About the Author
Retire from work but not life
For so long I wondered about what I would do upon retirement. In fact, I often said that I didn’t want to retire. As a type A personality person, I like to be kept busy and sitting around all day with nothing to do did not sound like my ideal lifestyle. But then I put my small information technology services company up for sale and got an offer that was hard to refuse.
So, here I am retired. The first year (2015) was spent mostly sailing and a trip to Italy for a couple of weeks. As the new year (2016) approached, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do for an encore. Then I saw “The Movie.” For the uninitiated, “The Movie” is A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. “The Movie” has been the catalyst for many non-hikers to dump a load of money for hiking gear into a local outfitter's cash register, and then hit the Appalachian Trail or one of the other popular long-distance hiking trails. It was early February 2016.
In 1995 when I was IT director of the Florida Orange County Health Department, a young man came in to interview for an open technician position. Almost from the beginning of the interview, he started talking about his Appalachian Trail (AT) hike. I found it fascinating, but unfortunately, he was unqualified for the position. Nevertheless, his story about the AT was always in the back of my mind. When I saw “The Movie” it reminded me of the young man and the AT hiking story. With nothing better to do, I started looking into it.
By March, I had found an experienced outdoorsman who agreed to let me tag along during his own AT hike. He would show me the ropes and in return, I would try to stay out of his way. With that settled, I pulled the trigger. A month and many dollars later I was ready to go and thus begins my story of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Bobby McCabe and I stepped off on April 3 from the southern terminus of the AT, Springer Mountain. Until that day, I had never hiked and never camped in the woods using a tent. My blog describes the day to day ups and downs (figuratively and literally) of hiking.
I wish that I was a better writer. There are so many stories to tell on the AT. As time goes on I intend to try to tell those stories better than the last day’s hike. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy at least a little bit of my adventure.
In the future, I intend to post some of my sailing experiences like the time I sailed through a hurricane on a 34’ sailboat with the boat’s owner. I, also, have a lot of pictures and something to say about my travels in Italy. However for now, this site is dedicated to my hiking adventure.
By the way, I did return to the Appalachian Trail in June of 2019. In total for 2018 and 2019, I hiked another 645 miles over two and one-half months. Of course, actual miles hiked was well over that total when you add trips down side trails for water, a shelter or hike into a town. It was quite the adventure. The White Mountains proved to be formidable, and hiking through the Mahoosuc Notch, which is what AWOL’s AT Guide calls the “Most difficult or fun mile of the AT,” was a real eye opener.
In 2020, I am returning to the Appalachian Trail to continue northward from where I left off in southern Maine. My goal is to go at least another 150 miles, but what I would really like to do is finish the Trail at Mount Katahdin, which is 265 miles. We'll see how it goes. In addition, I plan on doing a long section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) before returning to the Appalachian Trail. I’m really looking forward to that hike since the PCT is much different than the AT.
If you find my adventure worthy, like a page or two or all of them and leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.
Tony "Slapshot" Lombardi