Anatomy of Book of Moron

Nearly a year after my adventure began, this is a retrospective analysis of the day-by-day account of my 2022 Northbound thru-hike of the Pinhoti Trail, Appalachian Trail, a road walk from Middle Maine to Fort Kent, Maine at the Canadian border, a Southbound road walk from the border to Pennsylvania and finally, a bike ride from Pennsylvania to Georgia. It is somewhat edited, a bit scripted and a little more contextualized. Listener beware…

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A True Odyssey

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Instagram @kenneth_pararo

 

8/13/22 UPDATE

I'm in Northeast Pennsylvania. What a wild ride it's been. I've walked ~4000 miles now and the Summer has been a real scorcher! 

I successfully made it to the Canadian border in Fort Kent, Maine where I joined Hwy US 1. I started back South after that but quickly realized that pedestrians were not allowed on large sections of that road. By the time I finally left Maine, having spent 1 month in the state, I began to vaguely travel farther West and inland. There have been several heat waves this Summer and, according to the Farmer's Almanac, it has been an uncharacteristically dry and hot season for the region. After having a handful of times experiencing something approaching a panic attack (usually aided by a poorly timed edible in the relatively cool morning before hitting the road), I began to flirt with the idea of other options.

Back in June, when I was still on the Appalachian Trail proper, I would fantasize about road walking in order to assuage the psychic and physical pain of the task. Now that I felt that my refuge of the road had started to betray me, my mind started to wander to getting back on my bicycle.

As per my highly mutable, original plan, I intended to get on my bike in Key West and then travel generally West on the South Tier bike route: however, the trail birthed a new opportunity and consideration.

From Maine, I walked through New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and then into Pennsylvania. By the time I was in New York, I decided to leave the road and was committed to returning to the trail in order to escape the merciless heat and was content with that for a time. Then, I crossed the New Jersey border into Pennsylvania. Some family friends reached out to me about staying with them and I gladly accepted the offer. I was able to borrow a bike in order to get around and experienced quite an attitudinal shift. My bike was all packed up at my parents' house. waiting like an ace in the hole to be unleashed. As I crushed 10s of miles effortlessly in a fraction of the time and without even feeling the distance I realized that this was going to be the best, next move. 

As fate would have it, my family friend was going out of town for a week and offered to let me stay at their house for that duration. This felt like an unambiguous opportunity to get myself right as I could really start to sense that burnout was creeping in for me and this adventure. I again accepted this offer, got my bike affairs in order and am now taking a handful of consecutive zeros while I wait for my bike to arrive. 

This is a good moment of rest for my mental, physical and emotional health. I remember very clearly in November of 2018 feeling burnt out of biking. There was a clear psychic pain anytime I considered going for a bike ride because it had become my only outlet for recreation. Beyond being my sole escape from the doldrums of life, I had also saddled it with a rigid structure of trying to bike on every road within the perimeter of Atlanta through something called Wandrer.Earth. This pursuit, though fun at first, robbed me of the innocent and unbridled joy that cycling had always provided me. Exhausted, on a 120 mile ride to Augusta, Georgia with a friend, I made the decision there and then to hike the Appalachian Trail in the Spring of 2019. 

Back in the current moment now, I recall the lesson I learned then. There is a fine line for me when too much structure becomes toxic and poisons the things I once loved. So, in order to keep this adventure pure and not have it transition into something I dread each day, I am returning to my bike. Again, all of these incremental changes have been captured in the podcast, but I like to have a general prospectus that outlines my plans and intentions as an entree to anyone who may come across this page.

Love you, bye!

6/12/22 EDIT/UPDATE:

*A lot has changed as I've made my way North from Alabama. This was certainly expected; however, the changes have compounded and should be documented. I am currently at the Hostel of Maine in Carrabassett Valley. I decided to stop hiking the Appalachian Trail about 20 miles South of Rangely, ME. All of this has been documented in "the pod," but, suffice it to say, 1.9 times on the AT is enough for me. I was feeling dread about continuing on trail and so initially, to deal with those feelings, I decided that I would not go Southbound on the Appalachian Trail in order to get to Key West. Then, the dread reemerged as I made my way, slowly through Southern Maine. A bit before the Rangley road crossing, I said "fuck this" to myself and I have been road walking ever since. I'm back to fast miles walking on the shoulder of roads as I now make my way to Fort Kent, ME. Fort Kent is the first mile of US 1, which I will walk all the way to Key West. Many other things have changed since I concocted my original plan back in February, but I have recorded every deviation in each episode of The Book of Moron, so I won't innumerate those things here. I've realized that I don't like the woods and so, I've returned to my roots and will pound the pavement with my fellow plebs to the SouthernMost Point. I will not return to any trails as I make my way South, so I will no longer be traveling along: the Appalachian Trail, the Benton MacKaye, the Pinhoti, the Alabama road walk, or the Florida Trail and I couldn't be happier! Here's to a lot more access to good food and an ever-increasing chance of incarceration for trespassing. I should probably get a lawyer on retainer... ;)

 

In 2019 I hiked the Appalachian Trail Northbound (Nobo). I knew that it would be an adventure that would recalibrate my life in unforeseeable ways, but even I was surprised at the journey's potency. I returned from the trail and proceeded to turn my life upside down. I got rid of practically all of my belongings, sold my home and hit the road. Since 2019, I've biked the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, hiked the Long Trail, biked cross country on the Transamerica Bike Route, lived in a converted van traveling to almost every state in the lower 48; 30k+ miles in less than 6 months, hiked from Key West to Okeechobee, where my hiking partner, Alli, and I decided to switch to bikes in order to finish the Florida Trail and finally I have biked half of the Southern Tier from Eastern Texas to San Diego. 

I've been podcasting for over a decade. All of my adventures have been documented this way, along with other shows that were less focused on human-powered adventure, and can all be found here:

bit.ly/kpontheat

 

Now, it's time for a new, solo adventure. The enormity of this endeavor is so great that I honestly am not sure I will be able to successfully complete it... There are so many unknowns and while I've been lucky enough to have safe passage for all of my treks in the past, I am not so naive to believe that is a predictor of future success. Undaunted by the unknowns, I will soon be heading out and heading North once more. 

The Plan For 2022

Starting in late February, I will hike the Pinhoti Trail North to where it intersects with the Benton MacKaye. From that intersection, I will road walk to Amicalola Falls State Park in order to register my thru-hike and then will head North to do the Approach Trail (can't miss out on those stairs, y'all). Upon arriving at Katahdin, I will continue North in order to tag the Canadian border and then will turn around to begin a South Bound (Sobo) hike of the Appalachian Trail. This will be the beginning of my AT Yo-Yo. All things remaining equal, if I arrive back at Springer Mountain full of vigor and verve, I will continue South, retracing my earlier steps. I will take the AT to the Benton MacKaye and then on to the Pinhoti. From the Pinhoti, I will connect to the Alabama Road Walk which will drop me off at the Northern terminus of the Florida Trail. I will continue South from there until reaching the Southernmost Point in Key West. 

Now, if I'm as crazy as I hope I am, my next plan is to have my bike shipped to me so that I can bike North from Key West in order to intersect the Eastern section of the Southern Tier and then head West. In doing this, I will go through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and then Texas. From there, I will bike North toward Colorado in order to visit friends and family. After that, I plan to bike back East on the Trans America Bike Route through Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky and finally Virginia. From there, I will jump on Skyline Drive, take it down to the Blue Ridge Parkway and then finish my journey at its Southern Terminus in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Wow, it's kind of exhausting just writing all that down, so wish me luck ;)



Episodes

6 days ago

Original recording from Saturday, March, 12th, 2022. 6 Miles, 1.5 hours, 1550 ft. gain.
STRAVA for the day here. 
Questions, comments, gripes? ➡️ kennethpararo@gmail.com

Appalachian Trail Day 19

Sunday May 21, 2023

Sunday May 21, 2023

Original recording from Friday, March, 11th, 2022. 27 Miles, 7.5 hours, 7000 ft. gain.
STRAVA for the day here. 
Questions, comments, gripes? ➡️ kennethpararo@gmail.com

Appalachian Trail Day 18

Sunday May 14, 2023

Sunday May 14, 2023

Original recording from Thursday, March, 10th, 2022. 28 Miles, 7 hours, 6800 ft. gain.
STRAVA for the day here. 
Questions, comments, gripes? ➡️ kennethpararo@gmail.com

Appalachian Trail Day 17

Sunday May 07, 2023

Sunday May 07, 2023

My first full day on the Appalachian Trail! 
Original recording from Wednesday, March, 9th, 2022. 25 Miles, 7 hours, 4600 ft. gain.
STRAVA for the day here & here.
Questions, comments, gripes? ➡️ kennethpararo@gmail.com

Pinhoti Day 16

Sunday Apr 30, 2023

Sunday Apr 30, 2023

Original recording from Tuesday, March, 8th, 2022. 31 Miles, 9 hours, 7800 ft. Gain.
STRAVA for the day here.

Pinhoti Day 15

Sunday Apr 23, 2023

Sunday Apr 23, 2023

Original recording from Monday, March, 7th, 2022. 22 Miles, 6 hours, 4900 ft. Gain.
STRAVA for the day here, here and here.

Pinhoti Day 14

Monday Apr 17, 2023

Monday Apr 17, 2023

Original recording from Friday, March, 6th, 2022. 28.5 Miles, 8 hours, 5700 ft. Gain.
STRAVA for the day here.

Pinhoti Day 13

Monday Apr 10, 2023

Monday Apr 10, 2023

Original recording from Friday, March, 5th, 2022. 29 Miles, 8 hours, 5400 ft. gained.
STRAVA for the day here.

Pinhoti Day 12

Monday Apr 03, 2023

Monday Apr 03, 2023

Original recording from Friday, March, 4th, 2022. 35 Miles, 9 hours, 2100 ft. gained.
STRAVA for the day here.

Pinhoti Day 11

Tuesday Mar 28, 2023

Tuesday Mar 28, 2023

Original recording from Thursday, March, 3rd, 2022. 23 Miles, 6 hours, 3800 ft gained.
STRAVA for the day here and here.

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