As reported by the Register Citizen, June 15, 2004.

Carlos Continues His Journey

By Tracy Kennedy

KENT - Not many folks remember where they were or what they were doing on the day they turned 32 years old, but for Litchfield firefighter Carlos Adames, Monday - like the last three months - was memorable.

While there was no birthday cake or candles to blow out, but a cold pastrami sandwich and a tall can of ice tea were a welcomed treat after hiking several hours on the Appalachian Trail in Kent.

Adames estimates he has hiked 1,151 miles since he started his trek on March 8 in Amicaloa Falls, Ga., as a crusade to raise money for UConn Foundation Inc., to research a cure for breast cancer. He is hiking in memory of his aunt, Marie Hansen, who died near the beginning of his journey, on March 15.

"I am committed to this for my aunt, the research and myself," said Adames.

In town for just a day or two, Adames expects to continue his hike north on the trail until he reaches Mount Katahdin, Maine, which he estimates will take between two and three more months. He must make up two short trips, about 250 miles through West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, about 16 days of hiking, to complete the whole trail.

"I know that people come home from work, and they do what they do every day, but I hope they might think just for a moment about what I am doing and help out. I am not asking for hundreds of dollars -- even just a dollar, whatever they can send. If everyone just sent what they could, we would all make a difference," he said.

Life on the Appalachian Trail is a way of life where one must consider the forces of nature every day. "It takes a lot of motivation some days to get up and continue on," he said.

Thunderstorms, bears and bugs, bugs, bugs are among the reasons to quit, but he keeps going."People have really helped me along the way and I will never forget their kindness," he added.

Adames looks forward to the end of the trail but knows that the journey he has taken has not been without risks. He has forfeited a great deal of his "normal" life, an apartment, a job, etc., to take the hike, but he said he has no regrets.

"My expectations are high and I know people can open their hearts and minds to help me complete this journey successfully for my aunt and for the other people who may benefit in the future from this work," he said.

Donations may be made to UConn Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 552, Storrs, Conn. 06269, in memory of Marie Hansen.

To follow Carlos’ journey, click on www.litchfieldfiredepartment.com, or if you would like to send Carlos a care package or letter, send it to Carlos Adames, "in care of hiker -- hold for pickup" at post offices in Danby, Vt. 05739, and Rutland, Vt. 05741. Adames said he enjoys some treats on the trail including snack bars, fruit roll-ups, Snickers, Gummi bears, gum, beef jerky, instant rice and can always use travel size bottles of bug spray and shampoo.