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March 9th 2007
Published: March 9th 2007
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The best way to open our Travel Blog I think is with a bit of "Robert Service " poetry.

"The Land Beyond"

Have ever you heard of the Land Beyond,
That dreams at the gates of day?
Alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
And ever so far away;
Alluring it calls: O ye the yoke that galls,
And ye of the trail overfond,
With saddle and pack, by paddle and track,
Let's go to the Land of Beyond!

Have ever you stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away,
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
With the vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
Still mocks you a Land of Beyond.

Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond
For us who are true to the trail;
A vision to seek, a beckoning peak,
A fairness that never will fail;
A pride in our soul that mocks at a goal,
A manhood that irks at a bond,
And try how we will, unattainable still,
Behold it, our Land of Beyond!

We are just two normal folks who have the urge to roam. I retired from the Army in 95 as a First Sergeant who was in the Infantry the whole time with almost 10 years in the RANGERS and Deborah is a retired housewife (she had the harder job). All the children have grown and gone and now the grandchildren have started to come along. We have been married for just over 30 years. We have lived from Panama to Alaska and have been talking about the Appalachian Trail (AT) for the past 20 years and thinking hard about it for the past 10. Last year, while contemplating the 30 years Deborah had let me roam the world at will and supported me in any endeavor I chose, I thought it would be quite nice if I would let her do something she really wanted to do. I have spent the past few years driving tractor-trailer across America at the rate of some 130,000 miles per year. It has allowed us to arrive at a place where we can enjoy our retirements.
Most people who do a "Thru Hike" of the AT start in Georgia and walk north to Maine. We have never been known as a normal couple, so to do a normal walk would not be like us :-) We are starting just south of the midway point at Harpers Ferry , WV. then walk south to GA. After that we will take a train back north and start south from Mt Katahdin back to WV and the finish. This is due to some serious terrain analysis and consideration of our age, physical condition, and weather throughout the year. By starting in the middle and heading south, we will have somewhat less challenging terrain to "break us into trail condition". The weather should be a bit more mild and thus reducing the weight of necessary items we need to carry. We need to be in FL in the first part of June to attend one of our son's collage graduation. By doing our route we will also be walking the most challenging portions of the AT in the middle of the trip where we are in the best condition and also keep us from having to race against the winter and snow in Maine.
We will be sending updates to Matt via a device called "PocketMail". It will allow us to do a sort of daily journal and then send it out whenever we can find a payphone to send on. We will also send him a CD of our photos when we get somewhere where we can download our camera.
We hope everyone enjoys our postings. To those people who have always wanted to attempt such a trip, maybe they will be encouraged to try a trek of their own, even if only through the words of others.


18th March 2007

Appalachian Trail Adventure
Godspeed to Pat and Deborah on your upcoming adventure. With Matthew's Blog , Jane and I will try to keep up with your progress.
19th March 2007

From Micki
Mom and Dad. I just wanted to let you know that I am really proud of you both. You have been wonderful parents to all of us. We do appreciate everything you do and have done for us. I do wish you the best on this long lifes journey. I would love to see you make it all the way thru. As from us in Rochester we all send our love and can\'t wait to start this journey with you as we see your photos and read your journal. Dad you are a strong man. I never underestimate you and I know you know alot about walking, weather and love. Spend it with the best person out there, my Mother. Mom, I know how you are and please just sit back and enjoy life and the nature of life. Spend it also with the best person, my Father. I love you both and again best wishes and good luck. Your loving daughter, Micki
20th March 2007

We will be thinking about you both, Take Care
We will hold the fort down. Watch out for Bears!
21st March 2007

Sisters' Journey
Wow you two its finally time for you to hit the trail!!! Deborah I know you are so excited to finally start this journey to see Gods beautiful world and to Grow closer to him and his Love. Mooney I know that you are up to this incredible journey and adventure and know that you can't wait to tell us all stories about your trip!!! You two take care of one another. I Love you two dearly, have a Blessed trip. Love Renay P.S. Matthew you are doing an awesome job!!! Love the sight LOve ya Aunt Renay
28th March 2007

Go With God Mooneys
Hey Debbie and Patrick, Debbie I know that this is your dream and as per our conversation at church the other day I pray that you find that "burning bush" time with the Lord that you are seeking and Patrick what a great guy to go on this adventure. Be safe, have fun and take your time soaking in all of God's glorys on this magnificent trail.
23rd August 2009

Just getting on board
Hi Pat and Deb, just talked to Pat this morn via ham radio, wish we had started hikiing the trails sooner... now we are over the hill and cannot do it any more. our experiences were limited to a few sections we will enjoy your trip as if we were there!!! 73, walt

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