An Appalachian Trail Series – Virginia, PART ONE

Part one in this two-part post covers the Appalachian Trail north from the Tennessee/Virginia border to Daleville, VA:

259.3 miles from the TN/VA border to Daleville, VA

  •   536.8 miles total in VA (not including the 15 miles +/- that hug the Virginia/West Virginia border)

30 Days from the TN/VA border to Daleville, VA

  •   53 total days spent in VA

Highest elevation: Roan Mountain – 5,729 feet (the A.T. actually skirts the summit by a half mile – follow a blue blaze trail to take you to the top)

Wildlife seen: Deer, snails, a variety of snakes, WILD PONIES, many birds, many dirty thru-hikers

Virginia

The morning after completing our first marathon was rough – more so for me than my Chuck Norris-esque husband. My stomach was in knots all morning and energy levels were so far off the radar that you could compare them to Sarah Palin’s election odds (hopefully you interpret that as “zero”). Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – North Carolina/Tennessee, PART TWO

Part two in this two-part post covers the Appalachian Trail north from Hot Springs, NC to the Tennessee/Virginia border:

189.3 miles

  •   384.7 miles total in NC/TN

20 Days from Hot Springs, NC to the TN/VA border

  •   38 total days spent in NC/TN

Highest elevation: Roan Mountain – 6,285 feet

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There is a running joke on the trail that the moment you ride in a car after a week in the woods is comparable to a ride in an F-15 fighter jet. When you become accustomed to walking 2-3 mph, cruising down the expressway at 60 mph is eye-opening to say the least. Put that F-15 on copious amounts of crack and you will begin to understand our near-death experience on the ride to Asheville, NC. Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – North Carolina/Tennessee, Part One

Part one in this two-part post covers the Appalachian Trail from the Georgia/North Carolina border north to Hot Springs, NC:

195.4 miles

  •   384.7 miles total in NC/TN

18 Days from the GA/NC border to Hot Springs, NC

  •   38 total days spent in NC/TN

Highest elevation: Clingman’s Dome – 6,643 feet

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With nearly 200 miles of trail that weaves on or close to the NC/TN border, I’ve decided to combine the two states into two shared posts. When you are hiking this section, it can be hard to distinguish what state you are in – distinguishing the two while writing about them is just as hard. Thus, you’ll get to read about the awesomeness that is North Carolina and Tennessee in TWO WHOLE POSTS.

Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – Georgia

Georgia Fun Facts

78.5 miles

9½ Days

2nd most elevation change on the A.T. (New Hampshire is first)

Highest point: Blood Mountain–4,458 feet

Lowest point: A sleepless night at Mountain Crossings Hostel acclimating to fellow hikers’ snoring habits.

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Georgia, Georgia, Georgia… What can I say?

It’s TOUGH.

Unless you’ve just completed an Ironman triathlon or are Chris Hemsworth, you will struggle with this state. Physically, mentally, emotionally… Georgia covers a lot of ground on the struggle bus. Continue reading

An Introduction to the Appalachian Trail Series

“Springer Fever” – a serious, but not fatal, affliction experienced by many hikers that provokes an overwhelming urge to be (back) on the Appalachian Trail – is upon us!

While the term is generally used to describe the few months leading up to the hike’s start date (similar to “It’s-Freaking-Cold-Outside-and-I-Wish-Winter-Would-Be-Over-With-Already Fever”), “Springer Fever” is a year-round sentiment felt by many hikers whenever time is NOT spent in the woods. Nevertheless, I know for a fact that those planning an upcoming hike on the Appalachian Trail are spending much of their free time Googling things like:

                                                                   “Hammock camping vs. tent camping”

                                    “What should my base weight be?”

                                                                                   “Did Bill Bryson hike the entire Appalachian Trail?”

                     “What are my odds of getting eaten by a black bear?”

                                                                                                              “How do I effectively shit in the woods?” Continue reading