Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And I Would Walk 500 Miles

......and I would walk 500 more!   It has been awhile since we've given an actual update, and lots has happened:
• We are both happy, healthy, and still determined to finish this hike!
• We received several rides from Miss Janet, a local legend in the trail community.   She is a trail angel who tirelessly drives hikers around during the season out of the goodness of her heart.

With Miss Janet and the "Bounce Box"

• On May 23rd, we FINALLY made it to Virginia


The Tennessee/Virginia state line

• On May 25th, we crossed the 500 mile mark, and a few days later officially completed 1/4 of the trail.  As of now we are 630 miles in.
Reaching the 500 mile mark at the end of a long day...
 
• We took our first "for fun" zero days for the Trail Days festival in Damascus, VA.   Highlights included the hiker parade/water fight, free showers, and a lot of relaxation time with fellow hikers.
Water ballon assault on hikers heading to the parade

• We happened to hike behind a trail maintenance crew that was re-routing a section of the AT.   Along with our friends Spaniard and Mountain Goat, we were the first people to ever hike that section of trail.

The new section of trail we got to hike....with a volunteer heading down the mountain in the background!

• Since Trail days, we have received tons of trail magic....probably half of the road crossings we've hiked over have had coolers filled with cold drinks and snacks - makes our day every time!
 
Trail Magic coming into Damascus.

• We saw a bobcat on the trail one morning!  We must have surprised him by our quiet, graceful hiking....
• We are trying to crank up the mileage and make up some time, putting in between 15 and 20 miles a day.   It is tiring but good so far!
• We passed through Grayson Highlands State Park and saw dozens of wild ponies

Wild Ponies in Grayson Highlands State Park

• Spaniard and Mountain Goat have inspired us to get creative to eat healthy on the trail.  We've learned that Taco Bell makes pre-cooked black beans in a bag, two people can eat a bag of spinach in one day if they try hard, and broccoli florets last two days tucked deep in a backpack.

So far, we have avoided getting "the Virginia blues" (Virginia is over 500 miles long!!!!) and have enjoyed the slightly easier terrain and change of scenery.   We walk through a cow pasture almost everyday which keeps us focused on avoiding giant cowpies.   And we are excited for our friends Sarika and Anne to visit us in Shenandoah Natl Park in a few weeks.

For now, we'd better get cracking on that "500 more"......
Bearcub


2 comments:

  1. Awesome!! Just awesome!! I am so happy for you guys. Keep up the good work. You both look great! Glad you are happy and healthy. Much love!!

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  2. Awesome post so far! I feel like I'm there and still super jelious of your experience. I love the description of the loss of your precious Gatorade bottle "Gatorade noooooooooooo!!!"

    The waterfall pic is georgous and I'm sure scene's like that make the trip and the struggles worth it. The Trail Days celebration sounds amazing as well.

    Keep on, keepin' on Bearcub and Guy Line!!

    -Brandon

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