And decided to switch from NOBO to Flip Flop.
I returned home. Made an appointment to have an orthopedic specialist check out my knee. Good news- no surgery. Got fitted for a knee brace and went thru about half a dozen physical therapy sessions. The therapy sessions were much better than I expected and am taking away some simple exercises that I can do on the trail to keep strengthening quads and calf.
So, Plan Deux –
Fly to Washington DC, take train to Harpers Ferry, WV and start northbound from there. About the first 200 miles have the least elevation loss/gains of the AT. Good place to drop a few pounds and get back my hiker legs. However, at that point you hit the boulders of PA which I believe is going to be my moment of truth for my flip flop. And, as the above chart shows, it doesn’t get any easier from there. I’ll go as far as I can. The goal is to get to Katahdin but don’t want to do anything that permanently damages my knees.
Normally, after reaching Katahdin, you return to Harpers Ferry and hike southbound to Springer Mountain. However, if my knee is good, I plan on doing another hike immediately after Katahdin and then return to Harpers Ferry and complete the AT. But I don’t want to talk about it until I get ready to cross that bridge.
I’ve updated my original NOBO plan which was laughably unrealistic. This time I may have become too conservative but you just don’t know until you get out there.
So, Bon Chemin/Buen Camino and I’ll see you back on the trail. In the mean time, here’s a picture of a puppy . . .