When I was hiking the three Pomfret sections of the AT last Sunday, 6/14/2015, I met up with a number of hikers who were out for slightly longer hikes than me. I first met up with a section-hiker who had already completed 10 miles and it was just barely 10am. He said the sunrise atop Lucy’s Lookout was stunning that morning. Next I passed a 30 something hiker and stopped to speak to his hiking companion 5 minutes past. They had started at the southern terminus of the AT in Georgia in March and were planning on completing the AT in Maine in a month or so before continuing on the International Appalachian Trail another 620 miles into New Brunswick. I didn’t even know there was an IAT. These guys were travelling light, with just 12 pound packs (not including food or water) in order to average 23 miles per day. Wow. Last I met a section-hiker who started in Pennsylvania and was hiking to the end in Maine. She sounded apologetic for not being a through hiker. I was pretty impressed by the distance she had already travelled.
It is great to speak to these folks on the trail. Chances are they are ready for a conversation after having been alone for a long time and they have some great stories to share.