Cherokee ancient mountain god; protector of wanderers.
|CK goes out for a walk...|
|Adventures on the Appalachian Trail|
January 8, 2005 - A note from Charlie.
Dear Family & Friends,
The last of my Appalachian Trail pictures are available for viewing. They cover my trek threw Great Smoky Mountain National Park, North Carolina and Georgia to the southern terminus of the trail at Springer Mountain. As you might imagine hiking that last mile to the summit of Springer with my family and some dear friends was the most memorable part of this 5½ month journey. There were also some parties afterwards, the most notable in Ellijay, GA at the home of our friends Maggie & Walter McDonald the day after completing the hike. We were joined by fourteen of my fellow southbound hikers who had also just completed the trail. This was quite special since some of us hadn’t seen each other for a long time.
Horst, you will be happy to see that the beard is gone despite the encouraging remarks from Bryan to keep it. I also want to thank all of you that sent messages of encouragement and support. Mary Ann was my lifeline; she would come out periodically with food, new equipment and all those messages that you wrote. They kept my spirits high and helped me through those tough times; like the three hurricanes in September and the leg injuries that hobbled me in the early going. Thank you one and all!
I had some wonderful experiences along the way from people hikers call “Trail Angels”. These were people that would do extraordinary things for people they had never seen before and probably would never see again. These people all along the way provided rides to distant locations, carried food out to us on the trail and invited us into their homes for meals. It was quite amazing and made me realize that there is a tremendous amount of good in this world.
There are some very special people I need to thank. First of all, Mary Ann for being herself and always being there for me. There is a tendency to take your spouse for granted, but it is times like this hike when you have a lot of time to ponder life that you realize just how important your partner is to you. I am also especially thankful to Jane Card for her enthusiasm and efforts to keep all my friends at BASF informed. Even in retirement she is the best assistant and a good friend. Lastly, I can’t thank Vicky enough for the fantastic website she created. I know it was a lot of work to decipher all my notes and build something meaningful. What a fantastic job!
So, would I do it again? An emphatic no! Five and a half months in the woods is a long time; a once in a lifetime experience. Now, if there is someone who would like to do a hike of a few weeks and needs company, give me a call!
Happy Trails everyone,
January 2, 2005 - This is the last installment of pictures. There are additions to Virginia, TN/NC and new pictures in Georgia. There are also pictures of the parties in Georgia and in NC. There are a number of newspaper articles below. You will need Adobe Reader to view them.
It has been my pleasure to keep everyone informed for the last 8 months. This website will stay up as long as I own the domain. Thanks for visiting.
A Guest book. Please send Charlie your regards.
November 13, 2004 - Charlie finished the Appalachian Trail yesterday! YEAH!!!! I spoke to him today and after 166 days in the woods he sounds great! Mary Ann and Kathy hiked the last mile to the top of Springer Mountain, the official end of the AT. Then Charlie and Kathy hiked the 8 mile access trail to Amicalola Falls/Lodge.
November 4, 2004 - Added pictures e-mailed to me from great people Charlie met on the trail recently. The pictures are at the end of the TN/NC page.
November 3, 2004 - Charlie is in Franklin, NC tonight. 107 Miles to go! Last Saturday he reached the 2000 mile marker! This weekend he should hit the Georgia state line. He thinks he will rap it up on Friday, November 12th. Kathy (his daughter) is coming to meet him and they will walk the final leg, Springer Mt. together.
This post brings new pictures from Virginia and TN/NC -125+ new picts! Saturday, November 13 there will be a welcoming party for Charlie in Ellijay, GA. Saturday, November 20 the Keefer's are holding an open house at their home. Please call or e-mail MaryAnn for specifics.
October 13, 2004 - Charlie crossed from Virginia to the Tennessee today. Roughly 450 miles to go. He will then follow the Tennessee/North Carolina State lines. The trail borders these state lines for 371 miles. He thinks he may be finished earlier than his estimated Thanksgiving date. I will post info about where he will complete this journey soon. Don't forget to sign the guest book!
August 31, 2004 - Charlie is currently in Pennsylvania, he has reached the half way point (1069 miles in either direction) and it is his birthday today!
June 29, 2004 - Mary Ann called and said Mack had to return home with a knee injury. Charlie is continuing by himself. He is almost out of Maine.
June 26, 2004 - Charlie's adventure began Wednesday, May 26 as he and Mary Ann set off for Maine. May 30 Charlie (trail name "Tuna" ~ Sorry, Charlie) and his hiking partner Mack Spainhour (trail name "Macchaeus") set off up Mt. Katahdin which is where the AT begins. On May 31 the gentlemen said goodbye to their loved ones and set off. Mary Ann and her sister Barbara met Charlie and Mack June 4 to bring a food supply.