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Friday, May 29, 2015
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Warrior Hike – Frequently asked questions answered!

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After being on trail with the Warrior Hike for over two months, I’ve run into many of the same questions. In order to mitigate some of these in the future and to give everyone a better understanding of the Warrior Hike Program, I thought I’d answer a few of these “frequently asked questions” in this forum.    The Warrior Hike is not the Wounded Warrior Project The most common misconception is that the Warrior Hike is associate with or raises funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. Statements I hear often vary from “It’s so great that you’re supporting our troops” to “How are you wounded?” While both programs support military veterans, they help in different ways. We are not hiking to raise funds for fellow veterans but actually hiking for ourselves as a way to transition. Some of us, like myself, are transitioning from the military into the civilian world ... Read More »

Welcome to the Jungle! (634.9 Miles)

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Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to post an update.  Sprint does not seem to work at all in Virginia, thanks to shaky wifi at the classy plaza motel in Pearisburg, VA I’m finally able to update on my adventure. This morning I hobbled into Pearisburg along with fellow hikers; Parkay, Tarpman, Leviticus,  and Stink Jacket.   After a stop in the all you can eat chinese buffet and resupply at the Food Lion grocery store I picked up my new shoes and am in high spirits. I managed to extend my first pair of Merrell Trailgloves to this point but paid for it in severe foot pain after a few falls this week. I upgraded to LaSportiva trail running shoes and feel energized for the upcoming miles. Since getting to Damascus, VA Stink Jacket and I took a leisure week getting north to Marion, VA and ... Read More »

Virginia, Virginia, Virginia

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Days 48 to 52 were all above 17 miles, around which I seem to be pretty comfortable now. It feels pretty awesome to crank out an 18 mile day and end ready for tomorrow. Though I have to admit the Virginia terrain helped out too. There would always be a substantial climb down and up from a gap, but then the trail would follow a ridge for 5-10 miles with minimal antics, making for some quick coverage. A lot of the trail through here navigated labyrinths of rhodendron and bridged streams; I loved it. But then some parts too, like the mountain before Pearisburg, felt a bit dull.    In Pearisburg I resupplied and devoured a cheep Chinese buffet. I was stoked to find that JRR Tolkien’s Beowulf translation was released last year, so I had a coffee at Dairy Queen to sit and download it. 5 happened to be ... Read More »

Glamping 101

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glamping- (v) to camp glamorously. “Did you see their portable projector and tent disco ball? They are straight up glamping.” Out here in the wilderness, life changes. Perspectives change and people learn what they need to survive and what they can go without. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up every comfort from home and live off of trail mix for 6 months. Enter: Glamping. Glamping is about enjoying the finer things in life while living in the woods. Every person has their own ideas about what it means to glamp, and I’ve seen some amazing instances of glamping in the trail. Here are some of my favorites, feel free to use these ideas to better your next woodland experience. Fresh Food Tom and Huck had an amazing setup when I met them on our last night in the Smokies. They had appetizers of crackers and cheese and ... Read More »

Damascus, Virginia to Marion, Virginia

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Heading out of Damascus we were convinced by the guys st Sundog Outfitters to hit up the Virginia Creeper Trail. Kaveman, Zoltan, and myself headed out around mid afternoon and knocked out about 8 miles or so to a nice little campsite that was on a little island in the middle of the creek. We ran into Angel and Tex that evening and they meet us know the was a little cafe about half a mile up the creeper where we could charge our electronics. We sat up there until about 11pm before heading back to camp and crashing for the night. The next morning I was up between 7 and 8 and cruised back down to the cafe to cook my breakfast at the picnic tables outside of the building. We hiked on that day and made it up to Whitetop Mountain. It was pretty easy to tell how it ... Read More »

To Answer Your Questions…

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This post is more for my friends and family as opposed to the hiker world. Every time I call my mom, she has a question about how I do this or how I do that. I answered a lot of these questions for the curious ones before my departure, but now that I’m actually thru-hiking, I can show pictures! First off, everything I need to survive fits into a 62 liter pack. Seems small, right? But the whole point of this hike is getting back to the basics of surviving. I call my pack my home at the moment.  It carries my food, water, shelter, clothes, bed, and a few unnecessary items. At first, it usually weighed between 25 and 30lbs…. then hiker hunger kicked in… sheesh.. Where do I sleep every night? Drew (Hooter) and I share a tent. We get to split the weight, so we only carry ... Read More »

The Mohawk!

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The mohawk was inspired by necessity. It was my intention to have the mohawk before I left for the trail. It would have been a birthday gift to myself on May 9th. I am a Rome Georgia native and trips to Atlanta GA. were a regular activity. The big city, the food, the multitude of culture, all of it is worth absorbing if you have not taken the time. Honestly my childhood visits to atlanta consisted of me not taking those opportunities and now as a recent college grad, I would love a chance to explore the capital of the south. I have a family friend who is no less to me a family member that has been cutting my hair for the better part of two decades. If he was to see this now he would implore that as well done as it is by our very own Braveheart ... Read More »

Hot Springs, NC to Erwin, TN

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Posted from Erwin, TN. Mile point 342.9 We left Hot Springs, NC on Monday May 18th and arrived in Erwin, TN today, Saturday May 23rd. It’s the longest stretch of time that we have been without a town break–six days of living in the woods without a shower! I felt so sticky and so stinky that I could hardly stand myself! I didn’t look dirty, but I sure felt dirty! I often wondered while I was  walkiing  whether stinkiness multiplies by the minute or if it reaches a saturation point beyond which it is not possible to smell any worse. I hope there’s a saturation point and that I reached it on day one not day  six! This blog is about our six day stretch in the ‘wild’. It’s a rather long post, so, just look at the pictures if you can’t stay awake for 6 days! Monday May 18th, Day ... Read More »

The Appalachian Trail Pub Crawl

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail deprives us of many things: family and friends, hot showers, Game of Thrones episodes, the ability to be socially “normal”—things that, in the grand scheme of life, we all need to get away from once in a while. But there is one thing that most of us simply can’t survive without, something that pleases the soul as much as the taste buds, a common goal for which we are willing to put in just a few extra miles on blistered feet. I am talking, of course, about beer. While smuggling a few cans into your pack may stay your thirst for a short while, nothing helps take the miles off your feet and shoulders like an icy, freshly drawn draught taken in with friends at a pub. So here is your guide to pub-crawling your way along the white blazes. Many of these watering holes are ... Read More »

Almost ready

We leave home in about a week to begin our cross-country drive.  A friend in MA has a place for me to leave my car, a guest room, shower and laundry for before the Trail and as a pass south through MA, AND will help me get to Baxter State Park in Maine.  How great is that!?  She will even watch Nevis for a day or two while I sign in at TSC and go to the Katahdin summit. Read More »