I very seldom post my pictures in the "large" size but this is so momentous it deserves to be super-sized. My cousin Jason successfully completed the entire hike of the Appalachian Trail on Wednesday this week. He is seen here at the northern terminus: Mt Katahdin in Maine. He started this amazing life changing journey on April 1st down in Georgia, and over the past 5 1/2 months has hiked over 2100 miles to arrive at his goal.
You can read an online journal of his adventure at Sailor J's Trail Journal. This link takes you to the summit page, but also gives you a link to go to "first" to read the whole story if you're interested.
Today he came to lunch as he is slowly rejoining the 'other' world and learning to sleep in real beds and eat real food again. His tales of 57 snake and 19 bears, knee deep mud, heart-stopping cliff hangars (literally) and various other excitements left us envious but also thankful that he managed to complete this undertaking in relatively one piece. I found his solar powered satellite phone to be even cooler than my Blackberry....it's an iPod, camera, and phone all in one and weighs only 6 oz. By wearing it on his back with its little wings extended (I forgot to take a picture while he was here) he could keep it charged for up to two days. He was able to text back and forth to his parents in Maryland who kept him up to date on impending weather developments, and posted the short texts and pictures he sent home.
Now that he's back to civilization, he'll be uploading lots more pictures and fleshing out the texts in the journal over the next few weeks, so if you're interested be sure to check it out. It may not be as funny as Bill Bryson's "Walk in the Woods" but it is every bit as inspirational as Thoreau.