Day 1: Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Miles: 15.3 (8.1 trail)
Hiked with Bill until 3.4 mi before Springer and said bye. Got to Springer at 1 pm. Forgot my hand sanitizer in the truck. Full miles of rhododendrons everywhere. Staying at Hawk Mountain shelter. Messianic Jewish/Christian Fundamentalists called the Twelve Tribes brought trail magic of tea and energy bars. Met old man named Captain Guts. Met young man named Jack. Ran into Missing Link at the shelter.
Day 2: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Bill’s birthday. Made it to Woody Gap and the Twelve Tribes bus. Pretty rad. Jack and I hiked back and forth most of the day since he’s fast. Pitched tent near a rock cliff to help against the rain that is supposed to come tonight. Hung a bear bag like a boss. Discovered I hate cold pepperoni so I put it in the hiker box at Woody Gap. Ate lunch at Gooch Mountain shelter. Called Bill to wish him a happy birthday. Had lentil beef soup and a hot dog.
Day 3: Thursday, March 31, 2016
Rain. Started to rain last night around midnight but wasn’t bad. Had breakfast with Twelve Tribes. Hiked up Blood Mountain in driving rain. Started to rain heavy and just never stopped. Staying at hostel at Neels Gap. Got a shower, bunk, laundry, and picked up Purell. Forgot to look for a book, but found a paperback to take from the hostel. Camera batteries died. Charging camera, phone, and SPOT tonight. Ate these awesome brownie bars left by trail angels. Jack is at the hostel as well. There was a really friendly cat in the ladies’ bathroom at Neels Gap.
There were three different days on the Appalachian Trail when I ran out of food. After implementing my Ziploc system, it didn’t happen again.
When I started my trek, I had all my food crammed into my bear bag. It wasn’t sorted or organized in any way, but I knew the food I had: two boxes of poptarts, 12 packets of cheese crackers, five Knorr pasta sides, etc. I carefully wrote down the things I needed for resupply on a list, and purchased those items plus anything that caught my eye in the store (looking at you, gummy bears). I had enough food to get me to the next resupply, all nicely removed from the original box packaging and crammed into that 18L dry bag.
There are certain proud accomplishments for most people in life: graduating high school or college, job promotions, having children, paying off their student loans or mortgage. One of my prouder moments was when I summited Katahdin with all 10 original toenails, and only four blisters during the entire 2,200-mile trek. Continue reading “The Feet Post”
I had the pleasure of teaching a four-week backpacking basics series throughout March for Nashville Community Education. The combined eight hours of lectures were a lot of work to put together (thus so few website articles last month!) but the effort paid off – we’ve got a great group of 20 folks ready to go explore the great outdoors. While I won’t be posting all the messy notes/outlines I used or the presentation decks, I’ll definitely be using them as the basis of future posts.
Thanks for your patience as I devoted my time and energy to this course; more gear reviews, trail tips, and articles coming soon!