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fire ignited here.

Every now and then, people ask where this whole “AT thing” started. The story starts wayyy back in High School with a schoolmate named Ed Wren. He was in the grade above me and our group (mishmash of both grades) was always out having fun, seeing concerts like the Violent Femmes in Springfield, Ohio and whoever was playing at Bogarts in Cincinnati. Anyway, the last I heard (in 1994) he took off to work the fishing boats in Alaska. This blew my mind. For years I’d read those little advertisements in the back of numerous magazines about how you can make a lot of money in two months and not have to work the rest of the year. It’s always been intriguing to me.. still is.. you can actually live vicariously through those that put their lives on the line catching those King Crabs on DVD called “Deadliest Catch” from Discovery (it’s a great program, they re-air it every now and then, TiVo or NetFlix it). It was during this period of wanderlust that I had heard about the AT.

Many years past, and while I occasionally heard the words, Appalachian Trail and AT, there was no real connection. Then, when I moved to Washington DC in March of 1999, I drove from Ohio with my car loaded… and I passed the AT bridge.

Feb. 19th, 2006 - US40 and Appalachian Trail on I-70

that’s US40 (National Road) and in the distance is the AT Bridge.

Feb. 19th, 2006 - Close up of Appalachian Trail on I-70

Appalachian Trail bridge at 75mph on Interstate 70.

Ever since I read that very sign in the photo above, I’ve been almost obsessed with wanting to hike the trail. The more I dabbled, the more I wanted to go. Like a lot of people, work came before everything, then school then this and that and everything else we think could (and may) be important. Now I don’t usually think along those lines, but I was caught up in it.

So, this is where it all started. This is where I first ‘connected’ with the AT, and I look forward to streaking across this bridge (AT tradition) when MY time comes.


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