Sometimes, We Just Need a Little Rest


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Took a zero mile day in order to rest my bad blisters. The Blueberry Patch was certainly the place to do it. I have never met such wonderful people. Gary, is a ’91 thru-hiker and his wife Lennie just has the biggest heart. The hostel is roomy, comfy and immediately feels like home. Their land is home to goats and donkees. The breakfast they serve is unbelievable, and Gary is more than accommodating with rides into Hiawassee, GA.

I was graciously invited inside to pet their cats and let me tell you, it made my day.

My friends moved on without me, rightfully so. The trail is all about hiking your own hike, as it should be.

Really looking forward to getting back out there, I get so antsy sitting still now…not that I have ever been the type to sit still for long, but, I certainly used to enjoy a lazy day off every once in awhile. I write this as the rain pitter patters on the roof of the hostel and it is rhythmically telling me it is time to go.

Ended the day with a rainbow….

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Some Needed Self-empowerment


Embrace the Brutality. Mind over matter. You can do this. When the going gets tough the tough get going. An object in motion stays in motion. Miles to go before we sleep. do what has to be done when it has to be done as well as it can be done and do it that way everytime. What goes up must come down. Difficulties are about lessons in disguise. The secret to success is to just begin, again.

ZERO.

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30 Miles Down


Made it to Neels Gap! Imagine my intense excitement at being able to stay in the hostel here….a hostel that has an adorable cat named Bronson.

Statistically, most people quit by this point. Honestly, I’ve never felt better or happier. Got a few blisters, but, nothing I can’t handle. The wonderful people here at Mountain Crossings gave me a pack shakedown and things feel so much lighter and better!! This’ll help me hike faster for sure.

Pirate, the hostel runner is making us pork chops and salad for dinner, my mouth is watering as I wait for it. There is nothing like good food after eating dehydrated stuff. Since I got here, I ate m&m’s, lemonade and hot pepper cheese.

The building is full of inspirational quotes and Pirate is a wealth of information. I almost feel like repeating Christopher McCandless here: “I could live this life for some time to come”. That could never be more true. Looking forward to hiking again tomorrow. It’s going to be a wonderful day, for sure.

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Just want to end this with a wonderful message shared with me from Jetpack, a 2011 thru-hiker: “embrace the brutality”. Life is nothing but ups and downs folks, it’s all in how you look at it that makes the difference in how you live life and in who you are.

First Taste of Trail Magic


So wonderful, third day in, having hiked 14 miles my trail friend Connect 4 and I are blessed with some trail magic. We hit Woody Gap and were offered TP, potato chips, and rice krispy ( spelling? ) treats. Heaven. Connect 4 challenged an 8 year old to a game and he happily lost, informing us his trail name will be RazorX2. He informed us his sisters trail name will be ChickenFlower ( she’s 5 ). It. Was. Awesome. We were given a prayer and then they departed, leaving us happy and full of salty goodness. We met up with Skylark to tent on a little hill and have had a wonderful fire.

20120318-191600.jpg Very excited, 11 miles to Neels Gap, once I make it there an go past, I will be past the point where half of the people that attempt quit. It feels good to know that I will have beaten a statistic. Feeling the blisters on my feet, I have three! I’ll have to “operate” on them as they say….don’t ask, a part of the details most people don’t want to know….unless y’all want me to film it…. Looking forward to blogging after another 30 miles!

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Springer, and 8.8 miles that don’t count


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Well, I made it up to Springer. (see the first official white blaze in the photo??? Complete joy at seeing that!) I took the approach trail, which is 8.8 miles that doesn’t count. I’ve now done .2 miles of the trail. Imagine that, a near full day of 9 miles and all that is officially done is .2 miles. Gotta pace myself though!

Not gonna lie, I felt like I was playing the game he loves me, he loves me not with flower petals, except I was saying I can’t do this, I can do this. With 40 pounds on your back, 8.8 miles is a bit tough.

Entertaining moment of the day? Seeing sneakers and a tarp some dummy left along the side of the trail, apparently, they are unaware of what Leave No Trace means…

Decided to try a night out inside a shelter. I am a huge fan of my tent, but, the shelter is definitely part of the experience and a way to meet people, for sure.

I had a freak out moment, that I completely missed getting on camera…I thought my stove broke, but a fellow hiker messed around with it and now it seems to be working fine. Thank goodness! Food is kinda, sorta important.

I’m getting a little used to filming and hiking life simultaneously…it’s not an easy habit to get into, hiking is not a walk in the park after all…ha! ( I find myself funny, really, other hikers do too! I swear… ) but, I have over 180 days to get used to being a camera operator and hiking, I think I’ll get the hang of it 😉

Hoping for some steady miles tomorrow. Keep thinking of me, friends. Your positive thoughts and messages are very much appreciated 🙂

P.S. I woke to two holes in my pack…thank you mice!!

Atlanta, Here I Come!


Was an hour and a half early to the airport….I’m a responsible flier 😉

Goodbyes are always tough, even if they aren’t forever. That was for sure the toughest part of the start of my journey. My family will get the occasional phone call, but, I’m pretty sure my cat is going to think I abandoned him! ( yeah, the 28 year old who is single and trying to restart her life owns a cat, are you really that surprised??? Haha )

I keep getting asked how excited I am, and it is bizarre, normally I would be jumping out of my seat. For some reason I am possessing this amazing calm – and anyone that knows me knows that I border on intense excitement, not clear headed calmness. If that isn’t a definite sign that this is what I am supposed to be doing, then I don’t know what is! In reality, it must come from months of preparation. But, I like it better to think that it’s what I am supposed to be doing!

Atlanta, or the brief experience I had with it was certainly interesting. Another city where people seem to take themselves a little too seriously, but, aren’t all cities like that? Maybe…I did find one extremely nice young man who actually smiled! This totally reaffirms my decision to head alone into the woods for 6 months, that’s for sure!

Wish me luck folks! Talk again soon 🙂

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FAQ’s


As my departure date creeps closer, I find myself being asked a lot of the same questions.  So as not to neglect those that are checking my website (you’re the best), I figured I would answer some of them on here. Enjoy it! (and some of my sarcasm) 😉

Are you bringing a gun?

NO!!!! No one hikes the Appalachian Trail with a gun. Though, I am partial to a .22 rifle.

So, how long are you actually away from civilization?

Besides the 100 mile wilderness, on average, you are a day to three days away from a town where you could resupply. Or so I believe.

Are you afraid?

No, I am completely going into this with the mindset of doing my best (110%) and loving every minute of it.  The only fear about the elements of the trail is the very smart fear (in my humble opinion) of lyme disease.  Due to the warmer weather, the ticks are everywhere and this is supposed to be a bad year for it.

What are you going to eat?

Mostly carbs. Dehydrated food. I have been making little prepared meals full of couscous and dried vegetables. I am REALLY looking forward to the farm stands that I know of at certain points on the trail. There is nothing like fresh and raw fruits and vegetables!

What happens if you fall off a cliff or a bear attacks you?

In the history of the trail, no one thru-hiking has fallen off a cliff and died or been attacked by a bear.  Day hikers have befallen tough situations, but as of now (knock on wood) it has not happened to any thru-hikers.  Yes, there will be bears. No, I will not be hanging off cliffs…..unless I want to capture a gorgeous image…

…the big dangers are injury, illness and my own mental capacity to stick with it!