[at-l] But!

nightwalker.at at gmail.com nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 23:19:42 CST 2010

From: Jim and_or Ginny Owen <spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com>

Personal opinion is that those (like skeeter, for example) who hike various trails, as well 
as those who section hike (any long trail) are higher on the food chain.  And those who 
hike other trails in other countries are even closer to the top.  I could be wrong.  But I 
haven't seen any reasonable, rational argument to the contrary.  Yet.  Still looking. 
Walk softly,
I do a lot of medium-length sections. 5-10 days, usually. Unfortunately, most of that is on three National Recreational Trails close to my house and the rest is usually on the Southern 1/4 of the AT. I just decided to change it up this year.

If God is willing and I don't tear up some other part of my body, I AM going to walk the whole AT this year. In 2008 I made it 350 miles until some extremely poor footwear choices caused problems that I'm STILL dealing with. I just had a Clemson orange cast put on my left foot today. They usually leave it on two weeks, but he's going to give me three. I need to be done with this left plantar fascia problem, for now at least.

The dumb footwear choices were expensive but bad trail runners and cheap but bad insoles. The shoes were NB 812s. I had used the 800 series up through the 806, and they were great. Unfortunately, what made them good was not kept. They were lighter, but at the expense of  the stiff sole and heel cup that had made the 801-806 such good trail shoes. The insoles were Merril do-it-yourself heat-molded insoles. I have since had it explained to me that a mold made with you standing was the absolute worst position to try to force your feet into for a long period of time.

Since then, I've been using the NB 47X series of trail shoes. Stiff sole, hard to twist, and bend easily only at the ball of the foot--just like a foot does. Even better, I get two pairs for the price of one pair of 812s. And they are basically just updated 805s. I wore one set of 478s and have had four pairs of 479s since then. Great, great shoe.

As to the insoles, no more saving money. Super Feet customs from now on. My first pair lasted two years, and I do not know what made me try those cheap POS Merrills. Never again. I've had this set for a year, and there is some wear visible, but still lots of life left in them.

It has been said, rightly, that good equipment does not get you to Maine. But bad choices in the wrong areas will absolutely keep you down South.

I do not intend to fail this time. But if I do, I'll be out there again next year, giving it another shot. I am a Christian and I am a hiker. Those are the two things that define me. And they will remain that way.

FrankenLooper the NightWalker

More information about the at-l mailing list