Thursday, August 4, 2005

Lovett completes Appalachian Trail hike

After four and a half months, 2176 miles, 14 states and about 5 million steps, Alan Lovett, son of Dale Lovett of Olney and Charlotte Lovett of Brandon, Mississippi completed his thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. 

 The trek started on February 28th in Georgia and ending in Maine on July 12th. Lovett at 20 years old reached a dream that started when he was 12 when he first backpacked a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

 Lovett, an engineering student at Mississippi State University, took a semester off but  got credit from two departments while hiking the trail. Even though he started the trek alone, he soon met other section hikers and thru hikers to find a great camaraderie among folks along the way.  Encouragement came from people who live along the trail including Mr. and Mrs. O.C. Sharman of Amherst, Virginia former Olney residents and parents of Mrs. Rodney Simmons.

 Lovett’s parents met him in Maine and hiked the 5 miles up Mt. Katahdin to enjoy the culmination of this once in a lifetime experience.  In a moment of reflection upon completion of the trail, he reminisced, “I thought I'd be ecstatic to finish an incredible goal, to be able to go home and see my friends and family, to have done something so amazing and to be able to walk away from it satisfied to go back to the old way of life. Honestly though, I'm incredibly sad. Living on the trail has become my life, and now its over. 

 “The pictures don’t do it justice, the stories sure won’t do it justice, and even my memory won’t capture how vividly alive I was for 4 1/2 months in the woods between Georgia and Maine. Its sad to go on with my life knowing that I've experienced something so amazing and incredible, only to have even my own recollection fall short of capturing its true quality, but living, knowing and regretting that the fading memories paint only the barest picture of what really happened - that’s a million times better than never having experienced what I did.”

 His journals, trek records, photos and memoirs have been recorded on where many family and friends have followed his adventure.






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