Our Long Trail Stories

My son and I just finished hiking the whole long trail last summer.  He was 9 when we started and 16 when we finished.  My husband and younger son will finish this summer, having started 2 years later

We have many stories and had many adventures, including losing the trail several times (mainly me), a meltdown trying to cross a beaver dam (also me), a stove malfunction with 2 foot flames, another stove malfunction when we (well actually my husband) neglected to take off the rubber protector on the bottom of the new stove and it melted into the holes in the stove.  We slept under the stars one night, and cozied up with 17 others in a shelter built for 10 another night.

Our last day, heading toward the Massachusetts border, I was hiking by myself since I am the slowest hiker.  Suddenly, I heard a loud, "ARRGGHHHHHH."  I looked around and could see no one.  It had come from behind me so I knew it wasn't my family.  I started hiking faster.  Again, I heard it.  I started thinking that maybe I should hide behind some trees when I saw, walking very fast, an AT through hiker named "Zeus" striding towards me.  "Was that you?" I asked, "You scared the S*** out of me."  "Yeah" he said, "I twisted my ankle and you know, sometimes you just gotta yell."  With that, he continued on past me.  I soon passed him, at a stream, smoking a cigarette. 

I made it to the border, Zeus came up a few minutes later and took a wonderful picture of the 4 of us.

Beth Stern



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Longtrail 100

VPR is marking the 100th anniversary of The Long Trail with a month-long series of reports and essays. Through this series, we'll explore the history and future of The Long Trail and introduce listeners to the people who built, maintain and hike it today.