I’m no longer willing (or fit enough) to endure it for more than a few days. The Camino is a kinder and gentler way to walk a long distance.

frm
Are you familiar with LeConte Lodge? You can hike up, spend the night in a cabin with dinner, and hike down the next day. I wanted to hike the Lakeside Trail early this month from the Tunnel Bypass to Fontana Dam, but had to cancel. 👣 :D 😎
 
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alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Year of past OR future Camino
Hope so!
My first camino 2005 was a 'consolation prize' for a planned 6 weeks on PCT. My hiking partner needed to take all his saved vacation time for a successful recovery from open heart surgery. I was complaining at a table in the company cafeteria when a lady at the table behind told me about her upcoming Camino. I did a bit of research (Cohelo, McLlaine, and best Hoinacki), put my new friend's stages and notes into Excel, got a leave of absence from work, and left after filing my taxes, flew to Pamplona, train to SJPdP, discovered Brierley for better planning (actually the amis handout plus the yellow arrows would have sufficed). Best experience of my retirement age life. The carrying of what seemed to me a daypack of 10kg vs my typical High Sierra pack of 25-30kg was so freeing!! I could indulge in my passion of walking, but without carrying food and shelter!! I did backpack the C&O canal (and part of the AT) the fall of my return, and a short section of the PCT in 2009, and though both were great trips, they validated my choice of Camino for convenience and comfort while still getting the joy of walking.
My best trip was 2013 from LePuy to Santiago at age 70. No blisters, no crippling aches and pains, many 30+km days from Estella to ElAcebo. It was a real gift for and old man; my body felt like it did as an 18 year old on the John Muir Trail!! I have some 245 days in Spain and France and never could have done anything comparable on any of the great walks in the Sierras or Cascades.
I sometimes miss the awe I got from great mountain ranges in the west and wax nostalgic of earlier times and wish my body had been able for more backpacking.,
I know there is no backpacking in my future, and I wrestle with physical decline as I age wondering if there is really a camino remaining, but discovering the camino is one of the best things to happen in my life.
 

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