AT 2018 : Season 3 !

I finished my second AT season last October 2017 with an 80 mile hike in Northern PA. A long Cooperstown winter is finally winding down and the hiking bug has returned. My Season 3 goal is to complete as much of the AT from Buena Vista VA, heading south to Georgia as I can. I’ve figured about 800+ miles and this journey should be ended.

Tried to stay in shape this winter by going to the gym several days a week. It’s still tough actually walking up your first hill with a 30+ pound pack. John Rowley and I left Cooperstown early on April 20 and arrived late afternoon at the Buena Vista tailhead parking area. Short two mile hike to our first night camping at Brown Mountain Creek shelter.

everyone is smiling before we take our first steps. “This is easy!”

My sturdy Cooper Spur 2 tent is still holding out after two years.

Lot’s of rain lately so no problem finding drinking water in these small streams.

First full day of hiking was a fairly easy 9.5 walk in the woods to Punch Bowl shelter. We arrived by 1:30 PM and decided to call it a day. We’re breaking in our hiking legs:

You can decide if you want to sleep in the shelter or in your tent. With the sunny weather,we tented. First night was COLD… Around 30 degrees.

Checking out my new sleeping pad. VERY COMFORTABLE !

View up to sky from the sleeping pad.

Picking up the mileage for a 12.7 with lots of uphill climbing the next morning:

Early Spring here. A few weeks ahead of Cooperstown. Lower elevations it’s very green on the ground.

Getting up higher with some nice views.

Two foot lizard attacked John.

Crossing the Saint James River

Woke up sunrise the next morning. We had a 12 mile uphill climb to Thunder Ridge Overlook with a shuttle to take us into Glasgow for a dry night at Stanimal’s Hiker Hostel. Big rainstorm coming in.

Rain has started. We’re glad to have a dry bed tonight.

So far, a great start. John will be with me for a week then he’s headed back home. I’ve got the month of May to keep heading to Georgia.


  1. Rochelle · April 24, 2018

    “On the road again”🎼 wishing you beautiful sights and great adventures. Be safe. Shelley

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. gary preiser · April 25, 2018

    way to go!!


  3. daN baueR · April 25, 2018

    Congrats for making it back out onto the trail. Still waiting patiently for Spring to arrive up here. Maybe not so patiently 😉 Enjoy yourself on the trail. I’m looking forward to seeing you on the AT.
    Did you upgrade your gaiters? Looks like you went for some extra coverage.


    • Mike Bauer · May 11, 2018

      High gaiters keep me warm and dry in heavy rain. See you up North soon.


  4. Kwan · April 25, 2018

    Awesome start Mike! Stay safe and I can’t wait for you to finish the whole trail!!!


    • Mike Bauer · May 11, 2018

      Thanks for staying in touch and encouragement Kwan.


  5. ericandpabloknight · April 25, 2018

    Where are the fish pics, EK


  6. Ken B. · April 25, 2018

    Mike – That lizard looks like Son of Godzilla!!! Watch out!!!! Have a great trail trip and looking forward to more pics, ESPECIALLY when you finish. All the best, Ken.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s