Former principal makes progress on Appalachian Trail

WOODSTOCK, N.H. (WVLT) -- After a month on the trail and 373 miles down, Local 8 News checked in with former Lenoir City principal Steve Millsaps Wednesday to see how he is doing on the trail.

"Physically I think I am holding up pretty good, I've been taking some days off, just getting through Maine and New Hampshire going down the steep descents are really hard on the knees... but mentally it's probably been better than I expected, because I've been able to communicate so much, I've been able to have phone service a lot," says Millsaps.

Millsaps is known on the trail as 'Survivor,' a trail name suggested to him by a hiker who heard his story of surviving a colon cancer diagnosis in July of 2015.

The trail is just over 2,000 miles long and Millsaps will hike every mile dedicating each day to a person fighting cancer or others who have passed away.

"You know I'm an emotional person and there's been times I've been going down the trail and I have to stop because I get tears in my eyes, just with the stories I've heard," said Millsaps.

On Wednesday he took a break from hiking due to severe weather in the area of Woodstock New Hampshire, just a few days after conquering one of the highest peaks on the trail, Mt. Washington.

Throughout his journey Millsaps says he has made a lot of new friends.

"I've said if you could take what occurs on this one foot wide path and extend it beyond that one foot path, we would have a much better world... In one of the hostels, we've got all of this technology laying around, I mean I've got my cell phone there, people have their cell phones, their trackers, their back up chargers, I can't imagine going anywhere else and just leaving my phone on this table to charge with so many people coming, and you know the honor system is alive and well on the Appalachian Trail.

Millsaps still has over 1,800 miles to hike and several states to pass through. Local 8 News will continue to provide updates on his travels.