Thursday November 5th at 7pm, Mr. DeVoe will be presenting his 2009 Thru-hike in his classroom at Groton Middle/High School in room 302. It will also be available live at http://grotonsciencegeek.blogspot.com
The Syracuse Post-Standard and Motion-X cover the Groton Appalachian Trail Project.
The Groton Appalachian Trail Project raised over $400 for Groton High School's environmental science club, "Generation - Z" and $163 for the Nature Conservancy. Thanks to everyone that donated.
After Courtney came for a weekend we said our goodbyes to Lucy and entered the homestretch of the Appalachian Trail. Maine is truly a magical place. We hiked through moss and lichen-covered forests with majestical old-growth pines. We hiked past lakes without one house on the shore and heard the eery cry of the loon on numerous occasions. After picking up our last mail drop in the cool little town of Monson, we entered the "100 mile wilderness". We got dropped off at the trailhead by a guy in a pickup that reminded me of the scene in "Into The Wild" when Chris gets dropped off in Alaska. The sign serves as a warning to those inadequately prepared, however, the irony here is that if you truly are carrying the weight of 10 day's worth of food to satisfy your thru-hiker appetite, there is no way you're going to make it all the way through. We did it in 4.5 days. The first half was a bit challenging and we didn't cover as many miles as we would have liked. There were a couple decent climbs and several rivers that we had to ford, the deepest being about waist-deep.The area wasn't as remote as I thought it would be. Over the years, logging roads have provided access for people so it is no longer essential to start at the beginning. I though we would only see other long-distance hikers but we saw many day hikers and boy scout groups. About 3/4 of the way through we got our first glimpse of Mt. Katahdin from the shore of a lake. The end looked so near, but in typical AT fashion, the trail took the circuitious route as it meandered through the woods for another 30 miles or so to the base of the mountain. Mt. Katahdin was like no other mountain I've ever climbed. For the first 1/3 of the way up the mountain it looked as if it were going to rain any second. People were actually coming down because they went part way up and turned around because it was windy and cloudy with no view. We kept truckin' though. Getting a picture at the end was imperative. As soon as we reached the treeline it began to clear up and eventually the sun even came out. After treeline we still had a 2 1/2 mile hike to the summit. We had great visibility at the top. They say Katahdin is a great way to finish the AT and I couldn't agree more. It is a special place with an indescribable view.I purposely waited a few days to write this final post about our journey because I needed a few things to sink in. We were in such a hurry to finish the trail but during the bus ride on my way home I was already missing the trail. It was sad because I was finished with the hardest but most rewarding thing of my life. I saw beautiful things that I tried so hard to share on here but they can only be experienced to give full meaning. Living homeless for 4 months is a great lesson. If everyone could live like we did for a week this would be a much stronger country. There would be less greed, more empathy, and more appreciation for nature and what we have around us. Right now I'm sitting at Collegetown Bagels in Ithaca drinking a coffee that was made with water I didn't have to filter from a muddy stream. My laptop is plugged in to free electricity and in a second I will use their flush toilet and wash my hands with warm running water. When I leave I will throw my garbage into their trash instead of sealing it up in a ziplock bag to carry with me. It's amazing!
The next step is to walk back into the classroom. I've learned that, one, this country is BIG (something you only realize when you walk it) but secondly, it is also very beautiful. The threats to that beauty are everywhere though. Invasive species are destroying our forests. Many of these threats are directly tied to us though and my pledge this year and the rest of my career is to help students make informed decisions about their actions...the importance of recycling and "voting with your dollar" to make smart purchases. Hopefully, it'll help slow down the rate at which the logging trucks take apart the forests of Northern Maine and beyond. Thanks again to everyone involved in making this project possible.
I'll end with two great quotes I came across while hiking:
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
Google Maps link
Sent from my iPhone
Google Maps link
Sent from my iPhone
capture it but I couldn't resist this one from Mt Bigelow. This is
from the last 4000 ft mtn before Katadin. Maine is so amazing. I
realized I have about 50 waypoints of places along the AT that I want
to revisit and explore beyond. There's just not enough time - or is
life just too crudded up with other stuff?
we're looking at finishing a week from Thursday or Friday. We're just
about done with the mail drops I assembled back in March and have
enjoyed reading the quotes Mrs Filzen put in a box of granola bars -
I've definitely been at the end of my rope a few times over the past
few months. = )
and droppings in Connecticut. We finally saw one near Sabbath Pond - a
huge bull moose. What an amazing sight!
but she isn't allowed in Baxter State Park at the end. Plus we have to
ford some rivers and she hates water. If you want to say hi to this
celebrity and check out her impressive hind leg muscles she will be in
the Ithaca area for the next couple weeks.
slackpack us so I was on the trail at 5:45am. It was one of those days
where the only people hiking were thru-hikers. It was pouring and cold
as I left. The trail has become overgrown and extremely muddy, rocky,
and full of roots. Every time I hit a branch, a night's worth of
accumulated rainfall would fall on me. The shortest option for the
slackpack was 31 miles because there were no other road crossings -
not even a dirt forest service road. That in itself, especially with
several big climbs, is a big day. However, I also had to do Mahoosuc
Notch, the hardest mile on the whole AT in slick conditions. It wasn't
too bad with just a daypack though and it was a pretty cool area. It
was a mile between 2 cliffs where large boulders have fallen over the
last couple thousand years. I had to climb over, around, and under
these large boulders and there was even ice still in some of the
crevices. I finally got done at 9:15 and gladly took my soaked shoes
off. Today we're slackpacking another 20 miles.
missed! I was surprised (and glad) by the number of teenagers and
younger kids hiking in the Whites with their families or summer camps.
If you get the opportunity, make the trip one of these summers.
slackpack from Pinkham Notch to Gorham, NH. The Whites have been
challenging but amazing. The last 2 days were cloudy so there weren't
any views but we got amazing above-treeline sights earlier in the
week. In this part of the country any elevation above ~4,400 ft is
bare rock because the wind and cold make it hard for trees to live.
Most of the Whites are like this and I definitely plan on coming back
again to hike more...it's ansolutely amazing here. Tomorrow when we
hit Maine, we will only have 281 miles left!
Mt Washington. This is the highest point in the Northeast and holds
the land speed wind record of some 280 miles per hour. This picture is
of the trail leading to the top. The vegetation, mostly shrubs,
grasses, and lichens, are only found on a few mountaintops in the
lower 48 and hundreds of miles north in the arctic tundra. The
weather today is cloudy, windy, and in the lower 50s. The average
summer high is 51 and and average winter high is 15.
Mr. DeVoe uses MotionX-GPS on the iPhone 3G and is sharing with you the following track:
|Date:||Jul 21, 2009 11:18 am|
|Avg Speed:||2.3 mph|
|Max Speed:||12.8 mph|
|Avg Pace:||25' 47" per mile|
|Min Altitude:||4,608 ft|
|Max Altitude:||5,100 ft|
Click on this link to display the track in Google Maps. This link will be valid until Aug 20, 2009 9:29 AM PDT.
There are two files attached to this email:
"Franconia Ridge.kmz" is a Google KMZ track that can be displayed in Google Earth or Google Maps.
"Franconia Ridge.gpx" is an Open Standard track that can be displayed by select mapping software.
MotionX-GPS Commonly Asked Questions:
|Q1:||What is MotionX-GPS?|
|A1:||MotionX-GPS, available for the iPhone 3G, is the essential application for hikers, bike riders, joggers, and geocaching enthusiasts. It puts an easy-to-use, state-of-the-art handheld GPS system on your iPhone 3G.|
|Q2:||Can I use MotionX-GPS?|
|A2:||Sure! MotionX-GPS Lite for the iPhone 3G is free and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store here.|
|Q3:||How can I display tracks in Google Earth?|
|A3:||Follow the directions on the Google Earth web site to download and install the Google Earth program. Save the attached Franconia Ridge.kmz file to your computer. Launch Google Earth, select File, Open, and open the saved Franconia Ridge.kmz file.|
|Q4:||What is a GPX Track?|
|A4:||GPX stands for GPS Exchange Format and is used to transfer GPS data between many GPS devices and applications, including Google Earth. A track is a path recorded by MotionX-GPS showing movement over the surface of the Earth.|
|Q5:||This e-mail was forwarded to me and I can't find the attachments!|
|A5:||Some e-mail programs do not include the original attachments by default when forwarding an e-mail. In this case, the sender must reattach the original files for them to be included.|
Please contact us here with any comments or questions.
All the best,
The MotionX Team
US and Foreign Patents Granted and Pending. Fullpower® is a registered trademark of Fullpower Technologies, Inc. MotionX™ is a trademark of Fullpower Technologies, Inc. © Copyright 2003 - 2009 Fullpower Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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