Day 64 – The Dip

I’m writing this post while I wait for my laundry to finish washing. I’m in Daleville, VA. A tiny town near Roanoke. The kind of place that one finds themselves after a lifetime of poor decisions. I’m now averaging 20 miles a day. To maintain this pace you have to walk 11-12 hours and not dally during your breaks. This …

Day 57 – Wild Ponies, Bears, and Freedom

I’m writing to you from the Angel’s Rest hostel in Pearisburg, VA. This is mile 635 on the trail. Angel’s Rest is a new hostel that opened this season. It isn’t listed in any of the guidebooks. A southbound(SOBO) hiker named Han SOBO told us it was better than the Motor Lodge(which housed live in meth addicts apparently). His vague …

Day 45 – Meet Bob Peoples

I’m writing from Damascus VA, mile 468 on the Appalachian trail. It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog so let me catch you up. After Hot Springs I hiked 70 miles to Erwin, TN. About 11 miles out of Hot Springs I camped in a fire tower with a section hiker named Stogie. Having a 360 view of …

Day 29 – The Rise of Quadzilla

I’m writing to you from Hot Springs NC. I’m back in NC for the time being – the AT straddles NC and TN for a few hundred miles. It’s rained on me for the last three days. I walked 18 miles in a downpour yesterday and now all of my gear smells like wet dog. But it’s all good because …

Day 18 – Trail Magic

I’m writing from Fontana Dam, 165 miles on the Appalachian trail. It’s raining and I’m not out in it so I’m happy. I’ve been taking my time in towns. White water rafted down the Nantahala river on Tuesday, for free. Gorgeous river but unfortunately no pictures, because water. The last few days have featured some grueling climbs. Coming from the …

Day 11 – The Way of Zen

I’m writing from the Rathskeller Coffee and Pub in Franklin, NC. 110 miles in. Yesterday I hiked 7 miles to get to a road and catch a ride into town. I stayed at the Gooder Grove hostel. It’s a really eclectic place filled with eastern art, Taoist literature, and two old dogs. The owner of the hostel, Zen, is a …

Day 7 – Fried Chicken Mountain

“Fried chicken, fried chicken, fried chicken.” That was my mantra as I climbed another of the endless thousand foot asscents on Saturday. The Appalachian Trail in Georgia is an endless succession of mountain climbs followed by sharp descents. The trail blazers must have been masochists. I started last Sunday at Amicalola Falls state park and hiked 8.8 miles to reach …

D-Day -1 Pizza, Climbing, and Psychedelic Gnomes

The last time I was at a Mellow Mushrooms was almost eight years ago. I was on a 48 hour pass after having just completed basic training at Fort Benning. I remember sitting around a large wooden table with members from my platoon while we discussed how we were going to spend our pass. The conversation revolved around how we …

Essential(and non) Equipment List For My Appalachian Trail Hike

hiking equipment for appalachian trail

My backpack weighs in at 24lbs 11 ounces without food or water. Fully loaded it will weigh between 40 and 45lbs. That is on the heavy end of packs for the Appalachian Trail. Some ultra-light hikers are able to bring their packs down below 10lbs. I chose convenience and comfort over weight. We’ll see whether that decision changes on the …