Follow Me On The Trail

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Hike Starting 2/28/14

Made it to Georgia. Jake and I are staying at Hiker’s Hostel. I met Fresh Ground, Smoke Stack and his Mom,Mat and another young man I gave have of my Subway sandwich to, neither had trail names yet.

Fresh Grounds shared his insight on the trail, we laughed and share pizza over a movie. Big Tex and Rugby went to bed early. Jake got to meet Dottie. I have reduced some items in my pack last night while at my brother’s and then again this evening. Update soon.

Today was rough. Rainy cold and as people kept passing me I wanted to cry. After a couple of hours there was no one passing me. I was alone really alone. When I switched on my phone the severe weather alert was on but it wouldn’t load. I was walking on top of a mountain with very cold bursts of wind not knowing what was to come. Once I got to an area I could tent I realized there was no protection from the wind I called in to be picked up and I am warm in a dingy motel room. It is like the Hilton for me.
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March 3rd
It rained at shelter tent stayed warm and dry. But may need a bigger tent. Will be at Neel’s Gap for a replacement and may stay at the hostel there if they have room.
Today was rough. Rainy and cold.

March 4th
At Neel’s Gap. Great Hostel. I bought a 3L bladder. Oh thank goodness! Big Tex was getting a new tent. With all this hiking I have lost my appetite but eating tho it makes me feel ill.

March 5th
Met a trail troll today. He is lashing out at female hikers and he made a scene about Jake. Jake was tied up and quite. Make Time to Complain. That’s what I call him.

March 7th
Arrived at Low Gap Shelter just before dark. I chose a spot next to a creek. I slept well and just before leaving I went to the shelter to sign in. It’s going to be beautiful day!

March 8th
Tough hike OMG! I was walking forever on a slippery rock face. This by far has been the most frightening. I am tired, the sun is setting and I need to be very aware where each foot is placed. I had all kind of scary mental pictures flash before me, like stepping wrong and falling and if I fall I would hope to not survive because if I did the fall would leave me in a lot of pain and I would end up as critter food before rescue. Imagine Niagara Falls all dried up. That’s what I am hiking on ok maybe that is a bit overboard. As I hike further up this steep mountain I am hoping to find some sort of flat spot to camp, but nothing but cliffs. It’s getting dark and now I am almost in a full panic, rock turns into dirt, dirt turns to rock then finally some flat areas but they are filled with campers in for the weekend. I finally make it to the shelter, set up the tent and break a tent pole in the process! I am going to just pass out now.

March 9th
Got up early to catch a shuttle at Dick’s Creek to a the Budget Inn. I feel a cold coming on and some tenderness in my left knee. That means it is time to rest. The Inn here is not bad, it is located next to a Subway and Dairy Queen.

March 10th
I arranged a shuttle to pick me up and take me to a Hostel. Once checked in I collapsed. Slept for most of the day into the evening. My cough has gotten worse.

March 11
I am resting up. Feeling much better today. I will be eating dinner with other hikers instead of sleeping through it like last night. I am waiting on a mail drop to arrive tomorrow. Actually it’s been split into three boxes. I am not sure what all is in there but I can supply hikers food if it’s too much. Jake and I will have five days of food with this mail drop. That should get us into Franklin, NC.

March 12th
Light rain and fog this morning. The weather is going to be freezing with 40 mph wind gusts on the mountain tonight so I will be here one more full day. Cupcake (trail name) has been here as long as I have letting his knee rest.

March 13th
I am still held up at the Hostel trying to get better before living in the wild and cold again. I had hoped to catch a shuttle into town to get some meds but didn’t make it. Sloth, another hiker gave me a 12 hour Sudafed.

March 14th.
Made it to town to pick up more meds.

March 15th
Staying a bit longer here at the hostel. Darn this head cold/laryngitis thing going on. I am able to do a work for stay for this evening, thank goodness. A gentleman came in a little while ago with walking pneumonia on his way to the E.R. In perspective I am lucky so far. The nights on the mountain have been some rough ones. Hikers frost bitten, some gathered in shelters packed in like sardines trying to find warmth only to get up throughout the night doing some activities to keep from freezing. A few have come off the mountain with frozen sleeping bags. I have seen tears and loss of hope along with plenty of encouragement and support by hostel owners, trail angels and fellow hikers.

Jake is loving all the attention, everyone loves him. After dinner Jake entertained the crowd. He loves wearing his boots and showing off so I put them on and away he went. It was fun hearing everyone laughing and cheering as Jake pranced about.

March 16th
Rain and cold today throughout tonight. The Hostel has jammed packed hikers in. There are two bathrooms for 28 people at 2 p.m. The bunks are full and they put mattress out on the living room floor. Whatever, I just want to rest. I have met a Mother and daughter team (Flash and Noodles) I will be hiking with tomorrow.

Oh, I am sharing a bunk room with five young men, if I felt better I would say something clever right here but since I am not 100% I will just let it be.

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Jake with Flash.

March 17th
Hiked to Plumgrove Shelter. My lungs were not happy. It was a very cold and wet night. This night the shelter was occupied by some undesirables. An uncontrollable dog who kept trying to get into tents. Others in the shelter had seen the dog given beer to drink and never saw it fed. Later the dog owner and his buddies started experimenting with acid, bath salts and booze and into the night they were making offending comments toward a young female hiker hiking alone. There were three of us Mom’s there and all agreed we needed to be far away from these guys. The girl was advised to stay close to us and other responsible hikers. On March 18th they intend to reach the Muskrat shelter and I plan on avoiding staying at shelters they plan to stay at either staying behind them or skipping ahead.

March 18th
A cold hiking day but at least I have broken up a lot of congestion.

March 19th
Made it to J. B. E. Tower tonight. Temperature dropped really fast. I got a couple pictures but it was to cold to really appreciate it. I had hiked a tough hike and again just wanted to set up the tent and sleep.

March 20th
At Aquone Hiker Lodge. Half day of hiking cold, but sunny. I can tell I am hiking faster and its easier to breathe. Taking a day off tomorrow to get a few gear repairs.
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March 21st
Went into Franklin. I traded my alcohol stove out for the Pocket Rocket mini. I was able to find a set of tent stakes..some even better ones. Arranged to have new tent pole sent to Uncle Johnny’s Hostel. Ate lunch with three other ladies and then dinner with a bunch of hikers we have met along the way. Tomorrow we will be hiking to N.O.C. which it down hill and steep. It can be dangerous so wish me luck!

March 22nd
At N.O.C eating a burger with friends

March 23rd
At Douglas Dam. We plan on waiting out a storm heading into Tennessee.
We set up our tents for the next couple of nights then split a room on Wednesday.
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We went into town to wash clothes and get some pizza. While in town we went to Goodwill and I bought Jake a fleece robe.
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He looks so comfy!

March 24th
Flash left at 5am to take a couple of hikers who have decide to quit the trail to the airport in Knoxville. Noodle and I are hanging out in our tents. The host of this camp ground we are staying at told us that snow and freezing rain is on the way. JOY! I am tired of the cold weather.

Before I left home I gave my sister a chunk of hair to do analysis on pertaining to my health. She called me with the results and I have an abundance of aluminum and calcium. She says the trail will be the best medicine to straighten out my minerals. That’s another incentive to stay on the trail.

By morning, it will be the coldest night in my tent thus far in my trip. I am a bit afraid mostly because I will have to get up and go pee….”insert expletives here”!

Before bed we made a fire and enjoyed some smores. (Not that I ate any…ewww)
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March 25th
The tent and sleeping bag were warm last night so gear is handling cold weather very well. The coldest of the weather is coming in today and we are getting a room this evening to wait it out. Smokies are too dangerous to mess with when at or below freezing so I may skip them and back track late next month with Flash and Noodle. We can see snow on the Smokies and they have announced road closures. I hope my friends Big Tex and his son are ok as well as the other hikers who are in the Smokies tonight.

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Picked up Big Tex and Rugby for resupply in Gatlinburg. They came out of the Smokies almost out of food, broken water bladder, filter and a deceased air mattress. It took awhile for them to get a hitch into town…I am so glad I am not up there. I think it’s different mind set being female and hiking alone I know I would have just have given up. Flash will take them back up in the morning once the roads open. Flash is an awesome trail angel.

We are also dropping off Plan B who decided to skip the A.T. from Franklin N.C. to Standing Bear Hostel.

March 27th
We went to Sam’s Club to purchase resupply items then sorted them while doing laundry at a laundry mat. We then took off to Black Bear Resort to stay the night and drop off a resupply.

March 28th
We drove within three states today to drop off our resupply goods. Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. While in Erwin TN. We checked out the camp ground there and OMG! we thought we had stepped into the movie deliverance, the only thing missing was the music in the background. We pretty much left in a hurry because we were creeped out by the people and dogs running loose everywhere.

We decided to drive to Hot Springs and stay at Laughing Heart Hostel. A nice Hostel right on the Appalachian Trail.

Keeping it Real
After a month of being on this Appalachian adventure I have come to the conclusion that I smell and my clothes are dirty all the time. My hair is a stringy ass mess. The underneath of my nails are always dirty and my hands get callous and peel creating sore spots. I don’t always have access to a razor but when I do it is heaven. My allergies can b e bothersome and OH! The graceful ballet of relieving myself in the woods is a whole other story. OMG! and if you have the runs you’re screwed. You are wearing the only pants you have!
On a more positive note the hiking has helped with my Restless Leg and I don’t crave coffee for the time being. I sleep better on the ground and I can walk upstairs and uphill without stopping and doubling over to breath. I am getting leaner and stronger and just feel healthier.

Mental Struggles
The weather. The thought of being stranded with hypothermia is scary. Having your water and clothing freeze up solid is just about a deal breaker. Your phone and batteries are worthless and you have to walk eight more miles in knee-deep snow before you can get a hitch to town.

March 31st
I hiked six miles yesterday. Very steep down hills which pained my knees big time.
I did nine miles today and it was tiring uphills, but an absolutely beautiful day. My boots need to be replaced with trail runners but can’t get them shipped from home fast enough so need to go to an outfitter tomorrow. Today my feet swelled more than usual and my right foot was very uncomfortable. No blisters but can tell my boots will no longer serve me well. Goodbye boots you have kept my feet warm, dry and protected from rocks and those pesky roots. I got to see a lot of familiar faces on the trail from my hiking bubble. Being able to stop and chat for a few minutes is priceless.

April 1st
I got lost today. There were roots and rocks on the trail and I just wasn’t paying attention to the blazes that show the way.
I kept hearing what sounded like a tree falling somewhere near me. I hiked a bit before realizing I was on the wrong trail, so I back tracked. I saw what I thought was bear tracks which put me on high alert. Finally I saw a white blaze on a tree indicating that I was back on the trail. Jake was acting funny then took off. I dropped my poles and pack and took off into the dense woods. I searched and called for Jake for what seemed like hours. I went back to where I thought I had dropped my pack but there was no pack.
I am sorry I just can’t write anymore… I am soooo tired.
Seriously us girls went shopping today and I got new shoes.
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April 2nd
Getting ready to leave the Hostel and do a really hard hike southbound on Big Butt Mountain. Before leaving the Hostel we signed a coloring book page of a princess. Since we have dubbed ourselves and our hike “The Princess Tour”. It’s funny how we are known as that by other hikers as well.
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Getting The Knee Ready
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April 3rd
Butt Mountain kicked my big butt. It was nine miles up hill and I failed to summit. I was three miles out and collapsed. I had just enough water for Jake and I for the evening, not nearly as much as we needed but it was something. We hadn’t come across water in about five miles and the nearest water source was three miles out straight up rocks. I pushed as hard as I could and decided to set up camp as soon as I could find a spot. Flash and Noodle had gotten ahead of us while I was putting boots on Jake and taking frequent breaks due to the heat. I had spoken with a few hikers going in the opposite direction warning me of the steep climb and rock scramble where I would have to maneuver Jake around. It was the last two hikers that made me realize I needed call it a day. I sent a text to Flash that I was going to shelter in place and that we were ok. She then responded that she was about a mile out and would turn back because she was in pain and out of water. We set up camp, built a fire talked and went to bed. It started raining about 3am and by 9am we packed our wet belongings down the mountain. Jake was able to drink rain water and I had just a few sips left to make to a water source. When I finally got down the big ass mountain I was greeted with a hand written note, this lifted my spirits beyond words!

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Later at Sam’s Gap we dried out all our gear and shared our snacks and water with other hikers there.

April 10th
A few days ago we set camp at Watauga lake and dam. We have made it a centralized hub for our slack packing between Erwin and Damascus. Today we hiked Laurel Falls and got some great pictures. It was a rock scramble for large portion of it but was totally worth it. I plan on getting back on the trail to continue my solo NOBO in a few days. It has been totally awesome being part of “Princess Tour” their completion of the Appalachian Trail ends in less than a hundred miles in Marion, VA. We are currently doing trail magic and slack packing until then.

April 11th
We have Three hikers that we are providing trail magic for as we take a zero day. I need a few things from the outfitter and one of the hikers needs new trail runners.

I got a proper fitting backpack, an 50L Osprey. I have had issues with my Catalyst for some time now. I also got a second pair of Darn Tough socks all with a Thru Hikers discount. Yay! Now it time to do laundry.

April 12th
Damascus VA
DAM VA

April 13th
Great news! My hiking pants that were way to tight before i left are now falling off me. I had my neighbors send them and tried them on this morning. Now I have to get a belt!

April 14th
We packed up our campsite this morning as really bad weather is head our way this afternoon. We are going to stay overnight in a hotel
to ride it out. My friends are dropping me off tomorrow to head north solo. I must admit I am nervous because the freezing weather starts as soon as I hit the trail.

We did our last bit of trail magic last night shuttling hikers to and from the hikers feast in Damascus. Damascus ugg! That town and what happened to me there nearly ended my desire to continue my hike.

April 15th
The princess tour ended today.I was to be dropped off at the trail at Shady Valley, TN. but Flash drove me on into Damascus because of the hard freeze warning with sleet and snow. I really wanted to walk into Damascus but appreciated
the chance to be a princess one more time and stay inside for the night.

April 16th
I am still trying to decide if I should hike out or stay another night. The sun is out but another hard freeze warning has been issued.

April 24th
A few days ago I left Damascus. I decided to hike the. Creeper Trail along the A.T. it was a beautiful hike and I am glad I chose that route. That evening I found a beautiful spot to camp. That was also the evening I was careless and Jake popped my sleeping pad. Since every night has been rough sleeping, everyday I have pushed myself a bit more than the day before. This helps fall asleep even when I feel every root and rock under me.

I enjoyed the Grayson Highlands and the wild ponies. I made camp just outside the State Park. I enjoyed watching the ponies that evening and again in the morning. Jake and I had to run a couple off as they were grazing a bit to close to the tent. I met Elizabeth, a woman who photographs the ponies on a regular basis. She also was a thru hiker about ten years ago and left me with a few Easter cookies. Since the Highlands it’s been a lot of rocks, rocks uphill, rocks downhill.
I got to see old and new friends at the shelters I stopped at. All the young hikers fly by me making up to 20 miles per day. Meanwhile my knees are swollen as I do 8-12 and on my second day out of Damascus all I thought about was quitting. I hung in there and made it to Marion. Thanks to the kind, encouraging words of friends and family . Thank you for believing in me and as I crossed the 500 mile marker I felt hope again and celebrated with an iced coffee and instant oatmeal.

I am resting up in Marion as I get ready to hike onto Adkins, VA.

*Since I am using my cell to update this page some newer blogs end up on the same page as my gear page. So check it out again.

May 1st
Adkins was a scary place and I didn’t eat at The Barn.The burger gets raves but I got there during a buffet and it was horrible looking so I didn’t eat and they charged $2.15 for water for Jake.

yesterday I hiked Chestnut Mt to a really nice stone shelter with a door. I hiked in great weather but 1/2 hour after getting indoors the storm caught up. I met up with hikers I met at the beginning of my hike and that made my week.

Jake and I are well feeling good. Hiking is still hard but fun. Bland is my next stop with my new sleeping pad waiting for me. I am thinking of switching out to a hammock set up with an over-sized tarp that Jake can sleep under. He is taking up so much room in the tent and ripping seams. The rocks, roots and uneven ground is making sleep rough.

May 2nd
At Truebrit’s Fort Bastian.
A neat camp ground with a teepee shelter with fire pit where everyone gathers. Ordered pizza and a salad and ate and laughed around the fire. One hiker played a guitar softly in the background. It was magical.

I just ordered a Hammock and 11×12 tarp. I will pick it up in Pearisburg, VA next week. The better I sleep the better I hike. Jake doesn’t like the tent in warm weather so I hope this will be easier on us both.

Keeping It Real 2 Months
I love being on the trail and the people who I have met are spectacular. I count my blessings everyday. I am healthier and feel ten years younger. I have more confidence and endurance. I have gained more faith in humanity as I encounter so much kindness and selflessness around me. I have learned the value of friendships and how seeing a familiar face and kind smile can turn a bad week into the best week I have had while on the trail.(money Maker, Movin’ On and Divinci)

I still wish I could hike faster but I am grateful for being able to hike still without an injury or complications. When I have a bad day I remind myself that I am not only doing this for myself but for those I love and love and support me. I hike for my friends who wish to see me hike on. I also am reminded everyday of those who can’t hike the A.T. because of injuries, financial or station in life which helps me hike forward.
like someone I love very much says “I got this”!

May 4th Mile 599,5
At Jenny Knob Shelter. Water has been an issue and of course it’s been hot during the day and the bugs are biting. I am meeting new hikers everyday. It’s awesome!
I am looking forward to going to Trent Grocery and getting a cheese burger. WOOT!
So…I get to Trent, a gas station. Walk in an order my well deserved cheese burger and the response I get is that they are out of burger meat. Grrrr!
I ordered chicken tenders and paid to camp behind the station. The tenders were good and for $6.00 I got a site with electricity, all my laundry done and a shower.

May 9th
These last few days were pretty slow going. The heat is brutal with little shade. Last night I stayed at Woods Hole Hostel and enjoyed relaxing on the front porch with friends. Today I picked up my hammock, resupply and sent home winter stuff in exchange for my summer gear.

I now have to learn to set it up. I am on the trail now looking for a great spot. Wish me luck.

Ok I was reading the instructions on setting up the hammock and boom! It started raining. I set it up best I could and we are at least dry for the time being.

May 10th
I wake to the sound of someone calling my name. It’s Andrew who will be hiking with me for the two days. OMG! He must be laughing at my hammock hang. As a fall out of the hammock I meet his two pups and then he helps me pack up so we can start our hike.

May 15th
Today I am at Four Pines Hostel. I called in and asked for a pick up. Jake and I skipped about 43 miles including Dragons Tooth which would be very tough on Jake and I. My upper body strength is not good enough to pull us up and over those cliffs.

May 18th
I have had the honor of house sitting here at the hostel. I am looking after baby ducks, chickens and hiker’s laundry. I got to sleep in a real bed and soak in a bath. I will be heading out tomorrow morning with my new hammock and renewed enthusiasm. The next 19 miles are some of the best VA. has to offer including McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs.

May 20th
it was an easy walk or hike to McAfee knob I had a few pictures taken and left Jake tied to a tree because we don’t need any dogie dives off the cliffs. I stayed the night at Campbell shelter and today I am on my way to tinker cliffs. It can be a little dangerous but I think I only have about a half mile of actually walking the cliff.

May 27
Heading into Waynesboro, VA.
I am so tired of the steep climbing and rock scrambles. The flies are so loud and the mosquitoes are a nightmare.
How does one stay sane? The water is still an issue. I might just toss my food and just carry water…yep that’s how I feel.

May 29th
Arrived in Waynesboro just in time as a week of storms is on it’s way.
I ate Chinese again today. I had lunch as soon as I arrived in Waynesboro yesterday. $9.99 all you can eat. Fresh tasty, best Chinese I have ever had.
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I found a Barber shop behind Kroger and had my hair trimmed. It’s amazing how strangers are so supportive of Hikers.

June 4th
I am im in Luray, VA. Picked up resupply boxes from my long time friend Florence. I washed my clothes and had a cheese burger at Hardee’s. DR.D. picked me up at Thorntons Gap, showed me around town and dropped me off at the Best Western.

I am not going to do the last 20 or so miles of the Shenandoahs. I am not a fan of the rules for both camping and for Jake. I appreciate the beauty of the park but l rather not deal with the stress of Jake leashed to me on cliffs. He is trained to follow and has been the perfect hiking dog for over 900 miles. The leash confuses him as he tries to walk beside me rather than behind. We keep stumbling over each other.LOL.

I will be dropped off on Friday at the V.F.W. in Front Royal, VA for the Warrior Hiker Welcome.

THREE MONTHS
Money is running low and I must admit so are my spirits when I think of not being able to complete my attempt because of finances. I hope to get as far as I can but Maine seems more of a hope than a goal now.
My knees hurt in certain instances like downhills and squats. I must say that using a hammock saves my knees some stress. The biting bugs are a constant pain and the thought of running out of repellent, water and toilet paper play havoc on my mental state. Silly in the scheme of things, I know.

Everyday I encounter beauty and kindness and I challenge myself everyday to push a bit harder to faster it is getting easier. Losing weight makes me lighter on my feet and easier on my knees. My eye to foot placement coordination is getting better everyday.
I take particular care on how Jake is holding up.

Jake
He hasn’t lost much weight and he is healthy. At the end of the day he still has energy but will take the opportunity to sleep. He has an attachment to my raincoat.hehe. I have used the raincoat from the very beginning as an extra layer of warmth. Even now when sleeping on the ground or on a hotel bed, he will lay on it wherever I place it.
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He is such a wonderful dog and hiking buddy. We worked on his hiking “etiquette” long before we started. We take care at the shelters and on the trail everyone loves him.

June 11th
Mile 999.1 on the Appalachian Trail.
I am here at the Bears Den Hostel. Wow what an awesome place to stay. I am currently outrunning these crazy storms.

June 12th
PVC (a section hiker) rented a car and invited Wildlife (a thru hiker I met at Four Pines Hostel) and I for a day of site seeing. We went to the Caverns and then drove the entire Shenandoahs. We wanted to experience the park from a different perspective, since we did not enjoy hiking the park. We were lucky enough to encounter a Mamma and her three cubs from the safety of a vehicle, it was awesome!

June 13th
Made to Harper’s Ferry. Got my picture taken as an official thru hiker. It started to rain as left out of that ATC. As carefully as I possibly could I was navigating the wet rocks, placing each foot thoughtfully and slowly but, bam! I fell my left rib cage slammed into the rocks. Wildlife was with me, helped me up and hiked with me to the next shelter. I took a zero day at the shelter on the 14th. I then hiked 5 miles on the 15th and 4 miles on the 16th.
June 17th I pushed myself 7 miles with sore ribs and 90 degree weather. My goal was to get to a place where I could be picked for rest and resupply.
I called The Free State Hiker Hostel and since they do not allow dogs I asked for a number to a shuttle driver in the area. They gave me the number for Mr. Reed who arranged to pick me up on the 18th. I was almost out of food for both Jake and I since I was going so slowly. Mr. Reed offered his shop/garage for rest, which I accepted.

June 18th
The shop here is really cool, big screen TVs, computer, beer keg, refrigerator and a band’s practice room. I have been couch bound for the most part and even though it is very hot I am getting rest and Jake is well fed.

June 22nd
I have been resting up and enjoying the company of my host, his family and neighbors. It has been an experience. They invited me to a BBQ Friday night which reminded me of home, with the laughter a great food. Yesterday I rested most of the day.
Today I spoke with Wildlife, we will meet up first thing in the morning to continue our hike, but starting out of Port Jarvis, N.Y.

July 15th
Wildlife, Momo and I rented a car to do som sightseeing while in New England. Wildlife and Momo are going to Six Flags here in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Thanks
My daughters Kristina and Stephanie who encourage me everyday and their wonderful boxes of goodies along the way. My sister who continues to look after my health and my brother who manages our Mother’s care and watching over my things since I am homeless now. My neighbors who manage my resupply. My awesome friend Florence who just sent me resupply boxes. Oh and I could never forget Irish who must have spent half a paycheck on resupply and gifts. Thank you for all your support, I love you!!!

Andrew who hiked with me for a weekend bringing Jake a new bowl and auto shade for a sleeping pad.

Hiking with Andrew

Hiking with Andrew

Andrew kept my hiking pace and helped with my new hammock. He also is a generous trail angel, he left sodas, ice cream, a solar shower,candy and a sandwiches. Thank you Dr. D., John Reed and Homer for your shuttle service and generous trail magic.

July 10th
I am writing this from Cornwall, CT. I am sharing a room with Wildlife and Momo. We ordered tons of food from Mizzo’s…so good! My trail miles have been pretty low since my second fall and Wildlife and I are hiking together again, at least for now.

When I got to New York I was looking forward to meeting up with my daughter. It never came to pass. Her work hours, the long drive and the lack of a nice place to stay worked against us.

Thank you Four Pines for their generosity and trust. Chuck Norris and Tigger for making The Princess Tour feel like family. Thank you Flash for my being my friend and continued support on my journey. Thank you BigTex for being my hiking coach long before we started and keeping me on track while on the Appalachian Trail.

July 16th.
After hiking thru towns that had very limited places to resupply, Wildlife, Momo and I decided to rent a car for a week and do some sightseeing around New England. We started out adventure on Saturday in Mystic Seaport. Beautiful port and beautiful town. We then went to Cape Cod, Province and today we are in New Castle, NH. We are heading north until Friday.

July 21st
In Eastport Maine started to plan for our hiking in Maine and how to spend our last few days on our little vacation from the trail.
We have been sightseeing and camping at State Parks. I bought a two person tent from Walmart for 30.00, the bugs are way to bad to leave Jake unprotected. The tent is roomy and nice, kinda wish is was made out of the same material my copper spur is made out of instead of this crappy material.

July 22nd
We went back to Arcadia yesterday and plan to stay till Thursday.

July 25th
It has been a great vacation away from the trail. Wildlife and I will be hiking out of Stratton, ME. Yes we have skipped ahead but our time is limited. Our injuries could easily be the reason to quit but we are going to hike to Katahdin. Wildlife is still having foot pain and my knee is wacked. Jake’s allergies are acting up…we are a mess lol! Tonight we are at the Mountain View, a nice place.
I picked up my winter gear today and sent home my hammock.

June 26th
I am not officially a thru hiker. I have skipped a lot of the trail some because of Jake, the rest due to convenience and injuries. Regardless, I have been away from home since February 27th. I have no regrets and someday I will hike the trail I missed.

June 28th
Today I was Damsel in distress day. Lent helped me get over my fear of heights when climbing Avory Peak and a few hours later Left Turn and Figgy helped me get to camp. The downhills were so dangerous I was on the verg of having a breakdown when they came along. There I was trying to transverse wet roots and rocks going straight down for hours. Sliding on my back side most of the way. I had been in tears for at least two hours by the time they came upon me. Left Turn took my pack to camp and Figgy walked me the rest of the way. It took me all day to go five miles. Maine you’re beautiful but deadly! A big thanks to my Superheroes!

August 4th
In Monson Maine.
Staying at Shaw’s for two nights. Picked up all my boxes for my Summit and resupply. I made arrangement to have Jake picked up just before I enter Baxter State Park. Flash is helping me with rental care research.

August 5th
I am heading into the Wilderness this afternoon and hope to summit on the 12th. Thank you Irish for my summit costume, resupply goods and Jake’s dog food. I love you very much!

August 10th
Made it out of the wilderness and got a campsite at Abol Campground. We were greeted my trail angels who bought us soda and chips and gave us shower essentials. We visited and shared stories for about an hour. I called Connie to arrange a pick up for Jake later that day. We went to dinner at the cafe there and had a great time with Chef, Peppa, Alpine Pirate, Flossy and Grey Squirrel. We ordered tons of food!

August 11th
We walked the 10 miles to get to Katahdin Campgrounds before noon and then stayed with friends in Millinocket.

August 12th
I did it! I made it to the summit of Katahdin around 2:30pm. It had been such a tough climb to get to the sign. It was the hard climb I have ever done, and at one point I wanted to give up but somehow found the strength to keep going. It was a spectacular day,a beautiful sunny day!

Read further Looking Back From Maine.

32 responses to “Follow Me On The Trail

  1. Hey there! I see your having a tough time or were anyway. I thought I would share a bit of wisdom from my March calender on Persistence. ” The race goes not always to the swift but to those who keep running. ” Don’t think about who is fast and who is slow, just keep going and you will have your goal. Happy trails
    -Double A

  2. Been wondering about you. Today is 1st chance to check this. Let me know how you are doing, you crazy woman!!

  3. Don’t give up. Solitude can be hard and feeling slower than others can really hurt but you are already doing more than many have attempted. Just keep at it!

  4. You’ve started – that’s the biggest step. At the low moments, remember your friends and family. The highs will outnumber the lows (even trail trolls). Your followers look forward to hearing from you.

  5. JoAnn never came back. All new ladies. Hope you are taking Vitamin C & D, etc. to help you get well and back on the trail.

  6. Not sure if you have made the final decision or not but I hear it is extra hard to actually go back and finish miles once you skip them. if you have yak trax or micro spikes hiking in the snow isn’t nearly as bad as long as you have dry stuff to sleep in at night.

  7. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. You are unbeliveably brave. You’ll have alot of stories to tell. Stay safe and cautious, my friend.

  8. Wonderful! I am writing about a woman who hikes with her dog. Would you be able to contact me to tell about your experiences? No hurries. Just whenever it works best for you?

  9. Hi!
    My name is Claire, and I’m hiking about 70 miles of the appalachian trail this spring break- the first week of april- with a few of my friends. I just don’t know which section to do! I’ve already done the greyson highlands section and I was thinking the area near Erwin sounds pretty nice. Since you’ve hiked the whole thing and obviously have waaay more experience than me about the AT, I was wondering if you could help me out with some ideas on where to go. And also, how cold does it get in April in Tennesee?
    Thanks!
    Claire

    • Hi Claire Tennessee is still pretty cold especially at night hiking during the day is no problem I wore layers took it off put it on as needed at night you want to stay as warm as possible so I did experience some temperatures hovering around 20 degrees . I was not a big fan of Tennessee especially with the weather being colder it was just very gray and brown and bleak so just was not a fan of Tennessee I really started enjoying the spring in Virginia I’d have to say Virginia out of Damascus heading towards mount Rogers Grayson Highlands and even after the Grayson Highlands that whole area I would do again probably over and over then it’s further north Vermont and and and there on I really enjoyed but you probably are not wanting to go that far north.

    • Hi, I really liked the hike coming of of Damascus. I also liked hiking the A.T. near Tinker Cliffs. Tennessee was a section that I didn’t like. Last year the temps were still very cold at night, even in April.

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