Date completed: 10/21/2021
Home base: Bethesda, MD
Miles: I hiked the entire trail south to north from Long Island Sound to the New Hampshire border (with the exception of 8 miles I had previously hiked) over an 18-day period, October 4 to 21, 2021. I did this with 12 sequential day hikes utilizing car shuttles (my car and Uber in combination) as far as Packardville Road north of Amherst. October 10 and 17 were rest, “zero,” days. From Packardville Road I backpacked 4 days to the New Hampshire border.
I am 77 very close to 78 and a veteran of 11,000 trekking/backpacking miles in North America, Europe and elsewhere. The NET is the fourth National Scenic Trail I have completed, preceded by the AT in 1998, the PCT in 2016 and the Arizona Trail in 2019. A year ago I was just completing chemotherapy for lymphoma and had recently got off of two months of dialysis after chemo-associated kidney failure. I’ve recovered substantially but am still anemic, so steep climbing goes very slowly, but I get to the top eventually. Despite the modest elevations and under 1000′ ascents the NET was surprisingly rugged and challenging with enough rock scrambling to satisfy almost anyone. Despite trekking some of the most densely populated parts of the United States it was surprisingly beautiful. The hike north through the New England woods for two weeks as Fall marched south was a celebration of my gift of another year.