Summary of “The Legend of Baltimore Jack”

Baltimore Jack took his handle from the first line of “Hungry Heart,” Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 hit song: Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / I went out for a ride, and I never went back.
In the years between college and hiking, almost as if he was working toward abandonment of his birth persona, it appears that Adam began referring to himself as L.A. Tarlin, then Baltimore Jack Tarlin, and finally, to most, just Baltimore Jack.
The Appalachian Trail was a very different place in 1995, the year Baltimore Jack first set out.
Adam’s friendship with Miller became one of the few that threaded into the Baltimore Jack era, and she was one of the people to whom Adam could expose his deep sense of loss.
To a White Blaze commenter who questioned the nutritional value of Pop-Tarts as trail food, Jack countered: “Pop Tarts are a perfectly sensible thing for folks to eat at breakfast time.” Jack recommended at least four per meal.
Photos of Baltimore Jack starting in the late 2000s show a person who is unrecognizable from the handsome, slick Adam I knew.
Jack made the change part of his legend; strangers began to offer tributes of whiskey and Little Debbie snack cakes, bringing them directly to Jack or leaving them on the trail with notes.
A search of Appalachian Trail message boards led Mertz to Adam, who by then had become Baltimore Jack.

The orginal article.