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

Advertisements

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

IMG_2283

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

IMG_2283

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.

IMG_2282

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

Bull Testicles

Warning: Viewer Discretion is Advised

It’s an end of an era.

Our cars are no longer strutting their stuff with Michigan plates.

We’ve had our Colorado driver’s licence for a couple of months now but we’ve hesitated to switch our car license plates until a few days ago. Partly because we’ve had other things occupying our time (read: testing out Denver’s infamous craft beer scene) and partly because Colorado enjoys annoying new residents with jumping through hoops to get your car plated (read: your car has to pass emissions testing).

Continue reading

Fear.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
– Plato

With Halloween coming up, I thought it was only fitting to write a post about fear. We’ve all see the goblin and ghoul decorations at the store since, what seems like, July. Many of us have flipped through the expansive selection of Horror movies on Netflix (does “Sharknado” count?). Perhaps some of us have even seen the frightening images of how people dressed up for Halloween back in the day:

I would NOT trick-or-treat at this house….

Whatever your experience, it seems that society is telling us that of all times of the year to be scared, that time is now.

Continue reading

Clinging to Rocks on Evans

Of all the differences between people in this world, there are a few things I think we can all agree on:

1) Election season is the absolute WORST. This fact is absolute. There is real danger in being crushed by a TV thrown out the window after hearing for the billionth time how “so-and-so” is a racist and hates babies.

2) Sample day at the grocery store makes you as giddy as a five-year-old in a toy store. Especially when there are samples of booze. Yes, this does exist!

3) A running basset hound may very well be God’s gift to earth:

But perhaps most universal is how frustrating it can be to hear your alarm go off at 5:30 AM. It’s as frustrating as the Detroit Tiger’s during playoff season. It takes every ounce of my being to peel off the comforter, force my sleepy body upright, and swing my feet onto the cold hardwood floors.  Even more frustrating, however, is how jovial Rob can be with very little sleep. It honestly makes me want to karate chop him right in the throat. So far I have managed to resist. So far. He claims it’s because of his baby face. I’ll let you be the judge of that: Continue reading

Pikes Peak, Sexy Legs, and Heart Attacks… Oh My!

The Garden of the Gods are in the foreground framing Pike's Peak in the background.

Pike’s Peak in the Distance

After hiking through the peaceful and serene Garden of the Gods, we decided that we wanted to take on a more challenging, more Coloradan-type feat. We wanted to take on a 14’er (slang for a 14,000+ foot mountain). With the behemoth Pikes Peak looming in the background all day, we agreed that we would make this mountain our bitch (and our first 14’er). That is, if it didn’t take US out first. Continue reading

A Walk Amongst the Gods

We turned around, forlorn from the realization that our car wasn’t going to escort us to the Lost Creek Wilderness for our planned three day hike. We needed to think on our feet and figure out “what now?”. With all the change in plans over the past year, thinking on our feet has become second nature to us. Some may call it flighty… but I prefer flexible.

Continue reading