Brian Vaughan's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

Phone calls from the Trail Vermont - New Hampshire

07/03/98 - Brian called from Manchester, VT today. He's taken another day off, and is still "stopping to smell the roses." He said that's why he did big miles up to this point. Several hikers have gone on past him, including Ultralite. He's asked for tapes of bird songs to learn the different sounds while he's on the trail, and Obi-wan has been teaching him tree identification.

07/07/98 - Rutland, VT. When I asked about the recent rains and flooding in Vermont, Brian said that it hasn't really been much of a problem... the rains come down, but then the sun comes out and dries everything out.

07/10/98 - Hanover, N.H. The second to last state! Brian is staying in a frat house with several other hikers, and planning to go to a movie. He says this town is "cool", and he really seems to be enjoying this visit. Looking forward to hiking the Presidentials, as he's done them before and they are very familiar.

07/14/98 - Glencliff, N.H. Brian picked up a mail drop here. I wonder if he's getting sick of the same things over and over and over. He hasn't cooked breakfasts since giving up his stove before PA, so it's poptarts and Honey Nut Cheerios in every maildrop. Sometimes he buys bagels at a local store before heading out. I send Liptons rice/sauce, noodles/sauce, mac n cheese, and usually beans and rice in each drop as well. I'm rationing the "Just Veggies" I've been sending so there'll be enough for the rest of the hike. I've even been snacking on the corn, they are sweet and delicious!

07/21/98 - Call from the top of Mt. Washington!! Brian reports a temperature of about 20 degrees with the wind chill there (and he still doesn't want me to send his fleece jacket). He's had a great experience hiking from hut to hut so far... He's done the work for stay every night, and only one hut turned him away. He stayed at Lakes of the Clouds last night, and because he was sleeping on the floor in the dining room, he had to get up early so the staff could prepare breakfast. He said at such a high elevation, the sun comes streaming in and wakes him up early anyway. He grabbed a quick breakfast and hiked to the top of Mt. Washington, and called at 8:00 am, wanting to get there before it got crowded with tourists. The view was only a little hazy from the top. Last year when hiking the Presidentials with a friend for a week, he was glad that he was in good enough shape to keep up with the thruhikers he met. Now, he reports being in even better shape, since he doesn't have to stop to catch his breath every so often. He can just keep hiking without much difficulty. He's a little disappointed with his boots, the soles are separating a bit already, but he thinks they'll hold out until Katahdin anyway.

07/24/98 - Gorham, N.H. Brian stayed at "The Barn" rather than the "Hiker's Hostel" where he's stayed before when hiking. He's still with a group, including ObiWan, and is planning on perhaps taking a day off. Days off are busy, doing laundry, organizing his pack, showering, and of course, eating. I am very proud to say that this mail drop FINALLY included the recipe for logan bread from the Backpacker's Magazine cookbook. It seemed as though it will travel well, and I wanted Brian to have something that would keep. Only about 300 miles left to go!

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This page is being maintained by Brian's mother who will be updating and adding pictures as soon as Brian sends them.

For more information about Brian and his thruhike, you can email his mom at or his stepfather at
Last revised August 9, 1998.