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Thread: Please Read if you are following AT Troll's hike

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Augusta, Maine
    Posts
    815

    Default Please Read if you are following AT Troll's hike

    Some of you have asked me if I am joining Rick (At Troll) when he summits Katahdin. I have always answered with a sound "No" and I want to share with you why. I have had the opportunity to climb Katahdin with a long distance hiker and it is an extremely emotional time for this person. I've been chatting with Rick and as he gets closer to his goal and his finish of the hike he is starting to ride the roller coaster of emotions. We talked about the end and people joining him. I asked him if I could write this, and he agreed.

    There are several reasons we should not go to the finish. Starting with, Rick cannot determine the date of his arrival at Baxter State Park. He may decide to slow down to savor the time. He may speed up to near the end as the excitement of the finish approaches. Thru-hikers all have their own agenda, and those are varied as much as hikers are varied. They have been hiking for months learning about themselves, their place in life, and how they want to grow. That peak they are reaching for is very significant.

    Once Rick gets to Baxter he still won't be able to pin-point the day right away. He may have to wait for a Class 1 or 2 day. If there is a group of us there, he will feel obligated to do it on a certain day to please us. I'm sorry, but I think Rick should be doing his own thing at this point; not trying to please a group.

    Also, Rick is hiking at 2-3 miles per hour. This is pretty strong. None of us can keep up with a thru-hiker. Asking him to hike at our speed is also unfair.

    Finally, when Rick gets to the peak of Katahdin, he's may go through emotions that he'll prefer to share with those who are close to him. My sister picked me, because she was hiking solo, I am usually her hiking partner, and I am family. Rick's new family is his hiking family. Those of you that have been reading his trail journal know that he has developed a very strong network of friends on the trail. Let him finish with his "family." We can celebrate with him later.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    ME
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    3,517

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaching Karen View Post
    Some of you have asked me if I am joining Rick (At Troll) when he summits Katahdin. I have always answered with a sound "No" and I want to share with you why. I have had the opportunity to climb Katahdin with a long distance hiker and it is an extremely emotional time for this person. I've been chatting with Rick and as he gets closer to his goal and his finish of the hike he is starting to ride the roller coaster of emotions. We talked about the end and people joining him. I asked him if I could write this, and he agreed.

    There are several reasons we should not go to the finish. Starting with, Rick cannot determine the date of his arrival at Baxter State Park. He may decide to slow down to savor the time. He may speed up to near the end as the excitement of the finish approaches. Thru-hikers all have their own agenda, and those are varied as much as hikers are varied. They have been hiking for months learning about themselves, their place in life, and how they want to grow. That peak they are reaching for is very significant.

    Once Rick gets to Baxter he still won't be able to pin-point the day right away. He may have to wait for a Class 1 or 2 day. If there is a group of us there, he will feel obligated to do it on a certain day to please us. I'm sorry, but I think Rick should be doing his own thing at this point; not trying to please a group.

    Also, Rick is hiking at 2-3 miles per hour. This is pretty strong. None of us can keep up with a thru-hiker. Asking him to hike at our speed is also unfair.

    Finally, when Rick gets to the peak of Katahdin, he's may go through emotions that he'll prefer to share with those who are close to him. My sister picked me, because she was hiking solo, I am usually her hiking partner, and I am family. Rick's new family is his hiking family. Those of you that have been reading his trail journal know that he has developed a very strong network of friends on the trail. Let him finish with his "family." We can celebrate with him later.
    Karen - our trusted Educator! Thank you for posting this information. I believe you have imparted important wisdom to our community.

    Although Rick will finish this fall - he certainly would not be adverse, I don't think, to something special to commorate his accomplishment at your event next year (if you are going to have it again). And - as the time slips closer for him to pass through familiar territory - is there any reason we, the Geocaching community, couldn't work hard to coordinate some special, what is it they call it, Trail Magic? Although Rick may not hit it - other hikers would and it could be done in HONOR OF Rick!

    Let us know Karen - everyone needs a guide and it sounds like you are willing, able and ready to guide us. How can we as a community do something or a few things to make the end of his hike special? We, as well intended friends, don't want to bog down or mess up the climax of Rick's journey. But - please give us a few hints or ideas of how we can help!

    Again - thank you for your thoughtful post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So. China Maine
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Great insight

    Thanks Karen. I have been thinking about this and I've read each and every one of Rick's logs and others as well. Earlier this year, I thought joining him for the final climb would be a good idea and a lot of fun, but as time has moved on it's very clear just how much of an impact this has had on him. He's experienced the ups and downs but now that he's in Mass I'm sure he has the goal clearly ahead although he's got some rugged territory to cover before he's done.

    The idea of trail magic in his honor appeals to Di and me and we would be happy to help contribute and place it. It doesn't just have to be in one place so perhaps this thread can be expanded to develop ideas on how to do this. Karen, you have the experience and know the AT so toss out some ideas. We'd love to help.

    Last question. How late in the year can one climb Katahdin?

    We'll definetly want to honor Rick at some point and I think a narrated slide show at KK's event would be a memorable moment.

    Go Rick go!
    Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Augusta, Maine
    Posts
    815

    Default Well, Msssss..... Hollora

    My celebration in January already has a twist to it! Barry has asked me if we can tie in the 10th Anniversary of Caching in Maine with the celebration. I think we're going to try to whoop this one up. More details to follow.

    We talked about possible get-together dates and I think Rick's first clear weekend after he comes home Oct. 22-24. So, we've got a little time to put a gathering together. It will give him time to get his feet back under unrooted, level ground (that just doesn't sound right), tie up some loose ends, etc. If that's too late, maybe we can look at a week night.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Hampden, ME
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    891

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaching Karen View Post
    <deleted> I asked him if I could write this, and he agreed.
    Hit the nail on the head, Karen. Well said.
    Everyone has the right to be an idiot at times. Just don't abuse the privilege.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    ME
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaching Karen View Post
    My celebration in January already has a twist to it! Barry has asked me if we can tie in the 10th Anniversary of Caching in Maine with the celebration. I think we're going to try to whoop this one up. More details to follow.

    We talked about possible get-together dates and I think Rick's first clear weekend after he comes home Oct. 22-24. So, we've got a little time to put a gathering together. It will give him time to get his feet back under unrooted, level ground (that just doesn't sound right), tie up some loose ends, etc. If that's too late, maybe we can look at a week night.
    The twist sounds like fun - and it surely is your event. No intent to step on toes - just thinking out loud.

    Whatever is planned or done for Rick, I know folks would be happy to participate and help. So many things to do on weekends - but hopefully things will zero in.

    I LOVE the idea of trail magic and am on board with Dubord's thoughts. KK will be busy with school starting, but if she can guide us, there are many more who could help make it happen.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    abbot maine
    Posts
    83

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    Nothing would be more fun than hiking with Rick,but Karen is right.I've felt all along that he has a special destination to be shared with the ones that have endured the trips many pitfalls.It's his moment ,and I will sit back raise a glass of beer,and say I know that guy.Well done Rick.~Number Seven

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Auburn, Maine
    Posts
    621

    Default Well said Karen!

    Rick shared those sentiments with us when we met up with him in Gettysburg. Well said and I'm glad you spoke up Sharing the summit of Katadin with his hiking family is going to be a great entry in his journal

    Go Rick go!!!
    If you want to try cross country skiing, start with a small country

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Gainesville, Georgia
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    3,875

    Default

    Just got done talking with Rick on FB this morning. He is taking a zero day today because he is beat and sore from his day yesterday. He said it was worse that his 1st day at boot camp...LOL. He is in Gorham NH and said he will probably be crossing into Maine on probably Tuesday or Wednesday and hopes to be summiting Katahdin around the 8th or 9th but that is pretty tentative. I told him I might be going to Springer Mnt around the time he summits Katahdin,that would be pretty cool. I will be at his starting point and he will be at his ending point. Anyway he needs our moral support right now so wish him the best if you get a chance,he appreciates it for sure.
    Just smile it won't crack your face

    The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is
    suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best
    friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Augusta, Maine
    Posts
    815

    Default Bookmarks

    Hey Haffy, you and ATtroll will be bookmarks. Anyways, I believe this will be Rick's last mail drop before he summits.

    RICK TOWLE
    ATTN: Hold for AT Hiker ETA
    General Delivery
    Monson, ME 04464

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