How many miles of the Appalachian Trail have you hiked so far?
About 1530 miles.
How many years have you been doing it?
About 15 years.
What sections have you completed?
Springer, GA to Pawling NY & Monson, Maine to Katadin.
Why do you keep coming back to the Appalachian Trail?
Different reasons through the years. Now, it seems like it’s a part of who I am and what I do. I guess I feel that it is something that I am supposed to finish.
How many people do you normally hike with?
From Springer through the Smokies, my two teenage sons hiked with me (they are in their upper 20’s now). Since then, I hike alone or make a friend along the way.
How many days and/or miles do you do at a time?
On the southern end (I’m from GA), I would go for about 10 days to two weeks. As I’ve gotten further from GA the logistics and travel take more time from actual hiking. Now, I am fortunate to spend a week on the trail.
Do you have a trail name? If yes, what is it and what’s the story behind it?
Yes, Blindeagle. At first, my sons called me “Deaf Eagle.” “Eagle because I had great eyesight (spotting animals etc. while they were a long way away). “Deaf” because I would strangely not hear their complaining about needing to stop, rest, eat, go to bathroom, etc. Then, one day they were trying to show me a very large bird just off the trail, but I could not spot it. So, suddenly I became Blindeagle.
What has hiking the Appalachian Trail taught you that you’ve applied in “ordinary life?”
Patience. How to slow down. That if you keep going you will eventually get there.
Max Patch, Noth Carolina
Philip submitted this Section Hiker Profile as part of the Gossamer Gear Pick Your Pack Raffle.