1981 Daily

1981 Daily

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appalachian trail online book

Introducing one of the few online Appalachian Trail Journals from 1981!

The Appalachian Trail, a trail from Georgia to Maine, will change you. There is no doubt. Even if you don't finish it, stay on it long enough and it will happen. This is the story of such a transformation taken from the trail journal of Alan Strackeljahn, who in those days had no trail name. Trailnames were not yet in common use during 1981, at least I found not one reference to any in my journal, and always referred to hikers by their given names. I was a fresh hiker, who thought it would be great to hike from Georgia to Maine, but did not have a clue of what that really involved. Sure, I had done some reading, but there were not that many books out about the Appalachian Trail then either. We had to learn it all by trial and error. I was only 21 years old in 1981, so as you can imagine, my priorities of what I included in my handwritten journal were somewhat trivial at times, but many historical facts were included that would not seem very interesting then, but emerge with a new light three decades later. I also have fond remembrances that I have included to enhance the reading. I have fleshed out the journal by pointing out some of the bad decisions that I made, where outside influence came from, and including dates and happenings relating to the gruesome slayings of Susan Ramsay and Robert Mountford Jr. along the trail in Virginian that year, and how it affected the hikers.

What you are about to read in this online Journal is a true story taken from the trail journal that I kept as I hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in the year 1981. Left unread for over 20 years, I bring it out now and put it into digital form - with pictures - to help people visualize what I saw, and what the Appalachian Trail was like in that year. I tried not to add anything that I did not remember as truly happening, so all in all it should be mostly true. I hope you enjoy each day as much as I did reminiscing while putting it up.

If you cannot finish the whole trip in one read, use the "Daily Calendar " link on this page to take you to the date where you left off.

click here to go Straight to the Journal

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981
trail journal