I’m finally getting enough wifi signal to give y’all a quick update about life on the Appalachain Trail. This first week has brought on many surprises and has been an amazing experience. I’d like to share a list of things I’ve learned during my first week..
1. The stink is real.
I heard all about this hiker stink and how you should learn to expect it..you won’t care about deodorant anymore because you know it won’t work. Well, it’s true. After about two days the stink is there. Sure, you can bathe off with wipes, splash around in a creek, or wipe yourself down with a wet bandana. But, until you hit a trail town and get a legit shower the stink is there, and it is real.
2. An impaled leaf can hang out on your trekking pole for almost up to a mile!
3. Mice can run across your shoulders even if you don’t sleep with your head to the back of the shelter.
4. Frogg Toggs have a fashion factor of 0, a durability factor of 3 (but they are easy to repair with a needle and floss!), but most importantly a keeping your body dry factor of 9.
5. The sunrise at Blue Mountain shelter is AMAZING!
6. Although you are craving huge steak and draft beer, after reaching a cabin on a cold rainy day you GREATLY appreciate a frozen pizza and coke.
7. There are many truly selfless people in this world. They provide something wonderful on the AT called trail magic. I never thought I could be so thankful to someone that offers me candy or to take my trash. Some of these people will hike a three mile round trip up a mountain to bring hikers beer…or even drive hundreds of miles every Easter to spend their annual vacation providing an ‘in the forest feast’ for hikers out of their own pockets.
8. Most thru-hikers love and respect nature. One group of guys (spice, cap, and goose) is packing out trash from Ga to Maine. Check out their blog at: www.packingitout.blogspot.com
9. Broken in, properly sized leather boots can cause tendonitis of the Achilles even if they don’t cause blisters.
10. I’m not the only chick hiking the AT alone. Check out my new friend Rigga’s blog: www.smilesformiles2015.wordpress.com
11. Being an Aubrn fan improves your bear bag hanging skills! I nailed it my first attempt (got so excited that I almost didn’t notice the rock coming back at me).
12. Apparently, my southern accent is thicker than I thought–my earned trail name is Dixie.
13. Georgia is BEAUTIFUL!
I will hopefully give a better update when I make it to Franklin! Thank you all for your support. Also, my friend Whitney is helping me put together some of my video clips on YouTube, so stay tuned for that link…
Happy Trails 🙂
Man, now I REALLY wish I was hiking along! Your photography certainly makes GA that much more beautiful.
Enjoy! A good friend of mine hiked through in 1994…one of the great experiences in his life (and he’s had many). You’ll never forget it Beautiful trillium pic! Stay safe and gear up – the trail gets rough through TN/NC, so I hear….
I can’t wait for 25 more years when I can retire and do this.
Heck yes! You have a great adventure to look forward to.
what are you, photographer as well?
your photos are amazing!!!!
definitely not a cellphone cam isn’t it?
what kinda camera you are with? DSLR?
Thank you!! I WISH I had a fancy camera. Unfortunately, I only have my iPhone. Pictures just don’t do the scenery any justice, though.
On a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being the most difficult, how difficult is the hike from Springer Mountain to Blood Mountain?
That’s difficult to say. Are you saying 1-10 with just reference to the difficulty of the trail? Also, my experience level changed throughout. So is this in hindsight looking back at the trail as a whole or just compared to my experience level when I was on that section? That area is definitely doable for a beginner and someone who is not in shape. Not saying it’s EASY, because it is not. Just doable if someone has the will power to push through. For the me that was on Katahdin–I would’ve likely breezed through. It wasn’t easy when I went through at the beginning, though. Haha, hope that helps!
I am a novice hiker and I have done strenuous 10-mile trails here in Idaho. However, I haven’t done camping out solo and rarely know the basics of camping. The knowledge is already there after watching so many YouTube videos and reading articles but as a woman, I am still contemplating whether or not I should dare myself to do an overnight thing — set-up camp, make sure food and other items are in bear canister, and embrace the serenity of the surroundings.
Any tips of how to survive a first solo overnight camp as a female hiker?
The best thing I can tell you is women do it alone all the time. The only thing that is going to get you through it is to just DO IT! Don’t let fear hold you back. Let me know how it goes 🙂
I have never been able to find (on your blog, or hers) how Rigga got her trail name. Is there a story behind it? I’m curious!
It’s from a song called The Princess Pat. An old camp song—she was always singing camp songs lol.
Arigga bamboo!! That’s funny. Thanks!