Saturday, April 19, 2014
Home > Uncategorized


Leaky Tent, Creaky Tree, and Too Few Calories


Well hello. Here's me sitting at a computer for the first time in 21 days...with the intentions of cranking out an update! First off, thank you so very much for your kind words. Those body aches I talked about in my last blog post ended up being symptoms of Strep Throat--no wonder I couldn't consume anything but honey water! Zero days may be fun, but five zero days are the definition of no fun. Lucas and I eventually went Stir Crazy in Hiawassee, Georgia. The day before we made our way back to The Trail, I visited the E.R (second doctor's visit at that point) and the Doc just said to pop more Ibuprofen. So I bumped up my intake of pills and felt almost okay; we hiked only four miles our first day back. I could hardly eat mashed potatoes, peanut Read more [...] Read More »

Ready to go!

ebay 004

This last week has been a whirlwind!  I’ve been to REI 3 times, packed my bag, cut down weight, packed it again, and repeated the process multiple times.  My bag weighed 30 pounds without water.  This was NOT the plan.  The plan was 30 pounds with water.  I got the weight down to 25 pounds without water by getting rid of almost every extra piece of clothing, replacing some gear with lighter weight options, taking out a jar of peanut butter, 2 pasta sides, 2 pop tart packs (those things are heavy!), and a can of chicken.  I don’t have anything else I can take out of my pack.  I’ve been pretty ruthless.  Currently, I’m at a hotel in Gainesville, GA with my roommates (mom and dad).  They’ll drive me to a parking lot about a mile Read more [...] Read More »

How to prepare your trail boss.


The term ‘trail boss’ is often thrown around hiker talk and refers to the individual at the other end of the universe with whom you utilize as a major resource while on the trail (aka someone with access to a grocery store, internet, post offices, and showers on a regular basis). This person is usually a close friend or family member who isn’t able to hike with you but still wants to show support, and is used to coordinate mail drops, gear exchanges, bill payments, and other vital tasks. While it is possible to hike the AT without a trail boss (or mail drops for that matter) it certainly makes things easier if you are planning even a minimum number of mail drops on your adventure. So assuming you have already figured out who your Read more [...] Read More »

One Year Later

photo (4)

One Year Ago It is hard for me to believe that it has been one year since I first stepped foot on the Appalachian Trail to begin my thru hike. What a year it has been. A year ago, I was 29 years old and in the throes of a just-past-quarter-life crisis. I had quit teaching the year before, after discovering that my “dream job” was actually just a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit. I took a severe pay cut to work with troubled teens in a wilderness therapy program, and ended up having my car repossessed because of that decision. I had no car, two degrees I wasn't using (but was certainly paying for), and an underpaying, overly stressful job. Something wasn't working. My life. My life wasn't working. I decided to hike the trail Read more [...] Read More »

The Insanity Plea


Socrates — 'He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.' I feel like I'm a waste. I never learned a craft. I don't know how to play any instruments. Never even aspired to be a DJ (thankfully). I don't have any particular skills that would make me a valuable contributor in a world without technology. This is the most I've ever written in any form if it didn't involve school. School is basically all I have worked for and I passionately disliked almost all of it. Partially because I didn't learn much. I gained invaluable cerebral superpowers from the International Baccalaureate program I did in high school, but university left an unsettling feeling of Read more [...] Read More »

You’re Going to Die


You're going to die someday. Me too, probably. Maybe tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m. while you dream of cupcakes. Maybe in 75 years while your family holds your old, wrinkly body and you're wearing a diaper. Either way, the body you call yours and all those memories you hold so dear and everything you've ever known will cease to be. It's quite poetic. What are you doing, right now? Did you come here from Facebook or Twitter or some other click that took you through the mass clusterfuck of voices clawing at the attention bit - screaming to be heard, to be noticed, to have a little ego stroke for some transient bit of self worth? Good. When you're done reading this I want you to go do two things: 1) put down your computer or phone or whatever Read more [...] Read More »

The Paradigm Shift


I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are Read more [...] Read More »

Hiking with a Dog (Part 2)

hiking with a dog

If you missed Part 1 of Hiking with a Dog, you can click here to read it.  We covered diet, paws, ticks and gear.  This time we wanted to talk about a few things to consider before hiking with your dog. Before we get to that though, we wanted to give an update on Rooney.  In Part 1, we talked about the dangers of ticks and we mentioned that our pup contracted a tick-borne illness on the AT.  Several people sent us messages asking how Rooney was doing today and we wanted to say thank you for the concern!  We’re happy to report that he’s doing great and is fully recovered.  We got off the trail when his injuries first occurred and took him straight to a vet.  He had a cast for a few days (to protect his swollen paw) and a month of Read more [...] Read More »

Hiking with a Dog (Part 1)

hiking with a dog

The topic we’re asked about most frequently (aside from “why in the world would you hike for that long?”) is hiking with a dog.  It fascinates people and they are always curious how our dog, Rooney, handles living in the woods.  So we thought we’d take a minute to sum up what we’ve learned and how we make hiking with our dog a positive experience. Real quick, we’ll give you some background on Rooney, to put everything in context.  He’s a 3 year old Weimaraner, which is a very high-energy bird hunting dog with a natural prey drive (i.e. his instinct is to chase wildlife). He’s incredibly athletic and strong.  He weighs anywhere from 70-80 pounds, depending on his level of exercise and his diet.  On the trail, he was a Read more [...] Read More »

How many mail drops should you send on the Appalachian Trail?

mail drops

I typically reserve this space for our hikers to brag about the awesomeness of their lives, but occasionally I weigh in to share the occasional celebrity gossip story. Today, I bring no such exciting news, but instead hope to answer a question I know weighs heavy on the mind of many aspiring Appalachian Trial Thru-Hikers... "How many mail drops should I send myself on the Appalachian Trail?" Although I touch upon this subject in Appalachian Trials, I feel as though we can cover this in more depth to help you determine the correct answer for you and your situation. Peace of Mind On you can find pages and pages and pages and pages and...well you get it....about anything and everything mail drop related.  Going into the trail, Read more [...] Read More »