2013-06-12 / News

Deckerville woman treks Appalachian Trail

BY CAROL SEIFFERLEIN features editor


Deckerville graduate Kate Stufferheim, right, is hiking the Appalachian with her friend Adam. Deckerville graduate Kate Stufferheim, right, is hiking the Appalachian with her friend Adam. Deckerville graduate Katelyn Stutterheim, who is walking the Appalachian Trail this summer, has reached Virginia.

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,184 mile long public footpath through the Appalachian Mountains.

The 23-year-old Stutterheim started the hike April 8 at the south end of the trail at Springer Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest, north of Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents expect to pick up her up in Baxter State Park in northern Maine the beginning of September. She is the daughter of Jenny and Tim Stutterheim of Forester Township.

Jenny said her daughter wanted to take a break before starting a career and is taking advantage of having this kind of experience.

Stutterheim is a 2008 graduate of Deckerville High School. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2012. After working for her parents at the Stone Lodge in Port Sanilac last summer, she moved to Chicago and started earning money for her trip by dog sitting and dressing up in costumes to deliver birthday greetings, etc.


Ah, success! Kate Stutterheim twirls after an 8 mile climb in North Carolina on April 24. 
Courtesy photo Ah, success! Kate Stutterheim twirls after an 8 mile climb in North Carolina on April 24. Courtesy photo She is walking with roommates from Chicago and they occasionally join other hikers along the trail.

Here is a sampling of the posts on her blog about her experiences on the trail:

June 3 -New shoes! Waited a week too long.

May 24 -Shout out to the lovely individuals of the Damascus Baptist Church who provided this meal for us ... Best foot wash ever ... Plus fresh socks. All a part of the Lord’s work.

May 20 -Spider Monster: Crawling into my tent after a day/night of festivities at Tent City/Trail Days...Creeped about my upper leg, trailing to my calf and bridging onto the opposite foot before descending to the tent’s floor ... Over the next 37 minutes I kept an eye and a half on the sly creature whilst searching for a tool that would secure the spider for an airborne ride out of my sleeping quarters. it was pouring rain, windy, and freezing? Spending a couple nights at Straight’s family cabin, getting a good break, eating some fantastic food cooked by his friend Tim. God bless his soul. Then I got a warm shower, it was glorious and worth the insane 34 mile hike.

April 27 -Just finished 23 miles night hike out of the smokies! Oh ya. Great night, absolutely loved it...Met a new friend “B” who joined us, along with our Quebec friend “Lucky Luke”.

April 17 -The last few days have been amazing. We completed our first state (Georgia) and moved onto North Carolina where we have been blessed with not only beautiful sights, but overwhelming kindness. Today we were greeted by a kind soul who set out fresh strawberries, pineapple, bananas, and homemade peanut butter cookies for the passing hikers ... A free shuttle scooped us up and took us into Franklin where I had a package waiting for me. Chuck, who happened to be at Outdoor 76 ... told us of a place ... and then offered to give us a lift there! Bellies full, we were on our way to Derrick and Karen’s lovely house: a couple I found online at couchsurfing.com ... Derrick and Karen responded with open arms, offering their couches, spare bedroom, and baked ziti.

April 10 -A great friend of mine told me before I started this hike. He said: slow and steady wins the race, Kate. Hiking over 5 plus mountains today for 20 plus miles, I continually repeated the advice and up I went on seemingly countless steady climbs.

April 8 -Tonight Adam and I rigged our first bear bag … One should use a hard, scentless canister and hang it from a tree off a high branch using paracord or like. Well, we had two empty sacks with various food bags bulging from the top, a puny tree with only one strong-ish looking branch, that also happened to be the lowest, and some sort of shoe string looking twine … The whole rig took about five minutes to tie up, but will likely take an estimated 33.25 minutes to untangle.

Follow Stutterheim’s blog at atupdate.tumblr.com

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