Adele Ritchie, and the Appalachian Trail

Moyhu’s Adele Ritchie is on the walk of a lifetime, dedicating months to trek the entire 3500 kilometre journey along the Appalachian Trail in the USA.

The former Rural City of Wangaratta revegetation worker, and avid Warby Range bushwalkers, is about a third of the way to the end point of the Trail, in Maine.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail extends from Springer Mountain in Georgia, to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The Trail was first mooted in 1921, and completed in 1937, although maintenance, and improvements are always ongoing.

About two million people access the Trail each year, mostly walkers, but also skiers in winter. Only about 2700 walkers complete the full length of the Trail each year.

The Trail is tough enough, but with three delayed flights and take-offs, Adele, and her husband Ian, had a bumpy journey to Florida, but eventually made their way to accommodation in Gainsville.

Adele has been mapping her journey on the blog site WordPress, where she describes every few day’s adventures, weather and moods.

In her blog of the 30km section from John’s Hollow Shelter, through to the Brown Creek Shelter, she says “I was making really good time, and enjoying the track, until a thunderstorm struck”.

“It was very scary, and I thought that the lightning had got a little close to me, and the hairs on my arm stood up, but then I heard a squeak in my ear.”

“I later found out that another guy had had an even closer call, and he actually saw the lightning strike in front of him”.

“I hadn’t though about how our walking poles would make good conductors, but he dropped his poles, and ran”.

Adele has previously completed the Australian Alpine Walking Track (665km, Walhalla to Canberra), and the Hume and Hovell Trail in NSW (426km, Yass to Albury), but the Appalachian Trail is her longest walk to date, with the longest distance covered in any one day being 32km.

See our Useful Links section (under ‘Recent Posts/Appalachian Trail’) for further info from Adele’s blog.

[Adapted from an original article in the Wangaratta Chronicle (15/08/2018), with additional info from Chris Mclaughlin]

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