Our First 30+ Day

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Forge at an overlook

Decided to make up a bit of ground we had lost with all this heat and try for a thirty mile day. We camped about 5 miles outside of Boiling Springs and hiked through town to pick up our mail drop so we would have food for dinner in case we didn’t make it all the way to Duncannon the way we were planning. Continue reading

Bear Commotion

turtle

Two more days of hiking saw us past the end of Shenandoah National Park, and to a campsite where, as I sat cooking dinner, an older bear cub came running over the ridge headed straight for us taking one look at us and realizing maybe he should run straight through our campsite he quickly changed course and sprinted over the ridge in a different direction. Needless to say we were extra careful in making sure we got all of our food and trash into our bear bags. The rest of the night was uneventful, and we were glad to have had an adorable bear experience and not the unsavory issue of being left without food.
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Shenandoah National Park, Bears, Slackpacking, and Good Friends

View in the Shenandoahs

We saw our first bear! We were hiking quickly to get to our campground for the evening because a thundercloud was rolling in, when we startled a bear cub that was sitting next to the trail. It took off too fast for us to get a picture, but with no mama bear in sight we decided it was best to get moving. So we spent the next ten minutes or so walking as fast as we could up an incline while talking loudly. Nothing bothered us, so I suppose our shortness of breath was worth it. Continue reading

Dragons Teeth, Four Pines Hostel, and The Home Place

Climbing down from Dragons Tooth

Got an early start and did our best to do a 17 mile hike very quickly. If we didn’t make it to the Four Pines Hostel in Catawba by 3:30pm it was pretty unlikely we would be able to get a ride to the Post Office before it closed. Then we would be stuck with a convenience store resupply or have to wait until after the weekend for the Post Office to be open again. As things turned out we actually made pretty good time, until we got to Dragons Tooth. We had decided to take the short side trail to see the “teeth” as this rock formation is called. It is two large rocks that protrude vertically from the ridge, and do look quite like a couple of large teeth. Continue reading

A Lesson About Buffets

heart rock

We headed into Pearisburg for a resupply and planned to take a half day rest before heading out the next day. As we walked towards the town, Christy was limping a little because her foot had started acting up earlier that afternoon. We knew that town was close (about a mile), so we didn’t even have our thumbs out to hitch a ride in (the road was pretty low traffic anyhow), but as we were walking down the hill, a red pickup drove by, then backed up and offered us a ride into town. They were nice enough to drive us to the hotel and saved Christy a lot of limping! Continue reading

The Barn

near atkins va

Since towns are not often directly on the trail (though a few are, like Hot Springs and Damascus), hitchhiking is a common way to get into and out of town. Today we had one of our luckiest hitches – we needed to get to the post office in Atkins, but we were a little confused at the layout of the trail in comparison to the landmarks we were expecting, so we weren’t sure which direction to head on the road to get to the Post Office.
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Our First Mail Drop!

Hiking on the AT

Today we went into town to pick up our first package of food of many. We are mainly resupplying our food via packages mailed to Post Offices near the trail. I mailed the first few before we left, and we are realizing that I majorly over packed on food. Between Jonathan being sick and our metabolisms taking time to ramp up into high gear we just haven’t gone through anywhere near as many snacks as we expected. There are worse problems than too much food, but it sure is heavy! Continue reading