The Project

The spring of my junior year of undergrad, my boss at the time Dr. Robert Pyne met two women for lunch. These two women – teachers, mothers, and now grandmothers – came with disappointing news. An education program they had founded and championed for more than 15 years was ending officially, and they were heartbroken. … More The Project

A Mask in the Woods: Whiskey Springs Climbing Parking Area to Scott Farm (16.5 miles)

We are officially 5% done with the trail! We started this adventure back in early August, 10 weeks ago. We’ve done nine hikes (skipped a week to let Henry’s blisters heal) in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. We’ve crossed over a river, walked through towns, climbed over (and through) boulders, hiked up and down hills … More A Mask in the Woods: Whiskey Springs Climbing Parking Area to Scott Farm (16.5 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Pine Grove Furnace General Store to Whiskey Springs Climbing Parking Area (14 miles)

Sometimes on these hikes, the AT likes to tease us with a really easy start. Such was the start leaving Pine Grove Furnace General Store: a paved bike trail that took us past the Appalachian Trail Museum and down into the lower parking area (remember from last time: coordinate which parking area you will be … More A Mask in the Woods: Pine Grove Furnace General Store to Whiskey Springs Climbing Parking Area (14 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Means Hollow Road to Pine Grove Furnace General Store (12.5 miles)

Fall has unexpectedly arrived in Maryland, bringing crisp temperatures, decaying leaves, and lots of soup. Everyone seems a bit caught off guard — late September should still be shorts and t-shirts weather. On the morning of our last hike, when we departed from our house at 5:00a.m., it was below forty degrees! As I started … More A Mask in the Woods: Means Hollow Road to Pine Grove Furnace General Store (12.5 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Swamp Road to Means Hollow Road (12.9 miles)

The adventures of parking alongside dirt roads continues! Thankfully, I’m seeing this more and more that at trail crossings, people will often pull their cars into shoulders or onto grass if the road isn’t very busy. Both Swamp Road, our starting point, and Means Hollow Road, the end, were dirt roads in the middle of … More A Mask in the Woods: Swamp Road to Means Hollow Road (12.9 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Pen Mar Park to Swamp Rd (13.21 miles)

Originally, we were shooting for PA 233, which on my map, my copy of the Thru-Hiker’s Companion, and Google Maps say has about two parking spaces along the AT. Even though it was Labor Day weekend, I was confident that with how early we typically get moving that we would get a spot for the … More A Mask in the Woods: Pen Mar Park to Swamp Rd (13.21 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Wolfsville Road to Pen Mar Park (9.8 miles)

Four years ago today I visited a city in Germany called Marburg. I spent a sunny day visiting the old college, walking cobblestone streets, riding trains, and eating tortellini (I know, so German). Marburg was the college home of the Brothers Grimm and is split between Upper Marburg and Lower Marburg. Kindly, the town erected … More A Mask in the Woods: Wolfsville Road to Pen Mar Park (9.8 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: I-70 Footbridge to Wolfsville Road (9.2 miles)

Another Sunday morning on the AT for Maggie and Henry. With a thirteen-miler behind us, little over eight miles on today’s trail sounded easy. Unlike last time there was no rain, but it was cloudy, meaning the sun wouldn’t beat down on us at all. Even after crossing the I-70 footbridge, we started on a … More A Mask in the Woods: I-70 Footbridge to Wolfsville Road (9.2 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Gathland State Park to I-70 Footbridge (13.0 miles)

You are an elderly gentleman mentally preparing for a hike in the beautiful Gathland State Park. Sitting in your truck, you wonder to yourself if the rain will make the trail impassable. The rain is lighter than it was, sure, but maybe the trail will be too wet for knees like yours. A grey Honda … More A Mask in the Woods: Gathland State Park to I-70 Footbridge (13.0 miles)

A Mask in the Woods: Harpers Ferry to Gathland State Park (10.7 miles)

When I was around ten, my dad had this great idea to backpack 12 national parks in 12 months with my brother and me. We were going to go all over the Midwest with me recording our journeys on a Flip video camera and my dad writing about it on a blog. Fourteen years and … More A Mask in the Woods: Harpers Ferry to Gathland State Park (10.7 miles)