What an amazing journey it’s been so far, I’m in awe of the things I’ve seen, the people I’ve met and the growth I’ve witnessed in my own life over the past 2.5 months. There is almost nothing that I regret about the first half of the trail except my attitude towards Virginia. The only other thing I would change is how much I blogged. I realize that I was not very good at it and I’m gonna work on that!
In the next few weeks, I will see 4 states as I move from WV to Maryland to Pennsylvania. I’ll be updating much more frequently and here are some things I recently did and a few things I will be looking forward to:
1. I hit the 1000 mile mark
2. I finished VA.
3. I finished WV.
4. I saw Washington DC for the first time ever, in the pouring rain, and with some amazing company.
5. I will finish MD either tomorrow or the next day.
6. I get to see my mom in a few weeks when I am somewhere in Northern PA. She is meeting me for a few days and I am so excited.
7. I’ll finish PA and NJ
8. I’ll come off trail for about 12 days to attend 2 separate weddings and see a bunch of family and friends in Atlanta and Virginia.
9. After the weddings will be roughly a month and a few weeks of no support. It will be a long test for me but at the end of it I’ll be in ME and I will get to finish this amazing journey the same way I started it, with my dad!
10. I like round numbers so this is just here to remind everyone of how incredible your support is and I can’t wait to share the top half of this trail with you.
Until next time!
A quick update, this is a sign I saw about 3 days after posting this picture. The crown has been past to these three signs.
For some hilarious reason the AT signs in this part of Virginia have become more and more secure. This one is absolutely the most secure. You mind as well pull the whole post out of the ground.
It has a total of 22 nails holding it to the wood. If that isn’t overkill I don’t know what is.
This is going to be stereotypical but I would bet any amount of money that this sign was put up by the same kind of guy that when he has finished wrapping a Christmas Christmas present decides that it isn’t secure enough so he adds another piece of tape, and another, and another, till he realizes that he has used the whole role of tape on accident.
So I wanted to share a pretty cool thing that I just got to do this past week! There are 3 famous views in Virginia, they are referred to as the Triple Crown of Virginia.
From South to North, they are:
These vistas can all be accessed in one day but due to the amount of time I spent on Mcafee Knob I wasn’t able to get to Tinker Cliffs until the morning!
It sure was an awesome day and I got to hold with a new friend I made named Sharkbait (ooh ha ha).
No. I’m not even close.😂
This past week has been full of new adventures, from shuttles to torrential downpours. Virginia has already proven that it’s going to be the toughest state mentally by far. Something about more than 500 miles in one state is just extremely disheartening. It’s hard to feel like I’m gaining any ground because I still have so much more of Virginia left, and I’ve only been here for a week. Terrain-wise Virginia has been very nice. Most of the trail in Virginia is on top of the ridge, this means that there aren’t many big climbs anymore which is really nice but at the same time there is hardly any water. The shelters are usually the best bet for water. So far I’ve also seen the most section hikers on trail so far in Virginia.
Trail life is honestly really fun and my day usually consists of waking up when it gets too bright to sleep. Then I eat a small breakfast usually oatmeal or a power bar or some morning just some candy. After I break down camp and get back on trail I usually don’t stop again till I’ve done about 8 miles. Then I’ll have a snack and fill up my water bottle if there is a source where I stopped. Most days I listen to a lot of music and a little bit of an audiobook and then there are plenty of times that I just walk with nothing on, it’s nice to fully escape from the real world for a bit.
I was talking to my roommate back at home and we both agreed that becoming slightly introverted isn’t the worst thing in the world!
This past week I’ve stayed in two different hostels, Woods Hole Hostel and Holy Family Hostel.
Woods Hole was incredibly fun and just an altogether different experience. The owners of Woods Hole have put a ton of work into updating the facilities at the hostel while still maintaining the incredible quirky atmosphere and the eclectic style that they are known for. Most nights at Woods Hole there is a family style dinner which everyone is invited to. It is such amazing homemade food and everyone just hangs out and eats for like an hour and a half. Woods Hole is where I waited out the absolute deluge that hit us on Sunday night. It’s also where I woke up on Monday and looked out the window to see that it was dumping snow. The weather sure has been weird this year.
After my stay at Woods Hole, I made it to Pearisburg to pick up a food resupply and that is when I stayed at the Holy Family Hostel. At most of these places there is a staff that works there. This hostel is donation based and doesn’t have a staff other than a church member that takes care of the facilities. So yesterday I actually helped them fix the hot water heater and in return I didn’t have to give a donation. The hot shower was worth the work!
Now it is on to Daleville!
Hey everyone!! Sorry it’s been a while!
Since March 23 I have finished my 3rd State, started my 4th, stayed at a few hostels and made some really incredible friends.
I want to go ahead and thank everyone that has been involved in helping me raise funds for Holt’s House of Hope. It’s such an amazing ministry and it’s incredible that we are able to assist them in such an awesome new part of their community.
The amount of support that I have received on this journey has far surpassed anything I expected and I am beyond grateful for everyone walking in this journey with me so far!
Instead of trying to write a really long blog post I am just going to promise that I will post more often from now on! For the past two weeks, I will just post a ton of pictures and tell you a few cool things!
-About 3 days before Easter I got off trail and was treated to some incredible views, incredible food and absolutely amazing company when the Smith’s hosted me. It was such an amazing two days and I pretty much fell in love with that section of the trail. It was some of the best views, the most incredible weather and just all around an amazing few days of hiking and spending time with friends!
-About a week ago I was walking on trail in Tennessee and a small brown dog started following me. I thought this was pretty funny and the dog had a collar and seemed pretty well behaved. So this turned from something cool into something pretty frustrating because the dog absolutely refused to stop following me. He ended up hiking with me for about 13 miles and seemed like he had no intentions of leaving my side. So at this point my two options were, leave the dog or find it’s owner. Obviously I decided to find its owner but this proved much more difficult than I expected. All I had was the phone number on his collar and absolutely no cell service. So to fix this I had to walk 4 miles off trail down a mountain road till a guy on his way to work offered me a ride and to pay for my lunch. He then took me to Bobs Dairyland and I made a call and found the dog’s owner, the next part of this journey was trying to get back to trail! After all of the commotion this dog and I caused at Bob’s Dairyland, one of the customers offered to take me back to the trail after picking up her husband from a section hike he was on. So after all of that I had walked about 27 miles on trail and about 5 miles off trail. It was a long day and I definitely slept really well that night!
-Lastly, this past weekend, I was treated to 2 days in a hotel and a slack pack day with a ton of ponies when my family came up to Atkins, Va. It ended up snowing the days that I was off trail so it worked perfectly. Spending time with them was the absolute best thing for me and it has definitely helped me mentally prepare for the next 500 miles in Virginia. The next thing to look forward to is a night with Gigee when she drives up to Maine in about 2 weeks.
Alright! That about does it for my updates about the last few weeks!! I will try to blog a bunch here in the next few!
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Holt’s House. I will get to see the list of donors this week and start making my thank you videos. If you are new to my blog and reading this for the first time, check out my Holt’s House tab and learn all about this great place and why I am walking to fund their learning center. If you donate, I will make you a personal thank you video while I am walking on the trail so you can share in my journey!
Day 32 – 3-31 Today marks the end of another month on the trail. The end of my first full month on the trail. I have been out 32 total days and covered 400 miles. Seems like a huge accomplishment already. So here’s some stats for my hike so far…
Nights in a tent = 11
Nights in a shelter = 11
Nights in a hostel = 6
Nights in a house = 4 (Thanks Nana and Mr. Smith)
Days hiking in rain = 6
Days hiking in snow = 10
20+ mile days = 6
30+ mile days = 0
Zero days = 3
Showers taken = 13
Bears seen = 0 – and let’s keep is that way!
Total miles on trail = 400!
And here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come…
Monday night – sleeping at mile 450
Tuesday – completing my 2nd and 3rd states. North Carolina and Tennessee make up 384.7 miles of the AT. I will be done and walk across the state line and into Virginia. Together with a sliver of West Virginia, Virginia spans 554.1 miles, the longest state on the trail. It is a state without severe elevations changes like what I have been hiking in. This makes hiking bigger miles and covering more ground possible.
Thursday – My Mom, Dad, and sister, Skyler, are coming to visit me. I will still hike Thursday and Friday but get to stay in a hotel and see them. I am hoping that while they are here and I take Saturday off, I can update my days on trail, tell you about some fun adventures and share some great pictures.
Thank you for all the support!!!