Adam, or Terra Nova as he is called on the AT

During the nine years since I’ve changed my life I’ve met many determined people. Among the most is Adam. He’s a decade younger than me, half my weight, a soldier, outdoorsman … and a man with Multiple Sclerosis.

MS hit Adam a decade ago, hard. He’s had to give up his career since his symptoms come and go, and he can have a very bad couple of months at any time. When he is feeling good, he still has to think about the disease – for instance, hot weather can bring out the worst in his symptoms. He’s been hospitalized repeatedly and at one point was so bad doctors suggested he prepare his will.

But willpower is what this man is made of. Adam is determined to hike the Appalachian Trail. He’s completed all but 16 miles of it in Pennsylvania. He had a flare up that prevented his continuing past Wind Gap. His current plan is to complete the section from Wind Gap to the Delaware Water Gap over two and a half days, and then continue north as far as he can go. Due to the need to monitor his health every thirty days he needs to go off trail and back home, so there will be some days he is away from the AT. But I have full confidence Adam will stand atop a mountain in Maine. Or rather Terra Nova will, as that’s his AT trail name.

We backpacked together on Saturday, and I learned a lot about Adam’s toughness. He agreed to allow A Taste For The Woods to provide updates on his hike, provided he stuck with our usual policy of not sugar coating. If Adam has a bad day or night, we will let you know. I hope to have an update to share every couple of days. And when he’s back, he’ll have stories to share.

But for now, this is the last I saw of my friend….. may the trail be kind to you, Terra Nova.

And he is off! Terra Nova climbing the steps at Wind Gap.