Tuesday, May 3, 2016
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A Shift In Thought


My laundry is washed, my body is clean, and my belly is full. I am currently lounging in a brown leather Grandpa recliner while fellow nomads flutter in and out of the common room. At this “friendly” (It’s not a hostel… It’s not hostile) hikers stumble in dazed with wide eyes and almost immediately another hiker from the previous night jumps up to show them where to put their muddy boots and wash their hands. When I arrived yesterday, I didn’t meet the owner for at least four hours. Let it be known that this is by far my favorite place I’ve stayed. In all honesty, there was a tugging voice early this morning coaxing me into staying forever, becoming best friends with the owner Miss Cee Cee, and living happily ever after. Okay. Maybe not. But yesterday I decided, that on my vacation of hiking the Appalachian Trail… I’m ... Read More »

Into Virginia


One quarter done! It is hard to believe, but I am at mile 544 which makes me about 25% of the way through. So I am celebrating by relaxing at the Relax Inn. I have a pizza ordered. As you can see from the photo, the skies have been sort of unsettled. It rained the last two nights but my tent stayed completely dry, now that I figured out the final tweak for pitching it correctly. Luckily, it was not raining when I set my tent up, or when I took it down in the morning, which does make things a lot easier.  Grayson Highlands Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Before I got to that area, I met some local hikers who assured me I was about to see “the most beautiful 8 miles of the Appalachian Trail.” Well, they’re entitled to their opinion, but I ... Read More »

Variety is the spice of life…One month on the trail


It is just over one month of being on the trail and I am amazed at how far physically and emotionally I have come. I have pushed myself in ways never before and am amazed at the changes taking place. I feel stronger every day and feel blessed to be living in nature and to experience everyday miracles. I have now embraced trail life to its fullest and feel more comfortable and happy with the time I am on the trail rather than in town. I am able to overcome challenges more readily and no longer fear the unknown. Even the rainy weather is embraced and enjoyed rather than feared. Blueberry and I walked 22 miles one day, up and over rocky mountains, and still enjoyed the day. Of course, I do enjoy the rain even more while in the security of a shelter, but it is no longer a ... Read More »

Curious Thoughts


I had a nightmare I was back home, and everyone kept asking me why I hadn’t completed the trail. I had made it to the 400 mile mark but suddenly I was surrounded by old friends all looking at me inquisitively. I didn’t have any answers for them, and I felt terrible about it. Why am I home? I don’t even remember how I got here I thought. I began to panic, and I abruptly awoke relieved to find that I was in my tent, still on the Appalachian Trail. I was in the tenting area of Mountain Harbour Hostel, an unexpected but welcome stop the group had acquiesced to after we realized it was only a fifth of a mile down the road and their breakfast was touted as delectable. Now it was time to see if this home cooked meal was worth the hype. I stuffed my clothes ... Read More »

If Utopia Was A Grocery Store


I woke up this morning… … In my new hiker rhythm of precisely 6:45. Every few seconds my tent caught slow, ploppy raindrops from the previous night’s thunder storm. The rain had passed, but the trees still had to shake out the water from their branches. The twitter of birds saturated the sky. Some of them sang constant songs, others were quiet for a longer amount of time but would erupt into a very loud tweetTWEETTWEETTWEET. Glancing over at my trash bag, which is an unfathomably shameful and transparent Ziploc freezer bag filled with a mangled concoction of everything I have to pack out (mostly food wrappers and baby wipes… Unspeakable baby wipes), I noticed a packet of peanut butter that a fellow hiker had shared with me. She had asked her friend back home for three boxes, one in each flavor, and instead he sent her three boxes of ... Read More »

393.1-One Month Anniversary


Yesterday marked my one month on the trail; what a beautiful and incredible month it has been! I want to take this time to talk a little bit more general about what my relationship with the trail has become. In simple words, it has become an addiction. I noticed this first when I was “stranded” in Hot Springs, NC and I didn’t know how I was going to get back on the trail with the wildfire closing the 15 mile section north. It was my second day in town and I had been waiting for a shuttle that never came, and when I found out it wasn’t coming- I felt my blood pressure rise, my face get hot, and I didn’t know why I felt like crying. I ended up squeezing in the bed of a pick-up truck with 5 other hikers in what would be one of the sketchiest ... Read More »

Getting all caught up


Sorry for the lack of posts so far. between hiking, socializing, and fantasizing about food I haven’t put too much time aside for writing. But I think I’m finally getting into a groove and am trying to fit writing into my daily routine Instead of getting boggled down in trying to recount everything that I’ve done so far, instead I’ll just give an idea of what my average day is like. First off, I should address my trail name. It’s Princess Peach. As you may have guessed, I was initially hesitant to accept the name. I won the hat I’m always wearing in a mariokart64 competition. I played as princess peach. But after some time, I actually really like it. For a few reasons: Everyone usually remembers my name, it always makes people smile, I don’t get confused with anyone else, and I can gloat about how kickass I am ... Read More »

Day 0 Eve

It is currently just after midnight, Eastern Time, which makes this the official, “Day 0,” post. My mum and I have settled into a lovely little resort about 15 miles from the trail head, though it will take us an hour to get there, of course. In typical Sundquist fashion I have just completed packing and quite frankly I’m almost too exhausted to write this. I don’t mean to say, by any means, that the past two days have been hard or tiring, I’m simply exhausted from being on the road and thinking so much for two days. That being said, I certainly won’t make this a light post as I am as dedicated to a full record as some of you are to reading it. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone and it certainly doesn’t surprise me but, preparing to hike over 2000 miles and be away ... Read More »

Life in First Gear


So today marks 1 month on the trail.Since the last blog, we’ve covered 120 miles. We’ve climbed out of the NOC, Fontana Dam, trekked through the Smokies, and over past Hot Springs. We’ve had amazing adventures with amazing people.  This past month has been full of highs, lows, new adventures and plenty of physical and mental setbacks. We may have moved a little slow to begin with, but we have got our “trail legs” and are really able to crank out some miles now. I think most of what we have learned can be summed up in one sentence.  2-3 mph is a beautiful way to live.  We both come from a fast-paced life. Prior to the Trail, we both worked steady 9-5 jobs that we loved. But too often we would find ourselves at the end of another week, wondering where the past 5 days have gone. We were ... Read More »