My Appalachian Trail Hike

After being cured of severe asthma, I decided to hike several hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail

It all started in June of 2001

My wife and I spent several days in the Great Smoky Mountains on our way to visit relatives in the North. The first thing a friend recommended we do was the walk up to Clingman’s dome (to give our knees a workout). The view was outstanding and we could see for miles.  A sign on the approach to Clingman’s Dome pointed out the famous Appalachian Trail. All the things I had heard about the Appalachian Trail started churning in my mind.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail without asthma

A Walk in the Woods

On the walk down from the observation tower, I convinced my wife to leave the paved path and walk for awhile on the AT. We quickly lost the crowd of tourists and began picking our way along a very rocky and moist trail through a beautiful area. As the sounds of the tourists faded we began tuning in to the sounds of nature and the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The next day we decided to do a day hike on the AT out of Newfound Gap. When we arrived, I remember spotting a thru hiker chatting with a ranger. I have to admit I strained to eavesdrop on the conversation. I heard him telling the ranger about a very weird person he encountered on the trail and how it unnerved him a little. I wanted to ask him some questions but never did find the opportunity. We had a wonderful experience walking several miles of the Appalachian Trail that day. We stopped and had our lunch on the trail in a very beautiful spot with a magnificent view.

Time to Backpack on the Appalachian Trail

Thus the seed was firmly planted. It took root and started growing after listening (CD) to a story by Bill Bryson named “A walk in the woods”. I highly recommend this very funny and entertaining story about two guys who walked part of the Appalachian Trail. Seven more AT related books, 4 videos and dozens of journals later, I am hopelessly hooked. Now an admitted Appalachian Trail junkie, I’ve begun to realize the only cure to this insane obsession is to get out and walk the trail.

You can read the original account on my 2002 Trail Journal.

How this website was started

After posting my 9th journal entry with my thoughts about asthma, I received several email inquiries from people that had asthma or had friends or relatives with asthma. And so, the AsthmaStory.Com website was created in response to these inquiries. I needed a place to present the research I had on the subject in a somewhat organized manner.

Interested in reading more about my trail adventures?

My Appalachian trail name is HotFoot. zhotfoot5


Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky National Park at Newfound Gap
(the first time my wife and I walked on the Appalachian Trail)

Appalachian Trail Logo

Jim Quinlan hiking the Appalachian trail in 2002 after being cured of his severe asthma