Why in the world would two southbound (SOBO) Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hikers start at the U.S./Canada border crossing in Fort Fairfield, Maine? Well…because both their Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT) hikes started (and ended) at an international border! Therefore, Barney “Scout” Mann and John “Rolling Thunder” or “RT” Henzell started their AT thru-hike at the northern terminus of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) in Maine – the border crossing in Fort Fairfield – on May 27, 2017. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day in northern Maine, albeit with the typical complement of black flies in attendance. My husband, Kirk, and I met them and Scout’s wife Sandy (trail name “Frodo”) for breakfast at Subway in Fort Fairfield to go over maps and offer some advice.

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