“Birch” is Tod Jones. Born in 1961 in southern California, he moved to the east coast in 1993 in order to study for his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park. Afterwards, for twenty years, he taught English composition and literature at UMCP. He currently teaches College Writing at American University in Washington, D.C. “Birch’s Reviews of Appalachian Trail Memoirs” was featured in the Winter 2019 issue of AT Journeys, the quarterly journal of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
“Maple” is Karen, a 60+ year-old woman with the hiking ambition of a 30+ year-old. She grew up in Minnesota, where her family went camping and boating almost every summer weekend. Professionally, she works in higher education administration at American University. In her free time she plays the flute and paints with watercolors.
Maple and Birth began hiking in 2014, starting out at nearby state parks. We have since made several backpacking trips to the Grand Canyon and Grand Teton National Parks. However, our obsession is to hike the complete Appalachian Trail. This blog tells the story of our adventures.