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Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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McAfee Knob & Tinker Cliffs

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Hello friends! I am writing this morning from the Howard Johnson motel in Daleville, VA. I arrived here around 6:30 PM yesterday, after hiking 26 miles from Four Pines Hostel in Catawba, VA. It was my longest day yet, and also my first slackpack. For those who aren’t familiar, slackpacking is when someone drives the majority of your gear ahead of the trail, and then meets you at an agreed upon spot to deliver your backpack. This way you can hike while carrying only water and snacks, which allows for bigger days and faster hiking. My backpack was waiting for me in the lobby here when I showed up last night. Some people might call it cheating, but it sure was nice!  The day started with an early morning at Four Pines Hostel. This is a super cool hostel located just .3 miles off of the trail in Catawba, VA. ... Read More »

Trail Days 2016: One Experience

Trail Days Festival 2016, Damascus, VA

Trail Days Festival is a magical time for thru hikers! For 30 years, Damascus has honored hikers with a weekend event. Current hikers get off the trail and congregate there and past hikers reunite. There were endless possibilities of things to do.  This blog is a chronicle of our experience at Trail Days 2016. Life is simple. On the way to Trail Days, we hopped in a van with 5 other hikers (Frickles, Commando, Packrat, Gently, & Scarface) that they rented from Enterprise. Being in the van, we realized we could go anywhere we wanted! The world at our fingertips! The amount of choices available was overwhelming, compared to when we don’t have a vehicle and go with whatever is within walking distance. Once we arrived, we were faced with more decisions. Where would we stay? Eat? Which events? etc. We opted not to stay in Tent City because we were ... Read More »

Hiker Box Diaries Episode 5: Death Traps, Squalor, Trump, Reagan as PCT Thruhikers Converge on Hikertown

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  When I strolled up to Hikertown I thought it was a joke. It was caged behind a ratty chain link fence and it was absolutely deserted. I passed through the gate and eyeballed the spigot a few from the entrance. I hadn’t had any water in 24 hours. That is my fault. I had water in my backpack, I just didn’t feel compelled to drink it. The water was collected from a “guzzler” on one the mountains I had just crossed and it wasn’t very appetizing. Guzzlers are a roof built two feet from the ground in the desert mountains, with a gutter that can capture rainwater into basin under the crawl space. The water was yellow with large brown chunks of mystery floating on the warm, stagnant surface. I had it in case of emergency. I dropped to my knees at the foot of the spigot and filled my ... Read More »

Even zero days can be shitty days

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I woke up to rain and more clouds today & since my left knee still hurts, I decided to stay in Tehachapi yet another night. I grabbed breakfast at the continental breakfast at 630 and then went back to bed for a nice hour and a half nap, waking back up around 830. Knowing the continental breakfast ended at 9, I decided to go back down for round 2 and happened into Butters and England and they agreed to let me stay in their room tonight, lowering the rate for all of us. Yay! Today’s a good day already and it’s not even 9 am yet. I grabbed a long shower in my room and packed up all of my gear, very messily I might add, and moved it a couple rooms down the hall and checked out of my room just in time.  Everyone in Tehachapi has told me ... Read More »

Recuperated

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Back on the trail after some difficulty and rewarded with the best weather and trail conditions so far! Happy to be here! Larry and I met at High Point Country Inn and were dropped off by my amazing sister and brother-in-law to get back to our adventure. The first day’s weather was so welcoming after the prior rainy days. The skys were clear with the perfect temperature for hiking. The best ending for the day was a stay at the Murray property a beautiful little cabin that welcomed long-distance hikers.   Our hike continued the next day with an 11.5 mile hike through New Jersey’s beautiful meadow lands. where we stopped at Mitch’s Roadside Grill at the half-way mark for a hotdog then down and across the highway to a farm that sold baked goods and ice cream. We had been hiking down hill gradually all morning it was time ... Read More »

When my crazy idea proves to be the best idea

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For all of you living under a rock, this year has been infamously known as the year EL NINO will take over the PCT!  I don’t think it’s been that bad but some people are still freaking out over that fact.  I didn’t really take into account the snow levels in he Sierra when booking my flight to start the trail and I don’t regret it at all. I’ve met some downright incredible people and I’ve learned so much about myself in the past 5 weeks on the trail. About 2 weeks ago though, I started thinking of the best way I could hike the whole trail and not have to fight through the Sierra, seeing as it was the one section I’ve been most looking forward to hiking. My first and only thought: flip flop the trail and hike the Sierra once the snow melts. Easy enough, it’ll just ... Read More »

No pain, no rain, no Maine

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Day 8: We woke up nice and dry in our hotel room in Hiwassee, GA and watched the rain pour down outside. Although it was tempting to pull a double zero and stay in our nice dry beds, we set out to the trail. The rain only lasted an hour or two, which was awesome. We quickly learned that the main issue with rain is not exactly being wet or cold, it’s sweating under all the rain gear. It wasn’t long before I took off my rain pants and my hood and just let myself get wet. It was so much better to be wet from rain than from sweat. After a couple climbs made it to Tray Mountain Shelter and picked a campsite with a view on the edge of the cliff….. Only ten minutes after we set up our tents a giant cloud engulfed the mountain and the ... Read More »

Thru Hiking is: a 600 mile retrospection

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Ah Internet, it’s been a while! I’m currently in Roanoke, VA after getting off the trail for about a week because I developed Peroneal Tendonitis. The good news? I get back on the trail Friday, and even if the tendonitis comes back, the doctor says I won’t do any long term damage by hiking on it… I’ll just be in immense amounts of pain :p The bad news? I’m missing the trail between Bland, VA and mike 707 or so because I had Lil Santa keep hiking so my injury wouldn’t force him off the trail too. I’ll join up with him right before Mcafee’s Knob and make up the miles in between sometime in the future. Of course, it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been staying with my aunt and uncle and they are spoiling me rotten. It just so happens that I finally caved and saw a doctor ... Read More »