Meltzer completes Appalachian Trail

Posted on September 30, 2008 by

Karl and Billy hiked the last .9 mile to the top of Springer in the early morning moonlight. They stopped halfway up to crack open some beers, and then walked together slowly to the summit where Cheryl and Senior were waiting for them.

“Karl’s a very happy man,” said Billy. “He’s so happy to be done. And I think he’s really proud of himself for finishing this. He should be, man. To go on when the record was out of reach takes a man with some big balls and a big will. But he did it.”

I talked to Billy a little before noon Eastern Time. Karl and the crew had all taken long naps and some good “real” showers and were headed out to find the “first best damn restaurant we can find.”

Later today, Karl, Cheryl and Billy are driving to Memphis in The Rig to deliver Billy back home. Karl and Cheryl will stay the night there, celebrating with Billy and friends, before they head back West tomorrow.

I may hear from Karl this afternoon when they’re on the road. If he doesn’t sleep the whole way. If I do, I’ll share some of his thoughts on the finish.

For now, though, that’s a wrap. It’s been a long, good, hard, entertaining, hackle-raising, inspiring, remarkable journey. And now it’s over.

Huge thanks to all of Karl’s crew, running mates and from-The-Rig supporters: Billy Simpson, Cheryl Meltzer, Karl Senior, Pam Meltzer, Matt Hart, Marit Fischer, Tommy Chandler, Jonny Atencio, Justin Barrell, Porscha Doucette, Greg Goodson, Sarah McConkie, John DeWalt, David Horton and High School Randy.