Powder River’s Appalachian Trail Journey from Georgia to Maine 2008

Sign the Guestbook



  Summer wrote @

Jeff I’m so excited for your grand adventure. I know of no one else who could take on the AT with such style – I’m so looking forward to stories from the road and photos from your trek! Rock ON!

  Joshua A Kukowski wrote @

Best of luck. Hope you find tons of trail magic. Let me know when you are in MD so I can hike it with you. Hopefully it is not hike naked day.

  Cami Kukowski wrote @

Rock on Jeff!!! I can’t wait to see your tan!!! -Cami

Arf arf! (I love you uncle Jeff!) -Frida

  Justin wrote @

Jeffrey, go forth and conquer. I’m looking forward to reading about all the smelly hippies you play hacky sack and have naked bongo circles with. Don’t let them bogart your technology. We’ll be sending you some Alaskan goodies along the way because salmon jerky and reindeer sausage make for delicious on-the-trail treats. When you’re done you have to come to Alaska and do Denali, where people pack heat because of grizzly bears, not rapists.

  Justin wrote @

By the way, are you naming your blog after Christopher Walken?

  Jeff wrote @

No way. Christopher Walken may be a good dancer but he doesn’t get my blog name. It’s named for the song by Wilco. Looking forward to the Alaskan treats. Got any Grizzly jerky? =)

  Vicki Pendley wrote @

I am so excited to hear about your upcoming adventure. My students have been asking me about it ever since you were our tour guide Feb. 07 in D.C. Keep us posted and Best of Luck!
Your friends from Daphne Middle School, Daphne, AL

  Vicki Pendley wrote @

Feb. 08………….not Feb. 07

  Mom wrote @

Time to count down the days, Jeff. We will be with you every step of the way. Lots of love.
Mom and Dad

  wigz wrote @

Good luck, Jeff. Looks like a lot of fun.

  Becky Richards wrote @

Hey Jeff….Just try not to fall in any rivers, stay dry….and if you do “fall” into a river…don’t worry cause you won’t have to sit in your car afterwords! :~)

  LoLo wrote @

Hey Jeff, I am from People2People, u were my guide last week, I’m the girl from Leesburg, just wanna say good luck, by the way, during the dance contest a kid did the soda machine move @ the last minute and won! Well best of luck!

  Kathy Housley wrote @

Jeff, sorry I missed your party Saturday night. Best of luck in this exciting adventure. Can’t wait to hear all about it through this blog.

  Josh Clemmer wrote @

Hey Jeff, I just wanted to thank you again for being such a great DM last week. The kids had an awesome time and you showed me how to make history more interesting to my students. Abby and I hope you have an excellent time on the hike. Good Luck!!!

  Evelyn wrote @

Best Wishes Jeff! I hope you have an amazing journey! I hope you don’t get down and out, if you ever get tired just think that if you speed it up a bit you’ll still make it back to our wedding!

I can’t wait to read your journals. I’ll tell Stephen about them. (because he dosen’t read for pleasure 😉

Have fun!

  Sam wrote @

I am SO sorry I missed your send-off last week. I was on Spring Break and got my dates mixed up. Sorry.
Anyway, I am truly excited for you and pray that God will bring you many new adventures, friends, and experiences along this journey that you will never forget.

God bless,

  Tyler From Bus 4 wrote @

Hi Jeff I am just signing your guest book. I gave you a mail so check that out!

  Amber Brantley wrote @

Hey Jeff! I met you on the People to People Tour. I was the crazy girl who was so excited for you and your trip. I told my students all about your trip and they said, “GOOD LUCK!” I am going to keep up with your journey and I can’t wait to see some pictures! Be safe and have lots of fun!

  Elena wrote @

Hey Jeff!!!!!! (MR. jeff)
I’m from P2P, the week before the week before you left. I know you have heard this a lot, but I did the soda machine about 17 times at the dance! I even showed my friends back home. You rock! you were a great DM and I’m sure a great hiker/walker. I hope you have a fun time and don’t fall in any rivers or have to fight off a mountain lion or something. You will do GREAT and I’m rooting for you to cross the finish line. (if there is one). GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. I’m the girl that taught you that awesome handshake (slap, pound, “the hulk”) and sang “da na na na na na na na da na na na na na na SHOTGUN” every time we went in or out of the bus.

  DICE – AT Nobo ’07 wrote @

Jeff, we emailed a bit about your trip after you found me on trailjounals.com. Was thinking I should check in and see if you’ve left and sure enough you just started. Hope you are doing well when you get to a computer and your trip is everything you thought it’d be. I’ll be keepin track of you. Have Fun!

  alex kellogg wrote @

Hi Jeff! Thank you for making People to People a great experience! Good luck with the walk. I’ll keep tabs on you.
Sincerely, Alex Kellogg

  Uncle Dean and Aunt Kathy wrote @

Hello from us… You will have a great time we are sure and hours of stories to tell..We will be reading…Hello and bon voyage from Grandma !

  David Brancolini wrote @

Jeff, It was a pleasure meeting & talking with you at the Black Gap Shelter this morning. I will send the pictures I took of you at Black Mtn Shelter to your personal email. Good luck on your journey. Remember to Hike your own hike.

David Brancolini
GATC Overseer – Section 1.7 Approach Trail

  Chandler (Proud Bus 4 South Carolinian) wrote @

Good luck. Sounds exciting! Hope you and your backpack get along:):)

  Rick wrote @

Hi, Jeff

What a great experience it was doing the Approach Trail with you yesterday. Do you remember how far it was from the huge tree across the trail to the AT? I would like to know for sure if I reached within a half mile of the AT before I turned around. I sure am glad I did, though. That last mile back to the Lodge parking lot was very painful for these lazy legs. Don’t forget to stay in touch, any way you want to.



  Rachel from Bus 4! wrote @


I hope you are having a great time and that everything is going great. I had suuuuch a great time on bus 4 and you were the best DM EVERRR!!! It was such an experience I will nevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvva evvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvva forget in my life. From Gettysburg to Alexandria to DC, you know it all! OHHHHHHHH.ANNNND by the way we all did the “pop” machine in honor of you. I am soooo going to teach it to my friends. thanks so much for an experience I WILLLL NEVVVVVVER EVER FORGET!!!!!!

Rachel C.
Bus 4

  Rachel from Bus 4! wrote @

OH and by the way, Im form VA… haha that rhymes!

  Pauline B. wrote @

Good luck, stay dry, and avoid tornadoes! You were an awesome DM! Thanks for telling us those ghost stories.

P.S. I showed my sisters the “soda machine” and they loved it!

~Pauline B.
Bus 5

  The Buehlers wrote @

Good luck in finishing your hike, Jeff. Just
a hello from Big Horn, WY

  Elena wrote @

Hey Jeff!
Its Elena. Again.
Just leaving another note to possibly motivate you. You rock!

  Alicia wrote @


I’m from People2people and I just want to wish you good luck. By the way, you were the best on the bus. How can you memorize so much! Hope you don’t run into any trouble! Ha ha!

Alicia from California


  ftp2.nm.ru wrote @

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  FlybyMike wrote @

Hi Jeff,

Great reading your journal. I’m a hiker and trail angel with real wings who resides in Maine near Katahdin from April till November. I’ll keep an eye out for you when you get to this neck of the woods and may even be able to offer you the ultimate hitch out of Millinocket (by plane). Keep putting one foot after the other and a smile on your face.

  AARON CARTER. wrote @


  Justin wrote @

Jeff, we’re getting worried about you. Are you slacking or did you get eaten by a wussy little black bear? Throw us a bone please.

  Roots wrote @

Hey Powder River!! I got to Newfound Gap yesterday(Sat. the 26th) at about 11:30. I made it to my destination for my journey…Yeah!! Now you need to make it to Katahdin 🙂 ! I can’t wait to keep up with your journeys through your website. It was so great getting to hike with you the first 200 miles. I know you’ll make it and I can’t wait to read about it. I miss the trail already. Hopefully I’ll see you at trail days or on the trail. Take care and Happy Hiking!

  Kelly and John wrote @

Hi Powder River. John and I are waiting for a shuttle back to the trail from the Super 8 in Erwin. Dutch left earlier this morning. We’re only going 4 miles to the shelter today (May 5th). Hope to see you soon.

  Rick wrote @

While you are working your abs on the trail, or the trail is working on your abs for you, I thought I would send you this faith building metaphor about the things that really matter, along the way:

Jeremiah 9:23 and 24 metaphorically describe two sets of abs; one set is temporal, while the other is eternal. This section even mentions God’s exercise program.

Verse 23: The temporal set:

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;

Verse 24: The eternal, spiritual set

but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

Just in case you were not aware, there are actually three distinct muscle groups in the area we call the abs, and each has a different purpose. Are you feeling your innermost set getting stronger, yet? I am sure you must be. I hope this Biblical metaphor is an encouragement to you.

  Molly Lilja wrote @

Hey Jeff,
It’s Miss Molly from bus 4. I was just checking in on ya. I ran across some of my P2P stuff today and I thought I would see how you are doing. I still think it is wicked awesome that you are hiking the AT. I told the friend of mine that has done a portion of the trail about what you are doing. She was impressed. Keep up the great work!

  Beth wrote @

Powder River,

Hey! Bob and I met you on the trail in GA when we were doing our section hike. Love the trail name! I decided to look you up and I’m really enjoying your journal. Even way back in GA you blew past us on the trail, but now you’re really making the high mileage! Good luck and try to keep up with your journaling so we can enjoy your adventure with you. I esp. like your footnotes on history along the trail.


  Bill Heine wrote @


I’ve enjoyed reading about your trek. Yours is a vicarious experience for those of us who will never hike it ourselves, so stay healthy and keep writing. I can hardly wait until your dad joins the expedition.

Pastor Heine

  Josh Clemmer wrote @

Just thought I would let you know that Abby and I are still thinking about you and your journey. Keep the faith!

  Tom Racette wrote @

Powder River let ‘er buck! Way to go Jeff. I have a sister in Maine. Do you have anyone meeting you there? Tom Racette

  De’Anna wrote @

I am enjoying your journal especially when you add the historical notes. You are now putting in some serious mileage! It is fun reading about the interesting and diverse people you are meeting along your path. I do see a lot of focus on food. I have previously gone out on a boat (working) for 30 days so I can somewhat relate to your experience. I met you at the beginning on Blood Mountain (teacher). You obviously have never been to Plant City, Fl. where they make the best strawberry shortcakes! Stay safe!

  gungho wrote @

Hey man, It was great seeing you again at Trail Days. I hope the rest of your hike is going great. Good luck and I look forward to continue reading your adventures.

  Del Acker wrote @


I am working with your Dad on the design for a new lab at SMH. He told he of your journey and his plan to join you soon for hiking a bit of the trail. It sounds like an incredible odyssey. Enjoy the trip. I enjoyed your many photographs!

  Matt Harris wrote @

Hey Cousin,

I really enjoy reading your stories. I wish I could be their with you to see those beautiful places. Your doing an awsome job. Talk to ya soon.
Matt and Kacee

  Brenda wrote @

Looks like your having a great time. God really has done an awesome job there. If there was a motorcycle trail I might give it a go, but walking on my own 2 feet probably not. Though with Jamie joining the Navy when he leaves for boot camp anything could happen. Probably won’t go crazy enough to go hiking though. Have fun and God Bless You. Love ya bunches Brenda

  Zeke wrote @

Hey Buddy!

I miss the At so much. Don’t know if you heard, but I had to get off in Catawba because of horrible shin splints. Leg is only at 75%. I am going for a walk in the northwoods of Wisconsin this weekend.

Glad to hear you are still on the trail. I will complete my walk with you.

I am Zeke! Did you know I am your Friend!

God speed!

  Zeke wrote @

Where in the world is Powder River?

  Uduard wrote @

Спасибо изучил.

  Denise wrote @

Hey Jeff! Finally got to your website without losing the sticky it was on! You ROCK and are one crazy kid. And here I thought you just liked burritos and biking. Hi from Andrew, Natasha and David as well. Now they will know you as the cool uncle! Safe journeys and happy trails!
Love Denise

  rachel wrote @

hey pr hope you liked the tasty vittles of sloppy joe’s and cookies etc we had for you guys today 8/31in Franconia. We had a great time hanging out with you guys. Can’t wait to hear what else is in store for you. Stay safe and have a great rest of your hike.you’re almost done.
Rachel,Steve,ham, and brian

  Lynn (Stahl) Valdez wrote @

Hi Jeff! How exciting that you are almost done. I hope your experience has been so great. You will never forget it. Most people do a whole lot of nothing in life. Very cool of you to do this. If I didn’t have two babies, I would be right there with you! By the way, you were in the paper today here at home. You look good! Have fun and be safe for the love of Pete (and your mom).

  cbmart wrote @

Not sure if you remember me, but I saw an article about you in the Sheridan newspaper. That’s so cool that you are about to finish the AT. I looked at some of your pictures and the trail definately looks beautiful. Good luck to you for the rest of the way and congrats! Are you going to take on the PCT next? I’ve heard once you start through-hiking, its hard to stop. Best Wishes-Cody

  Tom Racette wrote @

Jeff-Way to go buddy! What an adventure. I know you must feel exhausted but exhilarated at the same time. You have lived a dream and that puts you in rare company. Great job!!! It would be way cool to walk the last few miles with you, but I know you will have good company. Enjoy the last of the ride. Tom Racette

  Roots wrote @

HEY POWDER RIVER!!! WOW….you are in Maine. I am so happy for you. I knew you’d make it. Been thinking about you and everyone else I hiked with in April. It’s hard to believe all you guys are in Maine. I can’t wait to see that pic of you on Katahdin. Happy Hiking and congrats on reaching your final state. YIPPIE!!!! 🙂

  Pat Wolfe wrote @

Hi Jeff:

What an accomplishmenet! I have kept track of you via this way, but mostly from your dad at work. Keep going as you are almost there. Congratulations!!

  Dennis Zitterkopf wrote @

Jeff, Patti had told me about your adventure but in the hustle bustle of the Casper Convention I lost the address of your journal – until today. Now I learn you are in the last 100 mile sprint. Amazing story you’ve written and I really enjoy the photos – those are impressive composition and color touches. I laughed when I read about Joe’s Cadillac in the Bromley Mt segment. Congratulations on an amazing feat that few accomplish. Press On!

  David Brancolini wrote @

Jeff, I was maintaining my section on the Approach Trail and was at Black Gap Shelter when you stopped in for a short break on your first day. I remember asking you ‘How far are you going?” and your answer was “All the way”.
It was a pleasure to meet you and to follow you along on your journey. Great writing and photographs. Congratulations to you.

  denise hylle wrote @

i have enjoyed following your journey through the blog and from your father at work. my thoughts and prayers have been with you all the way. a real accomplishment you will always remember.
congratulations jeff on your trek

  Earl Ballard wrote @


Congratulations on your hike! Wow! What an accomplishment! I feel like I’ve made the hike with you through your online journal. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journey and keeping up with you along the way. It has really helped me know better how to pray for you. Can’t wait to talk to you when you get a few minutes–give me a call when you get a chance.

From your “pastor on speed-dial”

  Betsy Lynne wrote @

Jeff, congratulaitons!!! I’m so proud of you and so very excited for you! Your Facebook profile pic is great! Congrats!!!! It’s so great to see your beautiful pics throughout the hike and read your updates. What a beautiful journey and amazing accomplishment. Have a great time back in DC and congrats again! – Bets

  Jean Carriker wrote @

Hi “Mr.” Jeff..
I am enjoying reading your journal entries…I have also viewed many of your pictures…they are awesome…and will view them several times…what a great adventure and you are a very prolific writer too. It is a treat to read one or two entries each evening…it is like being there. Congratulations on this great feat that you accomplished in such a short amount of time.
Ms. Jean from OK

  lelpIngeque wrote @

🙂 reflects the couple’s low-key approach to their royal connections.

  Elgixin wrote @

Powder River,

I’m so proud of you! Way to go. It was great hiking with you during some of the early days of your trip. I enjoyed our conversations and our mutual interest in taking pictures of the flowers. I’d love to here from you one of these days.

All the best,


  Papa Sarge wrote @

Hey Powder;
Congrats brother! It was a pleasure hiking with you. We summited on Oct 8th. Hard to believe it has come & gone?
Thanks for being part of it all.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I trust all is well? Take care my friend, I wish you all the best.

Papa Sarge

  Rawhide and Maverick wrote @

We are both so proud of you, way to go Bud.
We really enjoyed sharing a small part of the trail with you.

  you don’t know me wrote @

Just wanted to say congratulations! The AT is quite an accomplishment. Also, the website is NICE. 🙂

  Justin A.-P2P wrote @

˙әɯosәʍɐ s! ɟɟәɾ ʞu!Ⴁʇ noʎ ɟ! әʇsɐd puɐ ʎdoɔ

  Oliver Curtis wrote @

Hey Jeff,

Glad you enjoyed the trip…I see you are back in DC…did you ever get my care package?

  Duct Tape wrote @

Hey Powder, thanks for the comment on my site. You have an outstanding collection of AT photos yourself! I wish I had a digicam on the AT – just another excuse to do it again I suppose.

That sunrise on Blood Mountain sure looks like one hell of a way to kick off a thru-hike! Out of this world. Good luck with all the Springer-Fever-post-hike-real-world-garbage. Been there. It all works itself out, just like the trail.


  Peanut:) wrote @

Wow!! What a fantastic sunrise pix at Blood Mtn. Shelter!!! Thanks for sharing! Great hanging out with you the other day, and hope you had a great time in TN!

May God grant us more adventures to come!


  drulaeveday wrote @

very intresting

  jaime bostick wrote @

Jeff I still can’t believe u did this! I could never of! It was great havin u as a dm and if ur ever in az ill take u to the grandcanyon so u can hike it!


  Alyssa wrote @

Hi Jeff! i was one of your people to people washington DC kids. I cant believe how far you really hiked. your pictures are unbeliveable! i am really glad that you shared this with your bus. Thanks! -Alyssa :]

  jtjcontheat wrote @

Hey there … I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through the content on your site … well done! I’m in the process of thru hiking this year … in NYC at the moment and excited to get up to Maine!

Wondering if you would be able to leave me with the Mayor,of Unionville’s email address … I have his post address but wanted to drop him a quick Thank You, via email. Please feel free to write me at jtsuhar@gmail.com whenever you have the chance, thanks so much!


  sandrar wrote @

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  CK Newt wrote @

Hi Powder River:

Your trek logs are very entertaining – good enough to write a book . As a section hiker from New England I pored thru your entries for CT/MA prior to a 2 day outing over the Taconics last week. For the present I’m restricting my treks between Connecticut and Katahdin but I’d love to do the entire AT someday.

  Powder River wrote @

CK Newt,

I’m glad you enjoyed it! That’s a very high compliment too. Hope you get to do the whole thing someday.

  Toolumpy wrote @

Interesting story, glad you did this journal as I am able to recall areas I went through this year. Just section hiking till I retire then plan on a thru hike. The big round ball you saw at the old base was a air traffic tracking device where air controllers pick up planes as they pass from control area to control area. Great stories.Thanx Tom

  PS Peterson wrote @

I hope it is okay that I posted your trek on Face book for my other AT hiking friends to view. I know there are many folks who enjoy your pictures and adventures.
Thanks, Pam Peterson

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