The following is Chill’s (my uncle Gary) journal from his 2006 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. This journal followed him all the way from Georgia to Maine for over 5 months in rain, sleet, snow, and heat. In the fall of 2011, I asked him to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail with me in March 2012. He reluctantly agreed to give it a shot. He came with me to Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, VA while I got fitted for my pack and sleeping bag. After we were done, he pulled this journal out of his truck. I had no clue he kept a journal on his thru-hike. He causally said, “Ah, here you go. It may not help you prepare too much, but it may help a little.” That was the last time I ever spoke to my uncle. He died in a car crash two weeks later.
This journal was about half-full with his entries. I chose to fill the second half with my own 2012 thru-hike entries while spreading his ashes across all 2,184 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
If you want to download the entire journal in .pdf format, click below:
Click here to download Chill’s entire AT journal
Otherwise, grab an ice cold Yuengling (his brew of choice) and enjoy flipping through his first hand perspective below in a slideshow format.
Cheers to Gary “Chill” Childress, class of 2006!