Couple set to hike the Appalachian Trail

February 28, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

On March 4 Chris and Cassandra Bihl of Portsmouth are going to start a six-month journey hiking the 2,187 mile Appalachian Trail.

“This is a simple hiking trail starting in Georgia and ending in Maine. It goes through 14 states and it will take us about six months to complete,” Chris Bihl said.

When asked why he and his wife decided to do this Chris Bihl said, “this is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been dreaming of thru-hiking the AT (Appalachian Trail) for longer than I can remember and am very excited to share this adventure with my wife.”

He said part of the reason they decided to do this was to get away from their busy lives and try to grow closer as a couple.

As far as preparation, Chris Bihl said, “we’ve done a lot of reading about the trail. We’ve read a lot of blogs and trail journals from people who have already done a thru-hike of the trail. We’ve been saying a lot of prayers and have done a lot of research on the gear we will need to take. As far a physical preparation we’ve been trying to stay in decent physical condition and active.”

He said there is really not much person can do to prepare themselves to walk 20 miles a day, caring 35 pounds of gear on their back.

“Our physical preparation will be on the trail, sort of on the job training,” Chris Bihl said.

Bihl said he and his wife have been planing this trip for more than a year and are excited to get started.

“It’s a little bit nerve-racking and I do not know if we will ever feel we will be all the way ready but, I think we are,” Chris Bihl said.

The only thing Chris and Cassandra will have with them on the trail is what they can carry on their backs.

“We’ll carry about four or five days worth of food and hopefully every four or five days we will be able to make it to a town to resupply,” Chris Bihl said. “Our clothes, tent and sleeping bags, food and water, we’ll carry with us.”

The couple hopes to experience the hiking community with others on the trail.

“We are looking forward to the journey being away from the everyday busyness and hassles of life. Looking forward to going to sleep when the sun goes down and waking up when the sun comes up and walking until I get tired,” Chris Bihl said.

He said they are looking to average around hiking 15 miles per-day while on the trail. Bihl said he and his wife have established a blog in which they hope to update along their journey with photos and blog entries, for those interested in following along.

The blog can be found at www.hikingthegoodhike.blogspot.com.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com.