Day 57 Mile 647

Pretty typical routine. This day was spent bumping along the NC/TN border.

5:45 am – Early dawn awaken

5:50 – Fetch food bag from bear hang

6:00 – Instant coffee into water bottle. Eat energy bar for 250-300 calories.

6:00 – 6:45 – Pack gear into dry bags and load backpack. Drink water.

6:50 – Footbeds back into semi-dry shoes. Lace them up.

7:00 – Look for anything that might be left behind – Head north on trail

8:00 – Snack 1 – Don’t break stride. 250 calories. Coffee bottle goes back and forth, relay style.

9:30 – Snack 2 – Don’t break stride. 250 calories

11:00 – Snack 3 – 400 calories. Remove pack. Sit/stand/lay/stretch. Refill .5 liter carry bottles from 2 liter reserve.

11:20 – Resume hike. Drink water on the go.

1:00 – Snack 4 – Don’t break stride. 250 calories.

2:45 – Arrive shelter (15.5 miles).

3:00 – 4:30 – Unload packs. Fetch and filter water (6 liters). Set up camp.

5:00 – Dinner 400 – 500 calories.

5:30 – Relax. Get ready for bed.

6:00 – Retire.

The summit of Mt Cammerer and the old fire tower was serene and special on this particular day.

Between rain showers
Mt Cammerer fire tower taken from a helicopter or something

Some young laddy back in the day…

And another more recently. 🙂

Typically, we don’t “blue blaze”, meaning take a side trail, figuring 2,000+ miles on the AT is enough. But we took a wrong turn. Up this:

And this:

The simplicity of living out of a 25 +\- backpack with the same routine, clothes, etc while making do to minimize trash (that we have to carry out) & waste is really refreshing. It forces resourcefulness, like this “spigot” left by some thirsty backpacker.

The experience reinforces how we use much more than we need everyday, and makes us consider how we’ll pare down when we return…

Day 50 Mile 554

If this Snickers “dubba” pack represents the 2192 mile Appalachian Trail….

…then this shows roughly how much of the trail we have completed…

…and although nobody is walking this sucker for us, we simply could not do it without the support of family and friends, and especially our “ground support” team of Rog’s sister Sue, husband Steve and dog Rosie (the cats are awesome, too).

They have welcomed our dear pups, Ferbie and Lucy, into their home for an extended “summer camp” stay.

They also act as our extended outfitter, sending us gear and goods as our needs evolve.

It is a lot of work and please know our Journey By Foot would not have made it past the Bloomington city limits without their help.


Lyddie and Sookie

Day 46 Mile 499.9

Hike Day 46 ushered in Franklin, NC for a food resupply and a stay at Baltimore Jack’s Hostel. Click on the image to learn more about this wild dude (Eight-time AT thru-hiker).

But to get to NC you have to get from the southern terminus of Georgia, which was six days of pure pleasure with the requisite dose of hiking pain.

Release hope, forget about control and just take whatever the trail gives you.

In our case, the Trail was very giving after we “flipped” early to GA (‘bye cold PA rain!) where Jen’s brother Em provided shuttle service, laundry facilities, and dinner for us on HIS birthday. Many thanks to him and his wonderful family, and fair warning to others offering to host hikers!

Georgia is gorgeous! Check out some more pics along our 110-mile hike from Springer Mountain, AT mile 0.0.

May 13, 2019

The first leg of the route is basically finished and it is time to go to GA. We wanted to make it two or three more days to the PA/NJ border but since it is cold rain (we have not forgotten about hypothermia) and we are close to a car we are OUT.

The trail teaches adaptability.

It’s time to go to Amicalola Falls GA to hike the 850 miles north to Waynesboro VA.

Hike Day 38 will feel GA soil under sole.

Thanks to our new friends Mike and Lindy Sheridan at Common Ground Farm and Retreat in Kempton, PA for making our Mother’s Day stay incredible. Looking forward to returning later this summer to start the final push to Katahdin!

Day 37 Mile 390

Thank You!

Though we may not respond to every comment on the site, please know we read and appreciate each and every one! Your positive thoughts and energy go a long way out here on the trail.

Hiked the Kittatinny ridge today.

Met some new friends but didn’t overstay our welcome.

Timber Rattlesnake

Super views. PA is really beautiful.

Day 35 Mile 361

Port Clinton Barber Shop

If you’re driving (or hiking) through Port Clinton PA and find yourself in need of an $8 haircut (includes beard), antiques, taxidermy, free coffee/cookies/advice or a jam session with one of the many instruments on hand, you must treat yourself to a visit with musician/barber/philosopher Frank, the owner.

It kinda has the feel of a Stephen King curio shop – the trippy kind of place that when you go back for your second visit you find an abandoned storefront that hasn’t been occupied since the late 1800’s.

Day 33 Mile 331

Magic – The 501 Shelter

Volunteerism makes the AT work. And the trail pays back in unimaginable ways.

The 501 is a shelter located in the middle of nowhere off PA 501. Arriving early, we offered to help and found ourselves sanding and painting a couple of picnic tables.

Never expected to find a paint brush in hand while hiking!

Later, “Nobros” (Northbound Brothers), age 19 & 21, arrived at the end of their 35-mile (!) hiking day. They shared that they live about 30 miles east of Columbus, OH.

Rog was on it. “Newark area?”

“Granville, actually,” came their surprised response.

“You have a great coffee shop by the river!”

“River Road Cafe!” They replied in unison, laughing.

What are the odds we strangers have all been to this tiny spot in the universe? Weird.

An hour later a tall gent in his mid-twenties rolled in for the night after starting 1,193 miles ago in GA.

We knew this hiker! “Danger Boy” worked at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano with our daughter, and was the (most excellent) server at Rog’s January 2019 retirement luncheon, leaving mere weeks later for the trail.

What are the odds?

Are you kidding me?!

We enjoyed a great evening around the large table sharing connections and stories.

“Trail Magic” happens in different ways. When just the right item appears in a hiker box, you’re able to help out, find common ground with others, or land in a warm dry spot on a cold rainy day. We’re enjoying the journey and all of the surprises it brings!