Michael called today. He ate roadkill black bear last night. A man
hit it with his car so he had it butchered. His wife shared it with
Michael and some other hikers. Not the normal trail magic.
He and Wiffle will start hiking the 100 mile wilderness tomorrow. Mt.
Katahdin is at the end of the wilderness. They took a zero day today
since they hiked a 30 mile day and they needed to resupply. The sign
going into the 100 mile wilderness says you must have a minimum supply
of 10 days of food. However they only plan to be in the wilderness for
5 days. He said there will be no means of contact until they leave the
Here is the big plan...I fly to Bangor, Maine on the 17th. Wiffle's
parents pick me up at the airport. We find Michael and Wiffle at the
base of Mt. Katahdin where they are waiting on Gumpy, Peeper and Hawk to
come off the mountain. Gumpy, Peeper and Hawk plan to summit on the
17th. Hawk's father will also be there waiting. We have cabins rented
in Millinocket, Maine. After celebrating their summit we will try to
get as much rest as possible because Michael, Wiffle and I plan summit
Katahdin on the 18th. Wiffle's parents are going to hike around on
other trails while we go up the mountain. The hike up Mt. Katahdin is 5
miles and it is straight up. This will be a hard 10 miles, especially
for me. I'm excited though. I can't even imagine the emotions a thru
hiker has on top of this mountain. I'm sure I will cry just watching
them. I cried after coming out of the Grand Canyon the first time we
hiked rim to rim. That was the hardest hike I had ever completed. I
have done another rim to rim since then which was a little easier just
because I knew what to expect. Michael has hiked rim to rim a total of
three times. An AT thru hike is a bigger accomplishment. What a
As I have told you already we will then be moving south so Michael and
Wiffle can actually complete the trail. Remember they have to hike the
81 miles they missed when they came home for Mom's funeral. While I
rent a car and slackpack them in the New York-Connecticut area, Wiffle's
parents will return to Maryland. After the real end of the trail for
Michael and Wiffle we will drive Wiffle home. We will then head south
to hike the 53 miles Michael aquablazed earlier. This section is
Harper's Ferry to Front Royal, Virginia. After this section Michael
will have officially completed his AT thru hike. Woo-Hoo!!!
We hope to have time to see the coast of Maine before we have to start
driving south. If time doesn't permit we intend to return to Maine next
year for a visit.
The end of the plan is we return to Olympia around Labor Day. Back to
work and reality.
I am glad Michael will be home. I miss him. I am so proud of him. I
am happy he has been able to achieve a dream he has had for a long time.
Wish him luck on the final leg of his journey.
I haven't actually heard from Michael since Tuesday so I haven't had any
news to report. I received a post card today. It is a picture of Mt.
Katahdin. Just a short note to say he would see me there soon, he is
ready to be home and he and Wiffle are moving on. I read on Gumpy's
trail journal that All Smiles and Wiffleball had caught up with them.
They all met up in Monson, Maine at a hostel last night. He said
Michael and Wiffle had walked 27 miles yesterday. I received a message
from Wiffle that they had hiked 32 miles. Either way that is a great
accomplishment. I am so proud of them for pushing so hard to catch up
with the crew after taking a day off the trail for Wiffle to recover
from the virus. They are all now heading into the 100 mile wilderness.
According to what I have read there is no cell service or any other
means of contact in this area. I probably won't talk to Michael until
the end of the trail. I am flying to Bangor, Maine on Friday. Wiffle's
parents are picking me up at the airport. Branden (Skeeter) will be
staying here at the house. Michael and I will return around Labor Day.
I will be sure to give you an update when we return. If I happen to
hear from Michael or find out any news before I leave I will send an
email. Thanks so much for your continued support. You are great
Michael called yesterday. He and Wiffleball had planned to do a 24 mile
day. Instead they only did 13 miles due to Wiffle waking up with the
"hiker virus". The virus is affecting most all hikers in the area.
Branden had it, Peeper had it, Hawk had it and now Wiffle. Michael
feels sure he and Gumpy will end up with it also. Hard to avoid out on
the trail. It usually lasts 24 hours and the symptoms are vomiting,
diarrhea, sweats, fever; all the bad things a virus can do for you.
Rest is about the only remedy. If they can sleep for several hours they
seem to bounce back rather quickly. I don't see how they can still hike
10-15 miles feeling so badly. Of course they don't have much choice
because they have to get off the trail and into a town in order to get
the needed sleep for their recovery. Michael and Wiffle were going into
Rangely, Maine to rest. I read on Gumpy's trail journal that Blues
Clues also contracted the virus yesterday. He stayed at the Pine Ellis
Hostel to rest.
Michael called today and said Wiffle is much better. They were moving
along. The rest of the crew is now quite a bit ahead. I'm glad Michael
stayed with Wiffle. Remember, Wiffle drove Michael home from New York
for Mom's funeral.
Many of these posts are by Shelia Campbell, Michael's wife <3
Bath County, Kentucky resident, Michael Campbell, is hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise funds for the not-for-profit group dedicated to protecting Kentucky’s native forests, Kentucky Heartwood. Michael, a long-time member of Kentucky Heartwood, began his hike on March 22 at Springer Mountain, Georgia. By the first of September, after covering 2,181 miles of trail by foot, Michael will reach Katadhin Mountain in Maine and complete the entire trail.