Walking the Appalachian trail, a trek of nearly three and a half thousand kilometres from Atlanta Georgia up the northern seaboard of the United States to Maine, was one of the items on Rosie’s bucket list. She described it as “difficult, arduous, physically challenging with 15 Mount Everests
to climb and spectacular scenery to enjoy.”

She’d already walked the length on New Zealand on what’s called the Te Araroa trail,
and with her friend and walking companion, Hannah, was looking for a bigger
challenge
It took the pair four and a half months, allowing for plenty of stops along the way.
She came to the club this week to tell us all about it, and she had plenty of detail and
pictures to share.
For a start the route is not the same from year to years and re-routing to avoid slips
and washouts is frequent.
There are shelters at regular intervals, but they are not huts as we understand them
DOC style, but three sided shelters, so most people camp in and around the
shelters.
There are bears and snakes although Rosie and Hannah didn’t have any dangerous
encounters. “We heard coyotes howling on our first night, and we were scared.”
Half way along the trail is the “half gallon challenge,” a speed eating contest, not of
beer but of ice cream, although Rosie admitted they got through a lot of beer too,
and became well know as the Kiwi girls who can drink.
“People of all ages do the trail. We became friends with a 78 year old guy and also a
family of 13, the youngest of whom was just three. You can also join and leave at
many points and lots of people do that, some walking for just a day or so.”
“It is not as remote as it seems. We were always within cell phone coverage and
there are lots of ways in and out. Tramping in the US is not as hard core as it is in
New Zealand,” she said.