I finished this amazing journey by reaching the summit of Mt Katahdin in Maine at 9AM on August 16th. What an awesome summer. Thank you to all who supported me and our charities and a big shout out to my wife Elizabeth who was reluctant last year when I first proposed an AT thru hike but quickly became my biggest cheerleader and was amazing by taking care of everything at home so I could go for my walk in the woods. I am writing this on September 1. Our plan is to continue to promote donations till the middle of October, then we will distribute our $10,000 to the various charities. Thanks again for reading and keep watching the Stories page for info on when I will be presenting a slide show of my trip. I hope to do 3 presentations in early October.
My name is Gary Parkinson – trail name AZ Cruiser. I left April 12th to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine (2,185.3 miles). I will be done hiking by the end of August. My wife Elizabeth (honorary trail name – Miss Arizona) will be holding things together at home and supporting me as needed. She will make the cross country trip a few times to visit as well.
As part of this hike we are raising money for charity. Our preference is to help kids and critters. Our goal is to raise over $10,000.00 for a variety of charities. At the end of the hike, my wife and I will match $10,000.00 with our own money, bringing the total for the deserving charities to over $20,000.00. (Note: As of 3/26/14 we have additional matching pledges of $3k, bringing the total matching funds to $13k) Please share this information with anyone you feel may be interested.
Daily updates of this grand adventure will be available at trailjournals.com/AzCruiser/ so you will be able to follow my ups and downs (literally and figuratively) as I make my way north along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. This journal will include photos and heartfelt stories of what it is like to tackle a hike of this sort. This blog will be updated weekly, to subscribe click on the link in the right column.
To donate visit the charities tab above. All contributions will be made directly to the charity of your choice; we will not be handling any funds. Please follow along this summer and see how much money all of us working together can raise for great causes.
121 days hiking/5 days of rest
17.34 miles per day average