The AT Thru-Hiker’s Decision: Get Back on Trail or Call it Quits

Gretchen Pardon was one month and more than 270 miles into her Appalachian Trail thru-hike when she realized she had to leave the trail. It was March 23, less than two weeks after the World Health Organization had officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, when she walked into the city of Hot Springs, NC expecting to take a break in town, see her husband and then get back on trail. But something...