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A Story in Appalachian Trail Picture Postcards

Updated on August 31, 2016
Me on the Appalachian Trail in Maine, looking at Mt. Katahdin
Me on the Appalachian Trail in Maine, looking at Mt. Katahdin

A Journey Down Appalachian Trail Memory Lane: A Story in Postcards

On a recent snowed-in lazy day, I sat on the floor in front of my shelf full of scrapbooks and started flipping through some memories. Three of the scrapbooks contained keepsakes from my six-month thru-hike, including eighteen postcards I'd mailed to my parents in Rhode Island as I walked from Georgia to Maine.

While I did keep a daily journal, which you can peruse on my Hiking Writer website along with a sampling of the hundreds of photos I snapped along the way, I'm so glad my folks hung onto these postcards.

Postcards limit you, of course, to what you can squeeze into less than a 4x6-inch space, so you can wax poetic for only so long. Not that my postcards are poetic at all, but reading those snippets is a fun way to re-live an adventure years later.

I hope you'll enjoy this postcard journey of my Appalachian Trail experience and some other random memories these pictorial keepsakes conjure up.

Pick Up Some Appalachian Trail Postcards

Send them to family and friends or frame and keep these images of the A.T.

Maintenance of the Appalachian Trail depends in part on more than 6,000 volunteers who devote considerable time, energy, and personal resources to the task. These volunteers donated the gorgeous images for this book and seek to promote awareness and good stewardship of the trail.

On the Appalachian Trail: A Postcard Book
On the Appalachian Trail: A Postcard Book

The postcards are detachable for use, or can be retained in the book as a keepsake of the Appalachian Trail and a reminder of the majesty of America's unspoiled areas.

 
Appalachian Trail: A Postcard Book (Postcard Books)
Appalachian Trail: A Postcard Book (Postcard Books)

These twenty postcards capture the wonders of the Appalachian Trail - dewy spring flowers, lush mosses and ferns, cascading waterfalls. Each postcard is yours to treasure, to share, or to send.

 

My Appalachian Trail Story in Postcards

Just a note: The holes you see in most of the postcards were made by silly me. I actually hole-punched them to put them in a binder before I got smart and bought a postcard album.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Amicalola Falls Postcard -- The Approach to the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked April 3, 2000

The postcard reads:

Amicalola Falls State Park, Star Route, Box 213, Dawsonville, Georgia 30534

Amicalola is a Cherokee word meaning "tumbling waters." The park's beautiful falls plunge 729 feet in seven cascades. As one of the seven wonders of Georgia, Amicalola is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. The park consists of more than 700 acres of mostly hardwoods. The park offers camping, rental cottages and a 57-room lodge, conference and restaurant facility.

Photos by Jim Jordan and Courtesy Amicalola Falls State Park

And I wrote:

Hi, y'all!

I'm here at the park with Kathy and Joe, ready to start the approach trail at dawn. Only 2,180 miles to go! I'll be in touch soon. Having a blast already!

Love,
Deb

The plaque on Springer Mountain and the first white blaze (upper-left)
The plaque on Springer Mountain and the first white blaze (upper-left)

Day 1 of 178 Days on the Trail

This postcard reminds me of sleeping under the stars the night before I began my hike; although, I wasn't able to do much sleeping. All I could think about, as I stared at a twinkling sky through bare branches, was that the journey I'd dreamed about for more than a decade was about to begin. (That and how badly I had to pee. But it was so cold that night, so I didn't want to get out of my sleeping bag.)

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

From Springer to Katahdin Postcard

Postmarked April 5, 2000

The postcard reads:

The Appalachian Trail is a mountain footpath extending 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Springer Mountain, Georgia is the Southern Terminus and Mt. Katahdin, Maine is the Northern Terminus.

I wrote:

Hi from Neel's Gap, Georgia (A.T. mile 30.7, plus our 8-mile approach trail).

Having a great time with Joe (now known as Joker), Marie and our new companion, Grumpy, from Groton, CT, who isn't grumpy at all. Heading out on the trail again in a few minutes. 36 miles to our next town stop at Hiawassee, GA. We're aiming to get there Sunday eve or Monday.

Talk you then!

Love,
Deb

Joker and Grumpy goofing around at Goose Creek Cabins with some borrowed Safari hats
Joker and Grumpy goofing around at Goose Creek Cabins with some borrowed Safari hats

My First Stop Along the A.T.

This postcard reminds me of giggling at the silly practical joke Marie and I played on our hiking buddy, Joker -- a little turning of the tables. We'd slipped a cast iron frying pan from the Goose Creek Cabins into his backpack. Of course, he realized what we'd done as soon as he put the pack on and took a few steps towards the door, so we did return the frying pan.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

See Martha, I told you There Ain't No Bears

Postmarked April 14, 2000

The postcard reads:

Rainbow Springs Campground, 1626 Old Murphy Rd., Franklin, NC 28734

I wrote:

Just talked to you by phone from A.T. mile 103. About to cook spaghetti and meat sauce in the cabin kitchen, then reorganize my backpack (again). Next stop is the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser, NC (31 miles) in about 3 days, then Fontana Dam another 30 some-odd miles past that, and then the Great Smoky Mountains!

Thought you'd like this postcard better than one of those pretty pictures.

Love you,
Deb

I'll never forget the rain, rain and more rain ... and mud!
I'll never forget the rain, rain and more rain ... and mud!

The Long Muddy Tunnel

This postcard reminds me of how hard it poured while we were staying at the campground, happily dry in the cabin. I also remember lying in my tent the night after leaving Rainbow Springs, eating grape Tangy Taffy.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Mount LeConte, Great Smoky Mountains Postcard

Postmarked April 21, 2000

The postcard reads:

Mount LeConte is a favorite spot for hikers and backpackers with many trails to entice the outdoor enthusiast. At the summit, the visitor can experience a spectacular wilderness vision.

Photo by Adam Jones

I wrote:

Taking a full day off in Fontana Dam before entering Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Jeff and Nancy Hoch are wonderful hosts here at the Hike Inn. This was a perfect choice for our first zero-mile day. Grumpy and Joker are sharing a room, while I'm sharing with Marie. There's a full house of thru-hikers. Got a phone call from Kathy, who tracked us down through Steve. Having a great time and seeing definite improvement in fitness. Yay!

Love you!
Deb

The Hike Inn sign: AT Service & Shuttle, Welcome Millennium Thru-Hikers
The Hike Inn sign: AT Service & Shuttle, Welcome Millennium Thru-Hikers

A Stay at the Hike Inn

It's kinda funny, because Mt. LeConte isn't actually on the A.T. (and I'm not even sure if I saw it), but at any rate ... this postcard reminds me that Marie and I watched a Tina Turner concert on the small hotel tv while we reorganized our packs. We had gear spread out all over the room. I also remember playing with the kittens hanging around the motel.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Gatlinburg -- A Crazy Little Tourist Town Near the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked April 24, 2000

The postcard reads:

Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Heavy cloud cover rolls over the mountains to surround the city with a blanket of white.

I wrote:

Hi Ma 'n' Pa:

Leaving Gatlinburg in a few minutes to hike back into the Smokies. We're watching the weather channel, and the forecast seems to change every fifteen minutes. Looks like more rain in store. Whoopie! Should be at our next resupply point in 3 or 4 days and in Hot Springs, NC in about a week. Thinking of taking another rest-day there perhaps.

Talk to you soon.

Love,
Deb

A Man Called Screamer

This postcard reminds me about having just encountered the odd man in the red pants we eventually dubbed "Screamer."

If you'd like to read the story I wrote about this most interesting character, click here but be sure to come back when you're done.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Hot Springs, North Carolina, Appalachian Trail Postcard

Postmarked May 4, 2000

The postcard reads:

For over sixty years, hikers have passed through on the Appalachian Trail, a continuous footpath stretching 2,161 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin, Maine.

(Total trail mileage has changed over the years due to re-routes.)

I wrote:

Hi, y'all....

At mile 270.5 (exactly 1/8 of the A.T.) I'll increase my average daily mileage when I leave here. Getting in great shape, so the hiking is easier. Joker, Marie and I are sitting at a picnic table, babbling and writing by headlamp. Town (and hotels) are full of thru-hikers, so we're at the campground tonight. Taking a day off tomorrow and will soak in the hot springs. I'm looking svelter each day. Lost 10 lbs. so far. Yay! Next stop: Erwin, TN in 5 or 6 days.

Love ya,
Deb

I remember passing through this meadow as I hiked out of Hot Springs alone.
I remember passing through this meadow as I hiked out of Hot Springs alone.

Going Solo

This postcard reminds me of the tough decision I made to hike on without my friends, Joker and Marie, when they decided to remain in Hot Springs for a second full day. My gut told me to keep hiking -- it's what I wanted to do -- so I said goodbye and "hope to see you soon" to two great companions and continued on by myself.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Wood's Hole - Pearisburg, Virginia

Postmarked May 30, 2000

The postcards reads:

Wood's Hole, 3696 Sugar Run Rd., Pearisburg, VA 24134

I wrote:

Hi, youz:

The hostel pictured on the front is at mile 607. Twelve of us stayed here for free last night in this 1880 homestead, owned by Tilie Wood. She spends her summers here and takes in thru-hikers and feeds them breakfast, too. Her now-deceased husband found the dilapidated place in the 1940s while studying a herd of elk (wapiti) in the area. They rented the place for $5 for the year, fixed it up and bought it and 100 acres for $300, then sold some dead (now-extinct) American chestnut on the land for $1400. Time to pack up and walk 10 miles to Pearisburg, VA.

Love you,
Deb

The bunkhouse at Wood's Hole: a homey place for a rest
The bunkhouse at Wood's Hole: a homey place for a rest

A Great Stay at Wood's Hole Hostel

This postcard reminds me of playing with Tillie Wood's new puppy, "Oddly," before breakfast, then making a beeline for Tillie's dining room table when the breakfast bell rang. Several of us chatted with our host as we filled our hungry hiker bellies with scrambled eggs, grits and hot dogs, while learning about the handmade quilt hanging on the dining room wall.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Shenandoah National Park Postcard

Postmarked June 21, 2000

The postcard reads:

A black bear (Ursus americanus) finds refuge in the crook of a tree branch, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

Photographer-Daniel J. Cox

I wrote:

Hi, y'all....

Soon it will be "hi, you'ns" when I get to PA, but that's about 10 days away. Many of my likewise smelly but svelt companions have seen the critter on the front of this postcard, but I'm still waiting for my first teddy bear sighting. We hiked 4 miles, then stopped at Skyland for breakfast. We ate, we sat, and now we're having lunch here, too. Then we'll sit some more and hike 10 miles to the shelter ... unless we end up here for dinner too.

Love you!
Deb

On the trail in the Shenandoahs
On the trail in the Shenandoahs

The Shenandoahs

This postcard can't help but make me think about the story idea I came up with while hiking through Shenandoah National Park, thanks to my trail companion, Split P. You can read "Hiking My Way to a Novel" if you'd like to know more about the creative journey I took on the rest of my A.T. hike.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Bears Den Hostel on the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked June 27, 2000

The postcard reads:

ATC's Bears Den Hostel, Bluemont, Virginia, 540-554-8708

Bears Den Hostel is next to the world-famous Appalachian Trail and overlooks the scenic Shenandoah Valley 19 miles west of Leesburg, Virginia. Owned and operated by the Appalachian Trail Conference, 304-535-6331.

I wrote:

Hi Ma, Hi Pa!

This is the BEST place. Caretakers Mel and Patti are really treating us well. What a perfect place to take a day and a half off. We went to a movie ("Frequency") and browsed in a bookstore. Split P bought a crossword puzzle book for us to do together. We're now eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream to celebrate the 28 lbs. I've lost (which maybe is now only 27).

Love you,
A Skinnier Me

 My silly hiking buddy, Split P
My silly hiking buddy, Split P

Fun Times on the A.T.

Well, nearly every postcard reminds me of eating ice cream, which I did a lot of during my thru-hike at every possible opportunity. But this one also reminds me of sitting on the floor of the bunkroom, playing Taboo with other hikers. Oh, and I remember Split P borrowing some of the hostel's loaner clothes after her very long hiker-shower. She wore fringed hippie shorts and teased her kinky-curly hair into an afro. As for me and my own long hiker-shower, I remember realizing after the fact that I'd neglected to scrub my mud-caked calves. Oops.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Postmarked July 3, 2000

The postcard reads:

Top: Jefferson Rock; John Brown Fort

Middle: Railroad Bridge & Tunnel, Saint Peters Roman Catholic Church; Wagon

Bottom: High St.; John's Episcopal Church Ruins; High St.

I wrote:

Hello to you!

I'm actually in PA already, just about to pass the true halfway point of the trail after lunch today. I thought I'd send this postcard from what many consider to be the psychological halfway point: the home of the Appalachian Trail Conference and the point where we've now hiked 1,000 miles--Harpers Ferry, WV. I'll have to go back again sometime to take a closer look at the historical town, since it's not all that far from home (couple hours or so). The trail since Harpers Ferry has been some of the "easier" hiking, but the infamous PA rocks will soon be starting. Looking forward to seeing Steve on 7/4 in Duncannon. K, time for a burger and fries.

Love you,
Deb

 Turbo Turtle post-Half-Gallon Challenge
Turbo Turtle post-Half-Gallon Challenge

Halfway and a Half Gallon

This postcard reminds me of the "Half-Gallon Challenge" that many thru-hikers undertake at the store near the actual halfway point of the trail. That's a half-gallon of ice cream, mind you. I actually didn't do it--only ate a pint, myself--but I remember Turbo Turtle pulling up his shirt and sticking out his still-skinny belly after downing a half-gallon of Moose Tracks (about 5,000 calories!) while I did pushups next to the table. You can read more about the Half-Gallon Challenge and other A.T. traditions in "Hiking The Appalachian Trail: What You Really Need To Know."

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Pennsylvania Appalachian Mountain Postcard

Postmarked July 10, 2000

The postcard reads:

Morning mist covers the landscape in this summer scene in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Printed in Germany
Photo1997 John Beale

I wrote:

Hi, you'ns....

Betcha can't guess where I am! Hint: I'm 1,200 miles north of where I started walking. Can you believe it? Well, I can when I stand on the scale. I haven't weighed this much (or little rather) for three years or more. Yay!! Looks like we'll be in CT or MA by the end of July and summitting Katahdin by the end of September. Tonight, however, we're in the metropolis of Port Clinton, PA, population 300. Back out on the very rocky trail tomorrow with a full supply of Hostess Ring-Dings. Hope you had lots of fun on your adventure, Ma.

Love you both,
Deb

Believe it or not, that is the trail.
Believe it or not, that is the trail.

Rocky PA

I remember the old-time boarding house I stayed at in Port Clinton, where the bathroom was down the hall. I remember the musty smell of the room. This postcard also reminds me of how some strangers gave us a ride to the Cracker Barrell restaurant. They had one of those large poodles in the backseat. She was pure white, perfectly groomed, and so dainty.

And who can forget the Pennsylvania rocks? Ouch!

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Delaware Water Gap

Postmarked July 17, 2000

The postcard reads:

Delaware Water Gap

Pennsylvania and New Jersey

This aerial view shows a portion of the village of Delaware Water Gap, PA, Interstate 80 crossing the Delaware River connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the mountains of the Gap towering 1,600 feet above the Delaware.

Photography by Al Koster

I wrote:

Herro....

Ten thru-hikers (including me) are lounging around in the free Church of the Mountain Hostel in the easy chairs and couches. After a breakfast of Belgian Waffles tomorrow, we'll hike over the bridge into New Jersey and go ten miles to Mohican Outdoor Center for a day off on Sunday. Kathy is out with me for a week and has made herself quite at home on the trail with all the thru-hikers. Seeing the photos of me she took at the beginning really show the 34 pounds I've lost. Well, the church bell just bonged nine times--past a thru-hiker's bedtime.

Night, night!
Deb

Adding to the cairns just past Delaware Water Gap
Adding to the cairns just past Delaware Water Gap

Passing Through The Gap

Ah, the Belgian waffles. I remember that breakfast well. Actually, I seem to remember many of the meals I ate along the way. Food was a big deal on the trail. And being able to eat lots of it and still lose weight ... now that's livin'!

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

New York City -- a Field Trip from the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked July 25, 2000

The postcard reads:

An evening view of Manhattan with the Brooklyn Bridge spanning the East River. The famous Pier 17 can be seen on the river front.

Photo: Pendor Natural Color

I wrote:

Hi, youz....

Took me a fun field trip to the Big MacIntosh. Tonight, by contrast, I dined with Franciscan friars and Carmelite nuns at Graymoor Friary in New York, just off the trail. The white blazes took us through a zoo today and then over the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge. Three more days until Kent, CT. I'm now going to take refuge in my tent from hungry skeeters out here on the friars' ballfield, where we're camping.

Love you!
Deb

 Hiking through the subway station (See that guy in the blue shirt, to the right? He's starin'.)
Hiking through the subway station (See that guy in the blue shirt, to the right? He's starin'.)

A Side Trip the Big Apple

New York City was such a fun side-trip. On the trail one minute, then on a bus, then "hiking" through the subway tunnel with our backpacks and muddy gaiters. Usually New Yorkers don't look at other people funny, because weirdness is a way of life there, right? Well, I guess seeing (and smelling) hikers with large backpacks, hiking sticks and dirty calves was a little too weird, because people sure did stare. I remember waking up the next morning in a friend of a friend's apartment on the Upper East Side, all clean in a soft white bed, looking up to see the NYC skyline through the big picture window. That night, I was back on the trail in my tent.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Connecticut -- The 10th State on the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked August 4, 2000

The postcard reads:

Connecticut's 5000 square miles is in southern New England, between NY on the west, R.I. on the east, Mass. on the north and the Atlantic waters on the south. This Indian name means "upon a long river." The State flower is the laurel; the bird is the robin; the tree is the white oak.

I wrote:

Hi, Ma 'n' Pa...

I'm actually sending this from Dalton, MA. Connecticut went by so quickly, and, before I knew it, I was in the mud, muck and mosquito-filled state of Mass. Crossed the MA Turnpike yesterday. We'll be in Vermont in just a couple of days. Maybe then we'll see the sun. It's good to be back in New England, though, with 618.5 miles to go. In the beginning, 618 was huge. Now, it feels like the home stretch. Looking forward to coming home for a visit.

Love you!
Deb

Northern hospitality: breakfast at Tevi's in Falls Village, CT
Northern hospitality: breakfast at Tevi's in Falls Village, CT

Breakfast at Tevi's

This postcard reminds me of being taken in for a night in Massachusetts by a vegan family, who fed us "fake" scrambled eggs -- made of tofu, I guess -- with tomatoes and cucumbers. They lived in a log cabin, and several of us slept in their living room. The next morning, before heading back to the trail, I remember Split P holding up a pretty sundress she found on a sidewalk sale rack. She missed girly clothes, she said.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Mount Greylock, Massachusetts, Hiker Postcard

Postmarked August 7, 2000

The postcard reads:

Situated atop the 3,491 ft. summit of Massachusett's highest peak, Mount Greylock, rustic Bascom Lodge has hosted countless numbers of Appalachian Trail hikers, automobile tourists, and nature buffs since it was built in the 1930s. Managed by the Appalachian Mt. Club and Dept. of Environmental Management, it is the educational, recreational, and hospitality hub of the over 10,000-acre state reservation which boasts an abundance of hiking trails, waterfalls, unique natural sites, and a scenic campground. Lodge open May-Oct.

Mount Greylock, Massachusetts in the Berkshires
Photography by Jean McAlister

I wrote:

Hi again!

See where that person is sitting in the picture? Well, that's where I am, up here on Mt. Greylock. Yet another mountain where hikers, bikers and drivers converge on the summit. When I leave here in a few minutes, I'll hike down the mountain, past No. Adams, MA, past the MA/VT line and to a shelter for the night. Almost time to buy new hiking boots, since my treads are wearing pretty thin. Anyhoo, just thought I'd send you a Massachusetts postcard before I leave the state. Time to go to Vermont!

Love you,
Deb

Watching the clouds from the summit of Mt. Greylock
Watching the clouds from the summit of Mt. Greylock

Brrrr!

This postcard reminds me how cold it was the morning I hiked up Mt. Greylock, when I climbed out of my tent at about 4:30. I'd started getting up really early and hitting the trail by about 5 or so. Split P had asked me to wake her when I got up, so she and Turbo Turtle could get off to an early start, too. I woke her up alright, but all she did was groan and go back to sleep.

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

New Hampshire

Postmarked August 30, 2000

The postcard reads:

New Hampshire Scenics:

Mt. Lafayette--Franconia Notch, N.H.

Mt. Lafayette, the highest peak in the Franconia Range (5249 ft.) as seen from Cannon Mountain

Photo by Don Sieburg

I wrote:

Hey!

Taking a break today after the Presidentials (Mts. Jackson, Eisenhour, Monroe, Washington, Adams and Madison). Driving up Washington (after hiking over it in the fog the day before) was a GREAT adventure on a gorgeous day. We'll be in Maine on the 1st and looks like Katahdin by 9/27. Woo-hoo! Then it's back to makeup and deoderant and new Victoria's Secret undies. Lots of thru-hikers have bunched up now, so it looks like it will be a party on the Big K. We'll have to take turns getting our pictures taken at the top. Deb-the-Ramkitten photos for everyone. Hope your toofies are feeling better, Dad.

Love you,
Deb

If you're going to get "misplaced," New Hampshire's White Mountains are a beautiful place to do it.
If you're going to get "misplaced," New Hampshire's White Mountains are a beautiful place to do it.

Which Way Do I Go?

This reminds me of taking a wrong turn in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where the A.T follows pre-existing trails that often are signed with other names, and hiking an extra 5 miles round trip. That was one long day but one of the few times I actually got "misplaced."

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Maine -- The 14th and Final State on the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked September 11, 2000

The postcard reads:

Bill Silliker Signature Series

This classic match between two battling bull moose offered a rare moment for the photographer. Bulls will fight for the affections of a cow moose in the fall mating season, or rut.

Photographer--Bill Silliker Jr.

I wrote:

Hi, Maw and Paw....

I saw me one of the critters pictured on the front but without the rack. Ms. Moose was feeding on stuff on the bottom of Swift River Pond. As I watched, she waded in a big circle around the pond and got within a couple feet of me. Maine is absolutely gorgeous, although the hiking is very strenuous. We've had great luck with the weather, however, so it's been completely enjoyable. Love these small towns too, and the northern hospitality. The south certainly doesn't have a monopoly on that. Taking a day off today in Stratton, ME. On to Monson in 5 or 6 days, then the 100-mile Wilderness. Looks like Katahdin on 9/25!

See you soon!

Love,
Deb

 A milestone in Maine: the 2,000-mile mark in the middle of the road (Logging trucks are a major hazard when taking advantage of this photo op.)
A milestone in Maine: the 2,000-mile mark in the middle of the road (Logging trucks are a major hazard when taking advantage of this photo op.)

A Major A.T. Milestone

These Maine postcards bring back so many memories, like it was yesterday. I remember a particular wet root I slipped on. I remember washing my hair in Jo Mary Lake. I remember calling Split P "mud butt" when she went slip-and-splat. And I remember Gaited Mule climbing up to the bunk above mine at the Pie Lady's house, and it (and he) sagged to within inches of my face. I also remember pushing him up with my feet and uber-stong legs.

And I remember seeing that big number in the middle of the road: 2000 Miles!

Appalachian Trail postcards
Appalachian Trail postcards

Mt. Katahdin, Maine -- The Northern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail

Postmarked September 25, 2000

The postcard reads:

Maine Scenics
Baxter State Park
Katahdin Reflections
Photo by Jean McLean

I wrote:

Hi, Ma! Hi, Dad!

Today, I hiked to the base of this majestic mountain. The feeling of reaching this point after almost 6 months and over 2,100 miles of hiking is almost impossible to put into words. We'll wait out the rain tomorrow and hope to climb the 5.3 miles and 4,000 feet to the summit on Monday, 9/25. It's the biggest climb of the whole trail and one I'll do surrounded by such special friends. Thank you for all of your wonderful support. Can't wait to see and spend time with you.

Lotsa love!
Deb

Yyyyaaayyyy!!!!
Yyyyaaayyyy!!!!

The End of a Very Long Walk

I'll never forget that last day on the trail, postcard or not. Every moment of that last climb is etched in my mind. No matter how many memories pile on top of it, the mental picture postcard I have of touching that final A.T. sign is burned into my memory forever.


Preserving Your Postcard Memories

These postcard albums and holders are a great way to display your memories. Or perhaps you've saved postcards from friends and family. Why not put them together in one of these albums and surprise them with a nostalgic gift.

Hiking The Appalachian Trail All Over Again - in less than five minutes

I remember SO many of the spots shown in this video of the Appalachian Trail footpath, pieced together from more than 4,000 slides taken by 2005 A.T. thru-hiker, Kevin Gallagher.

© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

I'd Love To Hear Your Comments on My Postcard Trip Down Memory Lane - or the Appalachian Trail, rather

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    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 4 years ago

      so cool. I want to hike the App trail. my favorite was mt. katahdin.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great collection of postcards. Now you can visit again and again!

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      I loved the cards and the stories of the trail. Great lens!

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your journey with readers. Your lens makes me smile :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      So cute and unique. Blessed!

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago from America's Dairyland

      I loved reading this lens. What an accomplishment! You are generous indeed to share your cards and memories with us. I have linked to this lens in my postcard lens. If you'd prefer not to be included in my lens, please let me know and I'll remove your module.

    • N Beaulieu profile image

      N Beaulieu 5 years ago

      Wow, is what I have to say. I think hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is quite the accomplishment and not one very many people can say they've done. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I just read another lens of yours about great walks of the world, which I'd recommend to those that enjoyed this lens. Once again, great lens!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Good lens with lots of "trails" in colors! :)

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 5 years ago from California

      Deb, after reading your other lenses on the Appalachian Trail and your trip to Nepal, this was sort of like Old Home Week. I could picture Screamer and your tales as I read your postcards. What a fantastic way to recount all the memories. And I had no idea they even made Postcard Photo Albums :) Totally enjoyed this and laughed at the weight loss of 28 pounds, then you saying, well maybe 27 now that you ate the ice cream :) Blessing this with pleasure :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Just stopping back by to leave you a blessing. :-)

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      poutine 5 years ago

      Harpers Ferry, West Virginia postcard reminds me of my hometown.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh what wonderful memories and what a great idea to make a page using those postcards. A unique and interesting story :)

    • profile image

      VeggieGeek 5 years ago

      What an amazing journey! Thanks for sharing, very inspirational :)

    • InSearchOf LM profile image

      InSearchOf LM 5 years ago

      You put this together well. Great job.

    • InSearchOf LM profile image

      InSearchOf LM 5 years ago

      You put this together well. Great job.

    • bman227 profile image

      bman227 5 years ago

      Nice adventure Ramkitten! I'm inspired.

    • carcamping lm profile image

      carcamping lm 5 years ago

      I absolutely LOVED this! I read it once and then went back and went through it again! Congratulations for the thur-hike (always a dream of mine but never quite able to take time off to do it). Thanks for taking time to put this together!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Very creative approach to sharing the adventure. Nicely done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Excellent story. I've been wanting to do this. Hope I haven't waited too long...At age 55 you start wondering can I really do this....

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      What a fantastic way to remember your hike! Sounds like you had plenty of laughs along the way. Blessed by a wandering Travel Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks, great lens!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      i love this lens...what a wonderful idea...this would make a great printed travel book too!

    • profile image

      Fit_Over_40_Buzz 7 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for making it. Very informative. I gave you a thumbs up

      cause I like your lens.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 7 years ago

      Wow..Thank you for giving us a view into your wonderful journey. Have you consider putting all of this into a book-like the book I mentioned to you before "As far as the eyes can see" Fantastic lens!! "Blessed by a SquidAngel"

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Hope this isn't a duplicate. Comments wasn't working on my last attempt. I'm glad it's Ok to use postcards with notation of copyright info. I've been afraid to do it. I hope you did get back to Harper's Ferry for a closer look. It's one of my favorite places and I try to get there whenever I'm in that part of the country, which isn't often enough. Walking is the only way to really see it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your exciting and challenging experience!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your exciting and challenging experience!

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 7 years ago

      Thank u for sharing your stories.. from a different and unique point of view. 5*.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      Fabulous, great idea for a lens, and a powerful memory for sure!

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 7 years ago

      Sometime ago I told you what a great inspiration your lenses were to me. This was the first one of your lenses that made go WOW.

      I am always impressed by the voice and the layout in this tale of the Great Walk. I have read it 4 times now and plan on reading it forever.

      Smell the smoke of that burn-out blessing?

    • discountperfume2 profile image

      discountperfume2 7 years ago

      Wow this is amazing! Thanks for sharing. So lucky that you have these physical memories. :) I'm looking forward to doing this trek some day soon! :)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Your postcard travelogue is a great way to document a trip!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I love the way the postcards tell the story! Wonderful lens!

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 8 years ago

      Hi You know your CSS as well as the Appalachian Trail , I will pick up some design tips from you

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      I sure wished that dear old hubby had taken his camera along for his hike of this trail. Especially since I'm thinking he won't be doing it ANYTIME soon. We have a friend Phil -- I uploaded his picture to RedGage -- a Relief pic of him in BVI -- Phil hiked that trail more times than a old dog has fleas. I give a lot of credit to those hikers. I have a bad Achilles tendon, so that excludes me.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Wonderful Post Card Lens and What an Adventure! :)

    • hypnosis4life profile image

      hypnosis4life 8 years ago

      What a wonderful journey you've documented with great pictures and stories. Thank you for all the work you put into this lens.

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 8 years ago

      I am exhausted after reading this!! But what a fabulous idea to give us an idea of the trip through your eyes...!! I think I got some blisters... :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great Adventure! Love your postcards and stories!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      Ramkitten, I really admire you for hiking the trail. My Dad always wanted to, but only hiked parts of it. For several years, in the 70's, my Mom and Dad worked at The Mountain Farm Cabin (as living history interpretors) near Humpback Rock, on the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 10 miles from Shendadoah NP, VA). The AT is very near there and they met lots of hikers going through. I'm not a hiker, but have enjoyed your lenses very much!

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

      Great idea for a lens. I felt like I was on the hike.... wish I could loose the 34 pounds, too.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Hi,

      My name is Elizabeth Jean Allen and I am the new group leader for the Nature and the Outdoors Group.

      Welcome.

      Lizzy

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I love the one from Rainbow Springs Campground!

    • Tiffany3 profile image

      Tiffany3 8 years ago

      It is my 5 year goal to hike the AP with my kids!! Love this lens!

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      Hey, what a great idea for a lens!!! 5 stars! I've walked a little bit of the AT before. I love the Great Smokies!!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 8 years ago from Western Mass

      such a great idea! thanks for sharing

    • anthropos lm profile image

      Lamar Ross 8 years ago from Florida

      Great idea and an interesting lens. Thanks for joining ”Anything and Everything Travel” Group. We look forward to seeing your other travel related lenses in our group. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Welcome to the Memoirs Group!

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 8 years ago

      I have tears in my eyes. Who else but another AT hiker would understand that? We have some similar pictures; just looking at them instantly transports me back to that long, long path in 2001. I've done some stuff since then, but nothing can compare to that summer on the AT.

    • profile image

      tweety0126 8 years ago

      Hi Deb, Drifter0658 recommended I read this lens first; this is awesome! Of course, I now will read more of your lens; especially if they are all this good. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, it was great.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great work on this lens! It fits in perfectly with my I-95 road trip lens (runs sort of east of the Appalachians), so I'm going to lensroll it.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is a wonderful lens! I enjoyed every word, and every postcard. It's a pleasure to see a lens of such quality. Well done!

    • profile image

      Redmoonrider 8 years ago

      What an amazing lens! Fascinating! Five stars to you and a lensroll!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image
      Author

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      [in reply to drifter0658] Aw, shucks! Thanks. :)

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 8 years ago

      I had to stop back by and look at this again. Also....because this lens ROCKS! So much so that I am featuring it on my latest lens....Blue Oyster Cult

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      Thank you for joining us on A Walk in the Woods. Your lens brings the woods to life.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image
      Author

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      [in reply to C-Joy] Yup! I dream about doing that trail all the time now. Someday.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have wanted to hike the AT ever since I read Bill Bryson's Walk in the woods - what an amazing accomplishment to finish it! Will the PCT be next?

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      What a brilliant idea for a lens. It's so evocative of your trip.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Beautifully done... Welcome to All Things Travel.

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 8 years ago

      Truly an amazing lens, and that ain't no moose squat! I've hiked all around the Smokies and other areas and have always wanted to do the A.T., but to this point have had neither the dedication nor the motivation needed......yet.

      Kudos on your determination and the joy of the experience.

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens! I live near the Water Gap - gorgeous hiking, hey! and the Brooklyn Bridge at night - WOW!

      *****