Cat who hiked the Appalachian Trail with his human visits Maine middle schoolers — York — Bangor Everyday News — BDN Maine


YORK, Maine — “He is the most majestic cat I’ve ever observed!” exclaimed a student in York Middle College teacher Tony Beaumier’s sixth-grade English Language Arts class final Wednesday.

Rico, a 1-year-old Siamese cat, spent a couple of hours final week exploring Beaumier’s classroom, interacting with his students and napping in Beaumier’s desk chair. Despite the fact that an fascinating escapade to the classroom for Rico and the students, this is not the largest adventure Rico has had in his year of life.

Rico was with Michael Beaumier, son of Tony, and a current champion of the Appalachian Trail. The two,158-mile Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to northern Maine. Michael Beaumier, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on the trail, had completed his “through-hike” of the Appalachian Trail just 4 days prior to his and Rico’s pay a visit to to the classroom. Despite the fact that Beaumier completed the final half of the trail alone, the initially 1,000 miles he was accompanied by Rico.

[This Maine man is hiking the Appalachian Trail with his cat as his companion]

Beaumier explained to his father’s students, by way of a photo slideshow and anecdotes, how he was in a position to achieve this feat, and how Rico produced it as far as he did by his owner’s side.

“If you get them out there early adequate in their lives, they get utilized to it,” he mentioned about cats, an uncommon species of hiking companion.

A “trail name” is one thing every single by way of-hiker is offered by other hikers on the trail, normally primarily based on quirks or traits of the hiker. Beaumier was bestowed with the name “Pocket,” as he would carry Rico in a type of “pocket pouch” when the cat was tired. Beaumier joked as he showed the students a image of himself with Rico in his pouch on the trail that it produced him appear a bit like a pregnant lady.

Regardless of Rico’s adore of the trail and Beaumier’s fondness of his companion, Beaumier was faced with the truth about 1,000 miles into the trail in Pennsylvania that he was not hiking rapid adequate. Due to Rico’s hiking limitations, the pair have been not scheduled to finish the trail by mid-October. This would imply Beaumier may well not be in a position to attain the ending point of the trail at Katahdin, a section of the Appalachian Trail that normally closes due to climate in the latter half of October.

Soon after Rico was sent residence, Beaumier was in a position to hike a lot more promptly. His father met him in the Berkshire area in Massachusetts and the two hiked collectively for a couple of weeks, providing Beaumier a hiking companion after once again.

Wealthy Beauchesne | Portsmouth Herald through AP

Wealthy Beauchesne | Portsmouth Herald through AP

In this June 12, 2019, photo, Zach McWilliams 11, a student at the York Middle College in York, poses at a poster filled with photographs and charts of teacher Tony Beaumier’s son Michael and his cat Rico, who hiked the Appalachian Trail this year.

Beaumier talked to his father’s students about trail logistics like nutrition, “Leave No Trace” principles when in the wilderness, and even going to the bathroom in the woods. Tony Beaumier connected quite a few of his son’s products like his water purifier, which assists to avert the contraction of illnesses such as giardia hikers can get from unfiltered water, to a book that his class had been reading collectively referred to as “The Trail” by Meika Hashimoto. The most important character in the book, Toby, was warned about illnesses like giardia in the book.

Michael Beaumier unpacked his backpack that he hiked with on the trail and showed students all of his gear, letting a couple of of them enable set up the tent he slept in at the front of the classroom. When he exhibited the trowel he utilized to dig holes to go to the bathroom in, the students giggled and commented in fascination.

“Now that is just incorrect,” 1 stated.

Each Beaumiers commented on the culture of kindness from hikers and “Trail Angels,” who enable feed, residence and appear out for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Tony Beaumier reminded his students of the value of kindness by pointing out a sign in his classroom that reads “be type to other folks and kindness will locate you back.”

This is not the only inspirational sign in Beaumier’s classroom. Outdoors of the room’s door, there is a big poster that exhibits photos of Michael Beaumier and Rico on their hike, maps of the Appalachian Trail, and images of Tony Beaumier’s students finishing their personal hikes, 1 student possessing summited Mount Washington this previous summer time.

Tony Beaumier’s most important aim in displaying these images, honoring images of his students who hike, and bringing Michael Beaumier and Rico into the classroom, is to enable inspire his students to get outdoors and take a hike.

[A kitten going on outdoor excursions might be uncommon, but it’s everyday life for this Maine ‘adventure cat’]

“You guys are in college all day and you go residence and go on your laptop and phones, I just hope you go outdoors and climb mountains and play with your good friends,” he mentioned to his class.

“It’s very good for your soul,” Michael Beaumier added.

A single of the main lessons Beaumier conveyed to the sixth-graders was to persevere and adhere to dreams. Perseverance is a high-quality Tony Beaumier reminded his class of discussing prior to Michael Beaumier’s speak, and a high-quality he has taught his class to worth.

“You can not let worry cease you or bring you down,” Beaumier mentioned. “It’s scary prior to you commence something seriously huge … but it is worth it.”

Prior to leaving the classroom and thanking Beaumier for his presentation, the students crowded about Rico, patting the unlikely hiker as he woke up from his nap in Tony Beaumier’s desk chair, probably nonetheless resting and recovering from his extended journey.

“Rico is my preferred cat,” 1 student declared.



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