Rock This Way

We took the 2:45 train to Harrisburg PA and then rode an uber to The Doyle in Duncannon PA. To refresh anyone who lost track- we hiked northbound from Harpers Ferry, WV back late February, got off the trail for a week for a funeral, then hiked southbound from Harpers Ferry, WV to Amicalola Falls, GA from late winter to late spring. 
TeaTime and I had an amazing and relaxing couple of days off in Atlanta and in Philadelphia. We were concerned with loosing our trail legs so we walked and biked as much as we could. We would learn quick that no matter how much you try and keep in good shape, your legs and knees and feet and ankles have muscles that only long distance hiking can tone. 
Back to The Doyle we went. The Doyle is known for being a trashy dive bar and hiker hostel with owners who self proclaim the place so. Every time a hiker comes in the door, the owner Vicky mumbles something under her breath like ‘oh, here comes more hiker trash’ or ‘did you all know we just got infected with h…

Done Flippin' Y'all!

Some time has passed since our last blog. There is a lot to cover. Part of the reason it has taken so long to write is that the last 350 miles leading to the Southern terminus of the trail Mt. Springer, were perhaps some of the most trying miles of the trail both mentally and physically. We tackled the highest peaks on the whole trail traveling through the Smokies and the Natahalas. We battled injuries, as the miles started to take a toll on our bodies. We have narrowly avoided camps being raided by bears in the night, and we hiked directly through tropical storm Alberto. No doubt I will miss some things in this post, but here is what I remember from the last month.

There were a few towns that I did not want to fly-by as we hiked through the South. One of these being Hot Springs NC. This town was a definite highlight. It was sort of like a really laid back version of Damascus VA, which provided all the same amenities a hiker looks for but better. There was a tavern sat right on top of …

Life in the Highlands

When chatting with other thru hikers the conversation will almost definitely come down to two topics; Everything to do with food and the thing you miss most about life off trail. When asked the latter question in Damascus VA my answer was easy. The thing I miss the most is instant access to potable water. Processing water for our daily consumption out here is a serious chore that takes up a lot of time and energy. Our relationship to water is ever changing as we move through different regions, into the next season, and are around more people. Here are some tricks we have learned through 800 miles on trail that help to make our relationship with water a little bit more manageable.

Don’t hike with more than a liter of water at a time, especially when traveling up hill.  It took a few weeks on trail for us to get comfortable carrying small amounts of water at a time. The fact of the matter is that it is rare to go more than 6 miles without hitting a water source on the AT. When we do hit …

It's Good To Be SOBO

Peak here, giving y’all a good ole’ update from Southwest Virginia. This update is mainly from our most recent stretch of the trail, Roanoke to Damascus, VA. Roughly 680 miles have been covered since beginning our thru hike and we have been averaging over 15 miles a day along the way. What a crazy thought to think about! It seems like yesterday that we were gearing up for this adventure and to think we are now more than a fourth of the way through it is kind of frightening. Doesn’t take an expert to prove that time really does fly when you are having fun. 
We took a few days in Roanoke to slack pack the trail and to hang out with our friend, Tommy, and my sister, Maria. We hiked over the famous MacAfees Knob in some clouds but still had a great time. 

Dragons Tooth is another famous mountain in the area, and the top is considered the toughest mile in Virginia due to the boulder climbing required. It was amazing and we saw some of the best views in Southern VA.

On April 9th, TeaTime and I…

Found Our Trail Legs

Every time we take a step off trail for a day or two it feels as if a brief chapter of our journey has ended. We begin this latest chapter in Elkton VA. We stepped back on the trail with our bags shaken down, broken equipment replaced, and legs rested. The weather that caused us to get off trail was incredibly humbling. Personally I don’t think it is in my nature to ask for help from others, this trait likely works to my detriment in more situations than I know. After our break from trail I was glad that we had taken a breather and asked for help. Our first full day back we set out to do an 18 miler, and got hit with an ice rain storm right off the bat. It was like nothing had changed since we left the SNP 3 days before. We wondered if we had made a mistake and returned too early. We persevered through the long day of hiking to the shelter, and when we sat down to make dinner the evening turned to 55 degree weather. We had done it! We survived winter’s dying breath, one last hurrah fo…