Send an email if you'd like to include a message on this site.
Yesterday, I drove to Kent, CT, where I picked up Dream and RickRock. They'll stay at our home until Wednesday morning when they'll return to the trail. They're bruised and bug-bitten, but in great spirits.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask them, please do so through this email < firstname.lastname@example.org > That way, your questions and their answers will be posted for anyone on the site to read. I'll check the site frequently.
I just sent
Report #17 to Mike. It covers the time up to July 12. I'm working on #18 now, which covers the visit in Delaware Water Gap with RickRock's parents and several posts I've received from some of you. No. 19 will cover this visit.
Thank you in advance for your patience. I am both grateful for and humbled by your interest.
Now I'm going to the kitchen to cook something big and hearty. These men can eat!
We hope you have a wonderful hike. And when your hike brings you to Gorham, your second to last state!, we hope to meet you at Hikers Paradise.
Take care, Mary Ann and the crew at Hikers Paradise
PS you can use us as a mail drop
I found your site while searching for AT info. I have a friend hiking
the trail this summer too. Lisa Rogers is from Maine and I've sent her
several post cards but havn't been able to talk to her yet. Your site
has provided lots of insight in to what she must be experiencing. Dick,
I wish you well as you follow your dream! You'll see that the
wilderness of Maine is beautiful when you arrive here later in the
season. I've stood on the top of Katahdin - you will too!
Best, Tenley Meara, Maine
Good Luck Dick...I am Pauline from Dr Horn's office..I hope you are taking
good care of your teeth...Will check your progress in a few days...this is a
Hi, Dick and Zita,
I just love reading about the "walk". Dick, I envy you the 20lb. weight
loss, but don't envy the sore feet it took to accomplish this. I already have
trouble with my feet and ankles and whenever Zita tells us about your sore
feet I sympathize.
The website is delightful and Zita always seems to answer my questions just
before I think of them. I'll continue to offer a prayer now and then for your
safety and good health -- and cured feet.
BTW doesn't the AT come through New Milford, CT?? If so, depending when you
get here, Dick, you'd be welcome to a warm meal, and a softer bed than you'd
have on the trail. Assuming I'm correct, and the AT does come through NM,
when do you project being here? Approx.
Dick, keep up the good walking, and enjoy yourself. And, Zita, keep keeping
me posted. I love hiking -- vicariously. Oh, BTW, I'm doing a 5K Run -- only
I'm walking -- tomorrow night. I must be crazy. It's been a while since I
walked that far at one time, but the worst that can happen is that I have to
get a ride back to the beginning. But, Dick has encouraged me. If at 60 he
can do that many miles in one day, I guess I can try to do 3 and a half -- without a
heavy back pack. I'm still a few years younger.
Love to both of you from Gardenleaf...Linda Carlson
Dear Zita & Dick,
As an Eagle Scout and father of 4 Eagle Scout sons, I feel that I have fostered an interest in backpacking that
contributes to your husband Dick's enjoyment of the hike. My 30-year old son Rick (known to your husband
as Rick Rocks) feels privileged to have Dick as a hiking buddy. Their common dedication to meeting the
challenge of reaching Mt. Kitahdin gives them a mutual respect for each other that bridges the generation gap. I
am thankful to you and Dick for reporting their journal on the Internet, so that I, too, feel that I am
accompanying them on their journey. I'll be sharing pictures with you, such as the ones of your husband,
Mothball, and the others that Rick has sent home to be developed. My wife and I share your common support
experiences of carrying heavy boxes to the post office, which keeps us mindful of the loads they carry
Dick and Mary Anne
I can't tell you how much all of your good wishes have meant to me and to
Dick. Every time I mail a box of supplies to him I include copies of all
the new posts.
This website didn't exist when he started the trail last month. Neither of
us had even =thought= about setting up a website. Neither of us would have
known how, but that's another story. When I did tell him about the site,
his initial reaction was lukewarm. Why go through all the work to set up a
website just to keep friends and family informed of his progress? What
neither of us even imagined was that so many strangers would be interested
in his adventure, that they would write to me with stories of their own,
that they would share photographs with me. Some are even making plans to
meet Dick when he reaches Connecticut!
I had heard about the camaraderie that develops among AT hikers, but I
never expected to be part of it. I do realize that participating online
doesn't require that I carry 50 pounds on my back, and walk 2,000+ miles,
and learn the true meaning of sore feet. Nor does it allow me to see
first-hand some of this country's most beautiful scenery, or spend
countless hours in the kind of contemplation that restores the soul, or
share space in a shelter with someone who could become a life-long friend.
But communicating with all of you is the next best thing. Thanks.
Dick and Zita, You have the ability to make each of life's challenges a
real adventure! We're enjoying your journey via Zita'a delightful
When our kids were young we took a camping trip down through the Blue
Ridge and Great Smokey Mountains. We ended at Gatlinburg. Your post
reminded us how truly hospitable and NICE the folks in the area are. We
were close to the entrance there to Smokey Mountain National Park, where
we spent the night and went to a singalong led by Park Rangers.
It was there we learned half a dozen songs that our family still sings
together at appropriate and some inappropriate family moments, even
though the "kids" are in their forties with their own broods, and the
songs have been passed down one more generation! "Sippin' Cider," was
one, and "His Name was Ethan Drum." Great national treasures from the
Smokies. We'll at least hum them tonight in your honor!
Have fun, be safe.
Joe and Ellie Sullo
My husband and I read the latest reports. We enjoyed Zita's humorous version
of Dick's experience. I'm glad Dick's feet are holding up. If your feet hurt,
your whole body hurts. And I'm glad he's taking some breaks for the mineral
springs, and a real bed once in a while and real food, too. It must make the
journey less tedious to have people along to talk with, kind of like being at
camp as a kid?
All I can say is, bravo Dick!
I am enjoying Zita's reports on Dick's progress and so glad he is doing well.
I understand the sore feet. When your feet hurt, everything hurts. Maybe
Zita could send him some insert soles that will cushion his feet in his
I think both Zita and Dick deserve applause for their efforts. Zita, for
"giving up" her dear husband for such a long time, and Dick for actually
pursuing his dream. My own husband's dream of camping out at Gettysburg has
recently dissolved. At the reenactment at Hammonasette one of our young
reenactor friends told us of his experience at Gettsyburg in the summer. He
said, rather casually, oh, yeah, every year a couple of guys die! He said the
heat is so unbearable they had to put icecubes in their hats. He also said it
is so crowded with spectators that it takes four hours just to get from the
field back to the hotel areas which is more like a half hour drive normally.
So we will probably go back to Gettsyburg to visit, but Bruce is no longer
planning on camping out with the troops.
Good luck to Dick, and happy feet!
Hello Dick and Zita! Many prayers to you both - it is an amazing and life
changing event, walking along the Trail. I hiked the Trail from NY to ME in
1982 in an 8-week 'outing'. I was much younger, but the magic of treading
upon land that felt unchanged for eons was...staggering. Also, my compnions
were a hoot. Life outdoors leads in...don't know who said it, but it's truth.
May the Universe cradle you in it's beauty.
Zita - just visited website...it is great. Was reading Dick's list of
supplies, etc. and was surprised that he did not take a large square of
plastic with him...believe I told you that I have two huge books (3,000
pages) with stories abt AT hikers and they all mentioned one of the most
valualbe items to take was a large piece of plastic...in case of rain, could
be used as poncho, to put under bedding, etc. I am sure my books are
outdated...don't care, love them anyway, and shall follow Dick's trail thru
their maps and stories.
Anyway, I shall certainly pray for Dick and for you....it must be hard
staying home and imagining the worst happening to Dick. Just remember
"Trust in the Lord" And thanks again for keeping us informed abt Dick.
Dick and Zita are examples of what married love is all about. Sometimes you
have to go against your own fears in order to give your loved one the freedom
he or she craves. And so Dick, at an age when most men are contemplating
relaxing hobbies, has set off on a trek that has felled younger men.
My husband's friend who is in his thirties did the Applachian Trail last
year. He returned with fascinating photos and stories. He also said he will
never, ever, do this again in his lifetime.
Is this trip a right of passage? Isn't it mostly men who take this journey
with their backpacks weighing heavily on their backs? Are they seeking the
adventure of the journey or some unspecified spiritual vision? Only they
know. Thankfully this particular journey of Dick Christian is being shared
with all of us through Zita.
I applaud her decision to support Dick with love as he ventured on this
journey. It gives me courage to do the same for my husband as he pursues his
What a fabulous idea! I think Dick taking a walk is great. To think of
the sights, the smells, the feel, etc. that he will experience. Talk
about a different perspective! I encourage everyone to live out their
dream-- or was it Zita's.
I should have thought of it when my husband retired.
Way to go, Dick!!! And Zita, I hope you get a lot of writing done. No
laundry for what-- 6-7 months. Way to go, Zita!!!
There is definitely a book-- or two in this. I hope he brought a
camera. If he doesn't want to keep a journal-- can he get a tape
recorder and just talk.
Keep me updated, Neringa