Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing you a Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Santa!!
    I hope everyone has a happy and safe Holiday Season!! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and read or watched what has been going on in my neck of the woods. Hopefully I have helped motivate some to get outside and live life a little as others have done for me.

Happy Trails!!!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter Solstice Challenge 2012...

Trip Dates: December 14-16, 2012
Trip Location: Kings Mountain State Park, SC
Trails: Blue Blaze Hiking Trail (makes a loop around Kings Mtn) & Ridgeline Trail

     This year I took it upon myself to resurrect a trip that one of my hiking friends always organized in the past.  Unfortunately for us (but don't feel sorry for her, she is living in Montana now :) ) she has moved on to new adventures leaving it up to someone else to take the reigns. For my first attempt we had a pretty good turnout. Thanks to Becky, Gina, Kenny and Chris for coming out!!
     The Winter Solstice Challenge is just a good excuse to get out in winter and enjoy the outdoors.  The underlying idea is to hike from Crowder's Mountain State Park in North Carolina to Kings Mountain State Park in SC and back in one day.  The total mileage amounts to approx 24 miles round trip.  Although I have perfect intentions of making it every time I go out the truth is that I usually have too much fun the night before and wind up waking up too late with a wee bit of a headache to think about pounding out that type of mileage.  This year was no different.
     The trip took a slight deviation from the original plans due to campground closings at Crowder's Mountain for maintenance. Instead we booked our campsites at the Rustic Campsite Area at Kings Mountain and to be honest it actually worked out better.  At Crowder's Mtn you have to hike in about 3/4 of a mile to the campsites we usually stay at where at Kings Mtn there is a nice campground with parking near the sites.  They even have hook up accessible sites that you can park your car at.  This allowed for more comfort items to be brought as well as grills for eating massive quantities of unhealthy food.
     Once again another great weekend of fun, friends and hiking!!!

Happy Trails!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shenandoah River Canoe Trip

Trip Info:
Dates - October 27-28, 2012
Location - Shenandoah National Park (Shenandoah River)
Outfitter used -
Mileage - Day 1=10 miles, Day 2=11 miles

     This past weekend I headed North to the Shenandoah National Park for a canoe trip with a good friend of mine.  As always the trip was a blast and I had to opportunity to see things that I normally wouldn't being cooped up at home.
     Although the drive was a bit long it was actually very therapeutic. The fall colors were still hanging on to the trees so the scenery was beautiful.  Once out of the city and traveling up route 81 I reached the mountains and rolling hills of Virginia giving me a taste of what we would be spending the next couple days surrounded by.
     During the trip we were treated to quite an array of wildlife.  Although most of what we saw were different species of birds the ones we did see were anything typical.  On the menu were various ducks, water fowl, Blue Herons and a Bald Eagle.  Unfortunately I was unable to get my camera out and fired up until it had climbed into the sky, but as it took flight from the river there was no mistaking the 6 foot wingspan and white tail and head.  I felt honored to get a glimpse of something so majestic and rare in this part of the country.
     I couldn't resist setting the music in the above video to what you will hear if you watch it. :)  I hope you enjoy!!

Happy Trails!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Return to the Appalachian Trail - Hughes Gap to 19E (Roan Mtn, TN)

     This past weekend I took my first trip back on the AT.  There were a number of emotions that ran through my head as I set foot back on a trail that I spent so much time on and had such a great time experiencing. I would be lying if I said that I didn't want to be back out there for the long haul heading to Kahtadin, but my short time spent hiking was a beautiful experience.
     Once again I started one of my favorite sections in the Southeast from Mountain Harbor B&B and Hostel.  The proprietors are wonderful people and offer accommodations, food and shuttles to various places locally.  I actually was fortunate enough to run into a wave of Southbound AT hikers while there and reminisced about the experiences we had while out hiking.
     I was dropped off at Hughes Gap which is at the base of Roan Mountain.  From here you will have a pretty good climb ascending about 2200 feet over 2.5 miles.  It's a pretty good climb, but you will be rewarded with a spectacular view from the old site of the Cloudland Hotel on a clear day.  I typically spend about an hour at this location to relax, eat a meal and enjoy the views.  I find myself wondering what it would have been like to spend a weekend at this location/hotel during its hay day.
     From here I climbed down Roan Mtn to Carvers Gap passing Roan High Knob Shelter.  The shelter is the highest on the AT and notoriously the coldest.  I have stayed here once in the past and noticed that it was infested with spiders.  It is a double decker shelter that once was used as a fire watchtower station (the tower has been removed, but you can still see the foundation blocks).
     Carvers Gap is a good starting point for hiking with ample parking, restrooms and a water source.  You will get a nice view of the balds that you are about to traverse from this location and on a clear day you will get 360 degree views from both Round Bald and Jane Bald.
     After a good day of hiking and fortunate weather I made my way to OverMountain Shelter.  It is an old barn that can house a small army.  I usually set my tent up in the clear just outside the shelter so I can get a good view of the sunrise when I wake up. As usual I was not disappointed.
     Coming out of the shelter you will have a little bit of a climb.  Although a tough way to start the morning the view back at the Shelter is amazing.  It really looks like something out of a magazine.  With the views of the valley in addition the climb will not seem quite as bad.
     Your hard work will not go in vain as you approach Little Hump and Hump Mountains.  Once again both are balds that offer 360 degree views on clear days with a good look at Grandfather Mountain in the distance.
     Once traversing the summit of Hump Mountain it will be all downhill.  I will warn you that the trail gets rocky at times and somewhat slick in icy weather so plan accordingly.
     Although the video I put together shows some of the highlights of this trip it is hard to get a true sense for the scenery and magic of nature this hike provides.  The best advice I can give is to Get Out and Hike this section of Trail for yourself!!! I assure that you will not be disappointed.

Happy Trails!!!!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Thank you and Congratulations Hill Hiker - Class of 2012 Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker

     If for some chance you followed my blog and videos through my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike attempt you may have seen a few shots of the man above.
     I first met this gentleman hiking slowly up one of the many mountains in the Smokey's just past NewFound Gap.  I remember the day I first caught him on the trail, said a friendly hello to one another and then I speed off up the trail.  That evening after setting up my tent at the shelter, doing my chores and finally sitting down to eat Hill Hiker crept into camp and sat down next to me for his dinner.  Little did I know this little chat would be just the beginning of our several hundred mile trek together.
     Recently I received a package from Hill Hiker with several pictures a short letter and a little rubber duck that I remember seeing at one of the hotels we stayed at in Roanoke, VA.
     The Letter reads:

My name is S.H.. An old man named HillHiker rescued me in Roanoke,VA.  He carried me in his backpack with a pig named Arkie and we became good friends.  HillHiker took Arkie and me out of his pack and took pictures of us from time to time.  We finished our trip in Maine atop Mt. Katahdin.  HillHiker said I should come live with you and I will have a good chance of hiking in your pack!  And HillHiker said you could change my name if you want to....HillHiker said you were a good guy, good friend and that I would enjoy living with you."

     This was by far one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received!!!  The man carried me in spirit the rest of the way after we had to split up!!! I wish I could have been on top of that mountain celebrating with him.

     Here are few of the pics he sent along with the duck:

     So CONGRATULATIONS  Hill Hiker!!!! A GREAT hiking partner and an even BETTER FRIEND!!!!

     Until our next adventure......

Monday, October 8, 2012

Been MIA for a while....

     I apologize to the few of you who may have happened upon this little place, where I rant and share tales of my adventures, for being MIA for some time now.  I have unfortunately fallen victim to whatever virus has been going around and have been out of commission for over 3 weeks now. :( I am on my second round of antibiotics so I've got my fingers crossed that this will kill whatever has taken up residence inside me.
     This situation has unfortunately kept me from my workouts of both the gym and Insanity.  I am getting anxious to get back to both as I was feeling pretty good before I became ill.  Yes the weight/fat was coming off, but more importantly the BP had dropped and my energy levels were climbing.  All good indicators that living a healthy lifestyle has great advantages. 
     I have slid a little off the wagon with the diet since being sick.  Comfort foods have been calling my name all too often.  That and the fact that football season is in full swing has put a little bump in the road - chicken wings, beer and football just seem to fit too well together :).  Once I'm back to feeling better I will start the diet back up full go.
     There are a lot of little hikes that I am looking into sometime soon since the weather has cooled off a bit here in the south.  Roan Mtn, TN is one of my favorites and would be a nice short hike to do on a clear weekend (the balds are perfect for 360 views on a clear day).  Another would be a trip to the Greyson Highlands of Virginia. This is another of my favorite southeast hikes.  On my trip through that area while attempting an AT Thru hike it was pretty cloudy/rainy so I missed out (not to worry as I've hiked that section at least a dozen times already).  Another small adventure may take me to the Foothills Trail in SC.  I have already received my guidebook and maps for it so I'm ready when I can find some takers to head out.  Then there is the conclusion of the Benton Mackaye Trail.  Not too much more to complete it so I may head out for a few shorter weekend trips to finish it off. 
     So there you have it!!  The short and skinny version anyway :). I will update my exercise stats as I am able to return to high levels of exertion and I will post videos and trail information as I head out into the woods.  Until then.....Get Out and Hike !!!!

Happy Trails

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More GPS Fun!!

I have been playing with my new GPS in conjunction with Google Earth.  I have found that I can now make elevation profiles of my hikes for those of you that may be interested.  I know that when I am out hiking I like to know what I'm in for and I use elevation profiles along with the altimeter on my watch to help me pace myself over varying terrain.  I will try to be diligent in creating this type of description of my future hikes and publish them on this site for others to utilize in planning their next trip.

Happy Trails!!! Live Life!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GPS of Bryson City Hike

     Just me playing around with the GPS.  This is the Google Earth map of the route we took into the Smokey's to camp.  The town on the bottom of the photo is Bryson City, NC.

Happy Trails...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bryson City, NC - Camping, Tubing & Hiking

    I just returned from a very enjoyable weekend near Bryson City, NC.  I enjoyed a weekend of "tubing" on Deep Creek, camping both in the woods and at the Smokey Mountain Campground and hiking a few miles in the Smokey's.  It felt both strange and welcome at the same time.  Strange in that I am starting to find myself falling back into the 9 to 5 grind and seeing my time spent in the simpleness of the woods dwindling down (becoming distanced from my comfort zone) and Welcome in the sense that it just feels like home.  The sounds of the outdoors soothes me while the noises of civilization stress me out.  These little outdoor adventures are really doing a world of good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

GPS Tracks from Lakeside Trail Julian Price Campground

     Been playing with my new toy...Garmin ETrex30 GPS System. This is just a sample/test of my trip to Julian Price Campground this past weekend. I hope to utilize this while out adventuring with the idea of posting coordinates (tracks and waypoints) for others to utilize and Get Out and Hike!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Julian Price Campground - Relaxing Weekend

     Decided that I needed a little R&R in the woods.  It's been a while since I've been out with nature and seeing that I can't get out and hike significant distances a camping trip was in order.  I have really forgotten how relaxing and enjoyable a peaceful weekend car camping could be.  With my major directives of always trying to complete some hiking accomplishment I had forgotten the simple pleasures that drew me into the woods to begin with.
     I got out pretty early from work on Friday Afternoon and was excited to head out to the mountains for a relaxing weekend without all the distractions that society provides.  I already had my gear lined up in the garage at home so my touch and go would be swift. Pack the van, get the dog and off we go!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week of Ups and Downs

If you have been following my "Exercise" tab from the home page you may have noticed that I have not updated the past few days.  This is in large part to me hurting my back and not being able to hit the gym or the Insanity program.  I have had to take a few days off to rest and recuperate before getting back into it. 

I have truly missed working out the past few days and the resulting depressed feeling has been reflected in my diet.  I have fallen off the wagon and indulged quite a bit over the past couple days.  I will not lie and say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy the pizza, Chinese food and the homemade tacos my wife is currently making.  Tomorrow I will hit it hard!!! I already have my food prepped and ready to go!!!

I will also be back at the gym tomorrow and start back at the Insanity program.  I am going to start last weeks schedule over again with the only exception being Monday's Fit Test.  I am going to just do one of the programs full workouts tomorrow and do Tuesday-Saturday as week 3 all over again.

I have had a few questions sent my way as how this all pertains to my hiking.  The answer is simply this... The better shape I am when I hit the trail the more enjoyable the hiking will be.  As I mentioned before just looking at the weight in the pack doesn't really reflect ALL of the extra weight I take with me. Also, I am doing this to get myself into better health.  As I creep towards middle age I know I have to make sure to take care of this more so than anything else.  I really want to keep at my hiking and adventurous lifestyle for years to come and I will need my optimal health to do so.

I have a couple camping trips coming up over the next few weeks so stay tuned for trip reports!! I also have a couple new toys to try out so I will try to get some products reviews up as well.

Until then...Happy Trails!!!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Insanity Program - Fit Test #2 Results

Two weeks into the program and my progress has gone up in every category except one (which has stayed the same).  More importantly I am feeling better physically and dropping unwanted fat.  It's been a challenge to say the least, but the rewards are definitely outweighing the hardships!!!

Insanity Fit Test

Exercise Start Week 2
Switch Kicks 50 57
Power Jacks 37 45
Power Knees 70 75
Power Jumps 25 33
Globe Jumps 10 10
Suicide Jumps 12 15
Push-up Jacks 20 26
Low Plank Oblique 30 40

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Insanity Program - Week 2 Summary

     Two weeks down as of today!! It has been a rough two weeks, but I can definitely tell a difference already.  Not so much in the way I look, but more in the way I feel. As you can tell from the picture above I have dropped about 5 pounds since my initial weigh in.  More importantly I have dropped around 3% body fat.  That is the most important thing for me right now.  I will start checking my blood pressure this week at work to see how truly healthy I am getting as this is the most important part of my program.
     My diet has been going surprisingly well.  I do have cravings for comfort food on a regular basis and it's not helping that every time I turn on the television there are commercials for Wendy's Baconator and now 2 for $5 Arby Beef and Cheddars :).  My wife and I have been rewarding ourselves once a week with a night out at a restaurant for a "Cheat Meal". I thoroughly look forward to every Saturday night when I can indulge in one fat filled meal :).
     If you have been following my routine under the "Exercise" tab you may have noticed that the morning cardio has slipped by the way side.  After spending an hour in the gym followed by the intense workout of the Insanity program I don't have much energy left to get up early and jump on the elliptical before heading to work.  I would love to be tough and fight through that, but the truth is that after pushing through my afternoon workouts I feel pretty tired in the mornings. 
     As this pertains to hiking.....As I mentioned before most of us spend so much time trying to weed all the extra ounces out of our packs and forget about the extra rolls we carry on our body.  My ultimate goal on this front is to limit the extra amount of weight I carry once I am able to get back out on the trail.  I am not looking so much and the amount I weigh, but the unnecessary fat that I carry on my frame.  I would love to get that 23.5% number down to 10% by the fall.
     Back at tomorrow!!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adding Some Supplements To The Routine

Check out the "Exercise" tab on the home page to check out my workout routine and my diet plan.  I have been getting questions about what I have been doing and I have tried to put up a detailed daily synopsis.  I will continue to try and keep this up to date.

So here is where I become your guinea pig :).  It has been years since I have taken any type of supplement other than a One-A-Day vitamin so this is going to be new to me.  I usually try to eat a well balanced diet, but it is truly hard to get everything in during the day while trying to keep a protein/carbohydrate/fat/calorie diet.

I spent a while at the local GNC store today picking the brain of the very helpful clerk.  What I was looking for was something to assist my diet and workout plan to help me lose body fat.  Now remember I am doing this for health reasons so making sure that I'm not going to be taking a heavy dose of caffeine and strange chemicals is high on the priority list.  She directed me to the two products pictured above.

The Cellucor Super HD is designed as a fat burner.  It is to be taken twice a day - once before breakfast and again before lunch.  I am hoping that this will assist in getting my body fat % down to a healthier level.

The Ultra Mega Green - Men's (I also bought a box of the women's formula for my wife) is intended to provide the additional vitamins and minerals that my diet may be lacking from fruits and vegetables.  The clerk told me that it also was packed full of good digestive enzymes which would make up for a lack of fiber in my diet if there is any.

I will start taking the product suggested doses starting tomorrow and do a follow up in the coming weeks.  If I start to sprout strange objects from my body or lose appendages I will be sure to make note:).


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Insanity Program - Week 1 summary

     A whole week has now passed since my wife and I have started the Insanity Program.  All I can say is "Holy Cow".  This program is truly intense and has both of us feeling the burn.
     I have found that it is making me feel tired, but also invigorated as well.  My body is definitely adjusting to the severe cardio workouts that each session consists of.  Although the feeling is slightly different than the level and quality of shape that I was in while out hiking it does give me a sense of wanting more.
     My cardio in the morning has unfortunately drifted off a little in the first week.  I started the week off well, but by mid week I started having trouble sleeping and would not be able to make it out of bed in the morning to jump on the elliptical.  I hope to pick this portion back up on week two and stay true to the course that I have laid out for myself.
     The diet has been a little easier to adjust to than I thought.  After spending 3 weeks, after my return from the trail, gorging on ice cream, junk food and beer I thought I wouldn't be able to quit cold turkey.  Don't get me wrong there has been a lot of temptation.  My first week back at work has been filled with offers to go out to lunch (which I appreciate), seeing others come back with all that tasty fat filled foods and pot luck style dishes being set out around the lunch table making me want to cheat.  I have fortunately warded off the temptations and have only allowed myself one cheat meal a week.  I hope I can do as well this week as TV commercials such as the Wendy's Baconator seem to be everywhere.
     My gym workouts are going well.  I have lost a lot of strength since not picking up a weight in over 3 months, but I am not looking to set any world records.  I am strictly going to be healthy and at my age the joints don't appreciate trying to load the bars up with as much weight as I can push around.  It is however making it a little more difficult to perform some of the exercises in the Insanity Program.  After pre-fatiguing the muscles at the gym push ups, squats and jumps are a little difficult.  With that said I am pushing through with what I can.
     As for the physical/visual differences go I have noticed a little change already. It will take a few weeks for the body to get adjusted to the new workout program as well as diet so I'm not surprised by the numbers.  My weight has actually gone up a pound to 215.4, but that is due to gaining muscle mass which is heavier than fat.  The scale that I'm using supposedly measures body fat, but I don't hold a lot of faith in the accuracy of its readings.  It has fluctuated a bit over the course of the week from a loss of 2% body fat to a gain of 1%.  I can visually see a difference in my tone which is giving me confidence that I am losing fat (man boobs are shrinking :) ).
     On to WEEK 2!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I must be Insane to have started this!!!

Day 1 of workout program....
     I will be posting my workout routines and daily diets under the exercise tab for anyone interested in following along with my program (I am not a dietitian so please only take this as what I have designed for myself).
     First let me start by saying this little endeavor was a lot to bite off coming from riding the couch for the past 3 weeks.  Hitting the elliptical at 6:30 this morning was tough enough, but to then follow it with work, a gym workout, doing yard work and then doing the Insanity Fit Test tore me up!!!
     My diet was actually the easiest thing I did today.  Although my coworkers had plenty of goodies to offer I resisted the temptation and stayed true to my somewhat bland diet.  I don't think this will get hard for a couple days, but I'm sure it won't be long before I start to get cravings for ice cream and my favorite....white cheddar popcorn!!!
     The reason that I am doing this is not for vanity or to get a rock hard beach body (though it would be a nice bi product :) ).  The real reason is so I can lose some unwanted fat which will ultimately lower the amount of weight I have to carry over mountains once I can return to hiking.  I know most of us spend countless hours trying to figure out how to wean every unnecessary ounce out of our packs to get the lowest base weight possible, but what about all that extra fat that we carry on our bodies?  I know it takes a toll on me!!!  Another important reason for me is to feel cardiovascularly healthy.  After spending months on the trail I can't begin to state how much better I felt and how much more invigorated I felt towards life in general.  I want to keep that feeling going and being healthy and active seems to play a big part in that.
     Day 1 down and 59 more to go !!!!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day before the Insanity Begins.... here is where I will post the corny pictures that they tell you to take before you start your journey down the road to Insanity.  As I said before, no shirtless pics :), but Guinness will work.  I will try to take the consecutive pictures wearing the same outfit so there is a good reference point to go from.
     As I mentioned before I am doing this program in addition to a cardio session and a weight training regimen. I will also be posting my daily diet and watered down workout routine under the "Exercise" tab on the home page.

Check out that body fat :)  Way too much ice cream and beer since I've been back!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Insanity or just Insane?

     Due to my recent injuries and the couch miles quickly piling up I will need to turn to a new form of excitement in my life.  My wife wanted to get the Insanity workout series and wanted me to do it with her for motivation (I think it's more to torture me and get a good laugh while doing it though:) ).  Although my workout style usually revolves around using weights in the gym and hiking for cardio/endurance training this was something I really didn't see myself doing.  To be a good husband I agreed to be her inspirational partner and use this as a way to get myself into good shape for the fall hiking season.
     First....don't look for embarrassing pictures of me shirtless!! :)  I will document my journey through this endeavor on this site so others can see if this is for them, if it really works, how true I can be and so friends and family can get a good laugh at my expense. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sad end to my AT adventure....

     I apologize for taking so long to add this post.  It was hard to come to grips with the idea that my adventure had come to a close and adding this post was the dot under the exclamation point.
     Due to an unfortunate injury I was no longer able to press on.  I would have continued on the stress fracture as long as I could have, but ultimately a partial tear in my Achilles tendon was the final blow.  I have been instructed to stay out of strenuous activity (ie. hiking) for approximately 3 months to allow the tendon to heal.
     I hope I did not disappoint anyone by not being able to complete my journey. I feel like the trip was a huge success and unfortunate circumstances limited the length, but not the sustenance of what I have gained from embarking on such a wonderful adventure.  I have made new friends, seen wonderful places and had experiences that will forever have changed my life.
     My only regrets will not being able to be outdoors for longer as well as not seeing the New England States.  Having been back now for a couple weeks it is truly hard not being in the woods from sun up until sun down.  The simplicity of the trail has really made me realize how little one needs to be happy.  I wish I would have been able to see the remaining states. I have never ventured up the northern seaboard and would have loved to walk through them and experience everything they have to offer.
     On a more positive note I have completed a huge section of the Appalachian Trail and the rest will be there for me when I am able to return.  I have no plans on starting over from Springer to say I have completed a "Thru Hike".  This trip has always been and always will be about the journey.  I may someday either pick up where I left off and complete the rest or finish it off it small sections as time permits.
     I am not done with hiking!!!! I will be back out there soon enough!!! In a few months my body should be healed and I should be back at my weekend adventuring around the southern states. I still have to finish the rest of the Benton Mackaye Trail as well as hike the Foothills Trail.  I'm sure I will be back on the AT for sections with some old friends as well as some new.
     Now that I have some time on my hands I will be putting together gear reviews, learned experiences and answering questions that anyone may have.
     As always.....keep hiking, have fun and live life to its fullest!!!

Happy Trails and stay tuned!



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 80 mile 1140.9 (11.4)

Hit the trail at 7am with the intention of making Duncannon by noon. Was hoping to meet my friend there, but unfortunately a last minute meeting would not allow it.
The day was filled with nothing but rocks which I thought would slow us down. Even though it did we made it to town by 11:40am. We ate wings and drank a couple beers at the Doyle Hotel (an AT landmark, but run down). The staff there are very nice people and I would definately recommend stopping by for a bite and a pint.
I headed to the post office to pick up my drop box and mail a couple things home.
I am now at the StarDust Motel an doing chores like laundry and such. The feet are actually getting worse (didn't think that was possible). My left achilles is swollen pretty bad. I am going to head to the ice machine after I hit the shower and wash the stank off so I can tollerate myself. :)
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 79 mile 1129.5 (26.3)

Started hiking again today by 6:30. The morning started off pretty good. The humidity wasn't too bad and it was overcast. It started raining around 9am which was actually pleasant to walk in because it is getting pretty warm. It did however make it hard to navigate the rock maze that we had to traverse. The walking was otherwise easy going since the terrain was relatively flat.
The big issue has been with my foot (or should I say now both wheels). My right foot with the stress fracture hurts something aweful. Every step feels like a knife is being stuck through it. Since I have been favoring it I have been over using my left. Today I noticed a sharp pain below my calf muscle. It is now swollen, red and extremely painful. It looks like a small tear in my calcaneal tendon. So now I have two very flat tires.
tomorrow we head into Duncannon. Looking forward to a short 12 mile day!
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 78 mile 1103.2 (17.1)

Woke up at 5am this morning, but did not crawl out of the tent until 5:45. Hit the trail by 6:30 and made it to the AT half way sign by 9am. Big milestone!
Made it to Pine Grove Furnace by 10am for the half gallon challenge. I ate mint chocolate chip ice cream and finished in 37 minutes. I washed it down with a burnt hamburger :)
Started seeing some of PA's rocks today, but I know the worst is still to come:)
made it to camp by 4pm and will try to knock a few more chapters out of my book.
Happy fathers day to my dad, my father inlaw and all other Pops out there!
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Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 77 mile 1086.1 (10)

Got dropped off by 11:30 and headed off. Within 15 minutes of hiking I ran into Hill Hiker. It was nice to meet back up with him once again. We lost Chez11 as part of our group (for reasons I will not go in to).
We stopped at a shelter where we ran into a Ridge Runner. The funny part is that he recognized me. He did a Thru Hike last year and he happened to see me, Marta and Becki on one of our weekend outings. Small world!
The day went very quick and we made it to the shelter by 4pm. Not a bad pace for all the BS'ing we did along the way. The shelter had 2 cubscout groups at it so it was packed. The kids were all very well behaved and nice to be around. I climbed into my tent around 8 and read for a while before turning in for the night.
On a side note....the foot was killing me by the end of the day! :(
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - zeros in Pennsylvania

I apologize for not updating this for anyone following my little adventure. I have been on the fence for a little while now whether or not I could continue. My foot has been causing me problems for quite some time now and i have been contemplating making my scheduled visit with family being the end of my journey. Before putting the possibility out there and getting asked a number of questions I decided to wait until I came up with something definitive.
I have decided to continue on further and go as far as my foot will take me. I am not going to continue until I hurt myself permanantly, but I will continue on with my hiking companions for as long as the foot holds up.
I will be getting back on trail this coming Saturday and push on north.
I have taken just about everything out of my pack to lower my base weight as much as possible to take some impact off of my foot. The only other piece of equipment I could downsize is my tent (which I absolutely love my Double Rainbow). Unfortunately buying a new one is out of my budget. The only other tent that I would consider getting is the Six Moons Designs Lunar Solo (2012 model that is being released June 13, 2012). This would lower my base weight by another pound.
Anyway.....I will make sure to keep everyone posted once I return back to the trail.
Thanks to everyone who has been following!!!
Happy Trails! - Rovious

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Videos

Here are a few updates that I have been able to upload.....sorry I can't get these things up faster, but I have lacked the technology to do so on the trail. :(

Keffer Oak Tree

Coming down from Dragon's Tooth

700 Mile Mark

Lost Doggy :( (story has a happy ending though)

Tinker Cliffs

Coming down into Daleville, VA

Daleville, VA Update

1/3 of the Appalachian Trail Completed

17 Year secada

Crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway for the first time...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - puppy update

Just a little update about the lost dog I had found. The owner sent me the attached pictures. The dog is doing well and the worried owners are very happy.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day55 mile 741.1 (19)

After spending a day in a town, eating town food, sleeping in a bed, access to running water and a hot shower it was hard self motivating to head back out on the trail. Daleville, VA has been the best town up to this point in my opinion.
The trail was really well graded making the hiking easier than expected. The heat kicked in though making me feel more fatigued than usual and having to stop for water several times. My water filter started acting up for the first time on this trip of all days (86 degrees on my thermometer).
Meet some nice folks today. One of them was actually born in the same hospital as me and has a birthday 4 days from mine (7 years age difference though :) ).
Laying in my tent now with the odor of my rank shoes either fogging up my tent or making me dizzy :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

AT Hike

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to follow my jouney. I have had so many people make comments and shoot me emails that it has really touched me deeply. I apologize for not being able to respond to everyones questions and comment (unfortunately I do not have a smart phone or have had computer access to respond). Please do not take it personally! Whenever this trip comes to a conclusion I will definately look back over all the comments and questions and make the effort to respond to everyone. Thanks again to everyone! Happy trails to all! "Keep your eyes on the skyline and nose into the wind!" - ROVIOUS
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Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 54

Been having a nice relaxing zero day in Daleville, VA. Staying at the Howard Johnson which is right next to the trail and located near an outfitter and plenty of restaraunts. I actually think I may have put a few pounds back on :).
We've been hiking with a nice young chap from England (Chez11) for the past few days. Basically we had 3 generations of hikers in our group. He will be heading on ahead of us after tomorrow since we will be heading into Roanoke on Saturday so I can spend a night with my wife and dogs. Hopefully we can catch back up with him in the future as he made a nice addition to our hiking party.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike-Day 53 mile 722.5 (9.4)

Rained again last night. Comanchie pulled the dog into the shelter fortunately (he was against the wall so it didn't bother any of the other hikers). I woke up early and headed out at 6:30 to get into Daleville and hopefully reunite the dog with her owner.
The trail was pretty easy going so I moved at an ok pace. We ran into a retarded turkey who ran back and forth in front of me 4 or 5 times making the dog go crazy. Finally it ran off and I calmed the dog down so we could move on.
We made it to town aat 10:30. Just before getting off trail we ran into an older gentleman who had a dog that looked just like Babe. I explained the dogs story and we moved on to the vets. When I arrived to drop the dog off they seemed reluctant to hold her until the owner could be located. The gentlman that we met on the trail had called the vet while we were there and said he was going to pay for the boarding (this was unknown to us until after we left-heck of a nice gesture and just the type of
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Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 22 mile 510.5 (16.3)

Woke up early after a noisy night, but the rain was short lived making it ok. Hit the trail by 7am and hiked most of the morning with overcast sky. This was a good thing because it kept the temps at a reasonable level.
Made it to McAfee Knob for lunch and took a few iconics photos. The sky had cleared just for us and we had great views.
Just after leaving the knob I found a lost dog from a section hiker we met earlier. I leashed it up with my line and headed down the trail. We spent a good while trying to track the owner down with no luck. We are staying in the shelter due to expected rain tonight and because of the dog. I will take him into the vets in Daleville tomorrow.
I have a new respect for people who hike with their dogs. I fed the dog half of my food and carried extra water for it making for a heavy pack and an empty belly :) - all worth it though!
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 51 mile 696.8 (16.8)

Got an early start and was hiking before 7am. The weather was actually pretty good and the temps were moderate. The day started off with a pretty descent climb, but the grade was very good.
By 1pm it started heating up quite a bit and there was no water. The climb up/over/down Dragons Tooth was brutal. Nothing but rocks which really took its toll on my already hurting foot.
I ran out of water 2 miles out of the road where we decided to stop and hitch to a grocery and hostel (Four Pines Hostel). We loaded up on Gatorade and hamburgers and headed to the hostel. There was a group of younger hikers drunk out of there mind who took over the place a chased the rest of us out. We are now in our tents in the rain. The owner of the place is a nice guy but did nothing to stop the problems. There are about a dozen of us who are pretty P.O'd because we have to pay for their inconsiderate behavior. The trail crowd is definately different this year and not for the better. On to better days!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike-Day 50 mile 680ish

Let me get my bitchin out of the way first:
1. My foot is killing me!
2. My camera drowned due to all the rain-had to bu new camera
3. Got a nice gash on my forhead (not a scratch) from the van door hitting me in the head.
4. Did I mention my foot is killing me? :) that's out of the way! Todays hiking was pretty good. A lot of ups and downs, but it was clear sky and even had a few pretty views. Ran into a guy who I met heading into Bland and thought would be so far up the trail I wouldn't see him again. He took 1-2 days off in Pearisburg to wait on new shoes (which unfortunatley didn't come in). We chatted for a few by the Giant Keffer Oak Tree (one of the largest if the largest tree on the trail). Left him there and made my way to Niday Shelter. I walk up to the shelter and who do I find sitting there? HILL Hiker and Chez11! Finally some familiar faces. We chatted for a while around the table catching up. I am now in my tent hopefully to SLEEP! Got a big day tomorrow! Trying to get to Daleville by Tueday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Update and video....

First here are a couple videos....

Heading into Pearisburg, VA.  I am going a little slow lately due to an injury to my right foot.  At the end of last year I did a long section hike over a weekend and sustained a stress fracture. Everything has been going fine up until a couple of days ago. I have had swelling and sharp shooting pain in the same location as before.  With this being said I slowed down the pace a around 12ish miles in a day my feet start swelling and getting sore so I backed off my mileage to around 10-12 miles a day to try and keep that at bay.  I actually started taking Ibuprofin to help keep the swelling down as well.  I have tried to stop at streams to soak my feet a couple times a day as a makeshift natures icepack.  The pain is still there, but it seems to have subsided a little. As they say "No Pain...No Maine!!!" :)

Been going solo since Marion.  Hill Hiker had pressed on and with my foot problems I haven't been able to do bigger miles to catch up. We have been in contact and may eventually meet up along the trail.

Hope everyone is doing well and thanks for taking the time to keep tabs on me!!

Happy Trails!!!!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 45 mile 586.9 (11.7)

Slept in a little today (or should I say rested in).Hit the trail by 7:45 with clouds in the sky,but no rain!
Actually had a pretty easy hike into Bland, VA. Had a real hand time getting a hitch though. I hiked out of the woods with another couple who had a dog which may have been a limiting factor. No worries though. They were good company and we shared stories on the walk into town. About 1/4 mile out of town someone stopped and picked us up (better late than never). Made it to Subway then went down to DQ for dessert.
Resting now at The Big Walker Motel where I picked up a mail drop.

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-day 44 mile 575.2 (19.1)

I actaully stayed in a shelter last night. Usually i would prefer tenting, but having nothing but rain for what has seemed like forever I just did not want to pack a soaking wet tent up. Luckily there was only one person there and he didn't snore!
I rolled out at 7am once again in the rain. Most of the morning was spent getting soaked on a 2000 foot climb up to Chestnut Knob shelter for lunch. Just before the shelter I walked through a giant field while it only drizzled. The scene actually lifted my spirits a bit.
I spent around 40 minutes for lunch and during that time the rain stopped and the sun made its appearance. I was able to take the rain gear off for the first time in a couple days and let my clothes dry as I walked.
The weather only held out for a while and I was forced back into my wet suit just before making it to Jenkins Shelter. Once again fed up with the rain I made a nest in the shelter, ate dinner and layed down for a nights rest filled with snoring (unfortunately not mine).
The attached picture is of a couple hiking pups I have seen a couple of times - Keep going Mojo and Sky! :)
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - day 43 mile 556.1 (13.9)

First Happy Mothers day to my Mom, Mother-in-law and wife (yes dogs count as kids too :) ).
I had a nice weekend with my wife in Marion, VA while at the General Francis Marion Hotel. A very nice place with an excellent restaraunt.
Headed back to Atkins and was on the trail by 11:30. There were quite a few PUDS (pointless Ups and Downs) which made the elevation profile look a little daunting at first look, but the grade wound up being ok.
Made it to Knot Maul Shelter by 4:45. The rain started around 4 (cant seem to stay dry) and the forcast is calling for rain until Tuesday. I might even sleep in the shelter tonight as I am the only one here now.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Marion,VA Zero Day (Day 42)

I really don't like taking multiple zero days, but I arrived in Atkins, VA a day early and had no way of adapting my schedule where my wife could pick me up on the weekend.  I stayed in a motel/inn in Atkins, VA for an extra day to accomodate our schedule. It just so happened that the weather had eased up and would have been perfect for hiking. Oh well....a small trade off to see my wife.
I have Virginia ahead of me and although the longest state on the trail does not seem daunting to me at all.  After Troutdale, VA (which I have recently come through) the trail is completely virgin territory to me. This makes me feel like I am really just starting the trail so where the newness that most hikers have experienced is starting to wear off the beginning just seems to be starting for me.
My body feels really good and I feel in the best cardio shape that I have in years.
I can't wait to see what Virginia has in store for me.....hopefully not as much rain as I have been seeing lately :)

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 40 mile 542.2 (11.6)

Last nights stay in the shelter was trying to say the least. Out of the 8 of us that were on the lower level 7 were severe snorers (I was not one of them as I am still having a lot of difficulty getting any sleep and spend most of the night awake). I was on the trail at 7am and finally had a day that would not rain on me!!!! It was a little chilly early which is what I really enjoy when hiking.
I traveled through farm land and traveled back in time to a little bit of history.  I passed by an old one room school building which was open to hikers and completely restored and maintained.  I stayed there for a short while taking pics/videos and tending to a few tender spots on my feet.
I made it to Atkins by 11:30 and checked into the Relax Inn.  Little did I know what I was in for. Although cheap, right on the trail and close to a restaraunt it was lacking in cleanliness.  The bugs truely had "Bed Bugs" and I felt itchy all night long. Not complaining though as I was not wet, had a shower, bed and a full belly.
Since I got here a day early and was going to meet my wife here on Saturday I had to stay in Atkins for an additional day. She is going to pick me up Saturday morning and we will be heading into Marion to stay at a much nicer hotel (The General Francis Marion Hotel).

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 39 mile 530.6 (19.7)

It only sprinkled last night for about 30 minutes so I figured the bad weather may finally be moving through, but I was wrong. The rain toyed with me most of the day requiring me to put on and take off the rain gear multiple times.
I decided to press on past Troutdale since word on the trail was the restaraunt had closed down and the idea of real food was the only reason I was going to stop.
I made it to Partnership shelter around 4pm. This shelter was not a typical AT shelter by any means. It had a shower and you can also have pizza delivered to it. Hill Hiker and I split one making the longer day worth it. Sleeping in the shelter tonight (which is not something I really like doing - like the solitude of my tent).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 38 mile 510.9 (16.4)

downpoored all night long. My tent actually folded in on me 2 times during the night but sprang right back up (fortunately).
rained most of the morning and on and off the rest of the afternoon. It did clear up a little as i was leaving Grayson Highland SP and i got to see the wild ponies. My camera may be ruined due to getting soaked
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Appalachian Trail thru hike 2012 -Day 37 mile (18.65)

Started off hiking around 7am. Had a pretty good group of people at Saunders shelter, but they were some snorers :)
Most of the day was pretty good weather and although it was warm it wasnt extremely hot for hiking.
Made it to Elk Garden around 2:30 just in time. It started to downpour! We waited there until 4pm, but it just wasnt letting up. I finally decided to head out and take my chances. Needless to say I was soaked and the trail was a river! Made it just past Thomas Knob shelter and set up camp. We wanted to stay in the shelter, but a group of section hikers werent going to make room. (There are just as many Buttholes on the AT as in towns :( )
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Day 36 mile 476.3 (9.65)

No folks I did not give up! :)
I still have some things weighing on my mind , but overall I feel much better about things. Leaving Damascus today and having Virginia ahead of me doesn't feel that daunting. Since I will finally be hitting trail that I haven't actually hiked before (after Troutdale) seems like things are being renewed a bit.
I rejoined Hill Hiker today which helps things out. Even though we dont hike together during the day we usually camp at the same location so we always have a familiar face at the end of the day.
The trail was very good to me today. The weather was nice (although getting much warmer) and the grade was moderate.
I am now at Saunders Shelter with Hill Hiker, our tents set up and about to get water for cooking and such.
Thanks to everyone for the concern, comments and emails.
Happy Trails! ROVIOUS
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012

Just a quick update to let everyone know things are ok. I decided to take the week off from blogging (for personal reasons). I only decided to not post for the week, but will start posting once i get to Damascus this weekend. Just needed some time to reflect. Thanks again for following and stay tuned!
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finally....some video!!

I finally got a chance to get a few videos up.  It takes quite a while to download even the short clips so I was only able to get a few posted.  Thanks to everyone who has been following along!! I hope to be in Damascus this coming weekend and rejoining Hill Hiker. Take care and Happy Trails!! - Rovious

Thursday, April 26, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 26 mile 342 (6.3)

Last night was better weather wise. The rain that we were supposed to get didn't happen. That all changed after 20 minutes of hiking.
I had just put my rain gear on when the sky opened up. Lightning and thunder was all around me. Extreme wind followed along with hale. Since i was on an exposed piece of trail i stepped up the pace. The wind increased even more and trees started falling around in the woods by me. I immediately started jogging to get to lower elevation. Just then a large tree fell within 5 feet of me. If i would have been 2 steps faster I wouldnt be posting this. My life literally flashed before my eyes! Childhood memories and just about everything from my life. By the time I realized I was not dead and came back to concious I noticed myself in a full sprint heading down the trail. Almost 40 years of memories flashed before my eyes in less than 30 seconds (not in any order and all vivid as they were just happening). Things like riding an elephant in Florida when i was about 3-5, memories of trips with my family when I was a child and on and on.
It's amazing how one event like that can pur your whole life in perspective.
I am now in a Super 8 motel. All I can say is "what a day!" A little rattled, but alive and well. Life will never look the same again to me. Almost leaving my wife a widow will forever change me. Never take the ones you love and the ones who love you for granted!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AT Thru Hike - Day 25 mile 335.7 (20.7)

Rained all night last night and i didnt get a wink of sleep. All my gear was wet and muddy this am.
Left camp around 7:45 and hike in thick fog and cold for most of the am.
When i crossed over both Big and Little Balds (missed the views) the sky cleared up, the sun came out and it actually got pretty warm. Made it the 20.7 miles by 5:45 and cleaned the mud from my tent and let it air out.
Tomorrow i will be in Erwin, TN after a short day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AT Thru Hike - Day 24 mile 315 (14.7)

Woke up to another chilly morning. I warmed up quickly after i started hiking. The sun came out and i had i really nice time hiking. Meet a man named Pops who sounds exactly like my father inlaw even with the same mannerisms. Snowed a couple times today as well.
The pic is for my mother - yes I am eating the jerky you bought me :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 -Day 23 mile 300.3 (15.4)

woke up to snow this am. Froze my tail off last night and thought i would have hypothermia as all my clothes were soaked from yesterdays hike. Snowed in the early am with high winds, but was just mostly cloudy and cold the rest of the day. Walked/climbed along an exposed ridge this afternoon with some pretty cool views. Made it to Jerry Cabin shelter at 5, ate dinner and am now tucked in my tent trying to stay warm.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 22 mile 284.9 (11)

Today was another hard day! Not because of the trail or anything physical, but emotionally. The one thing that I thought might get me off trail before I left was missing my wife and dogs too much. Having to say goodbye again today was almost too much. My wife has been a real trooper through all this and really helped to get me back on trail. Thanks Babe!
It rained all day and by the time I made it to Spring Mtn shelter I was drenched and frozen (40 degrees right now). I got into dry clothes after setting up my tent and am already in the sleeping bag to keep warm. It will definately be a long night!

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 21 mile 273.9 (3.2)

Did a short 3.2 miles into Hot Spring, NC. Trail Fest was taking place and i got a chance to visit with one of my hiking friends. She was there selling her tents that she makes. I would highly recommend checking out her products at if you are looking for an excellent UL tent.
Got to our cabin around 1 and spent the day relaxing, watching some tube and of course EATING!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 20 mile 270.7 (14.8)

This morning was a little colder than it's been for a little while. It warmed up quickly though and i was soon drenched in sweat and my hiker stench.
Had a few big climbs to start the day off, but it was mostly downhill once i hit the top of Bluff Mountain.
The pic of me is where i cooked my lunch. I had a spectacular view and since it was quite and I was all alone I relaxed for about 1.5 hours to let my feet rest and dry out.
I now have my tent set up at Deer Mtn shelter to avoid heading into the youngin's and the party of Trail Fest. I have 3.2 miles tomorrow into Hot Spring to meet my wife, dogs and resupply.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - mile 255.9 (15)

DAY 19
Today started off with less than perfect weather. When I arrived at the top of Snowbird Mtn I could hardly see the aviation tower from the trail due to the heavy cloud cover.
There was a huge amount of elevation gain and descent today which tired me out a bit, but Max Patch had 360 degree views so I layed down in the field on top for 2 hours. The views were spectacular so I didn't mind staying put for a bit. I am at Roaring Fork shelter for the evening (tenting).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - day 18 mile 240 (11)

Made it to Standing Bear hostel today. It rained all night last night and poored all day today. Hiked the 11 miles in record time (for me) today mainly because i ate on the run due to the rain. I started hiking at 7:30 and arrived at the hostel at 11:30. I was a little nervous of the crowd when i arrived, but they moved out soon after i arrived and the older crowd moved in shortly after. I have about 15 miles to do tomorrow to set me up for an early arrival at Hot Springs on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AT Thru Hike - Day 17 mile 230.1 (13.3)

Didnt get much sleep last night. The shelter was full and i pitched my tent on a slope.
I made pretty good time today doing 13 miles in 6 hours with an hour lunch break and another 20 minute break. I was hoping to stretch the day out, but obviously was moving quicker than i thought. Tomorrow is a short 11 mile day into Standing Bear Hostel to resupply and hopefully get a bed!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 16 mile 217.2 (10.8)

I had a very nice visit outside Gatlinburg with my wife, parents and dogs. Thanks to everybody for coming to visit me!
The Smokey's have been great! The weather cooperated today and although a little warm the views wered excellent. The thing i like the most about the park is that the trail follows the ridgeline so you can see in all directions on clear days.
A nice short 13 mile day tomorrow!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - day 14

I am in Gatlinburg, TN with a new phone, taxes done (long painfull story) and crisis avoided.
I am spending tomorrow with my wife, parents and dogs before heading back out on Monday. Thanks to everyone who has been following! I really appreciate the comments - keep them coming as they are good motivation! I should be able to keep this blogh going now that i have my new phone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Everything is going ok!!

Seth walked me through the process to get this information to you.

He has been having a problem with his phone and hasn't been able to update this journal.  We will be working on getting him a new phone and he should be able to get back online when we meet in Gatlinburg.  Otherwise he is doing well and should be into North Carolina tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Approach Trail

I'm not sure how many videos I will be able to post :(  The resolution on my camera uses up a lot of memory taking a while to upload on a computer (time which I unfortunately do no have and quality I am not willing to sacrifice). I will try to figure something out!!  No worries.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Day 3

Another hot day.  Really did not expect this type of heat the first week of April, but I think it will cool off a bit towards the end of the week.  Blood Mountain was just as hard as the last time I did it. Looking forward to some cooler weather. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Day 2 (15.6) 15.8

Today was a long and hot day! Started off ok but reached 90 degrees by lunch time. I thought by starting early i would be able to avoid the heat for a while but i was obviously wrong!
Really haven't meet a lot of people to hike with at this point but have meet some good people.
Had my first trail magic today on springer mtn but had to turn it down because i have no appetite and been having to force food down up until this point.
Tomorrow is going to be a hard day!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1 - Springer Mtn Shelter - .2 miles (9.0)

Today starts the journey!
Hiked the Approach Trail from Amicalola state park. The weather was clear but the 84 degree weather made the 9 miles tougher than they should have been. I am out of shape to boot.
Time to go fill the water bottles up and get ready for day 2!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Appalachian Trail 2012 - Prep - First Drop Box

I have had several people ask recently "what will you be eating while you are out in the woods?".  The above video is what I placed into my first drop box.  This will obviously adapt and change as I progress, but it should give a little understanding into what I will survive on.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Trail Food - Black Beans, Spicy Sausage and Rice

 The above video will give you an idea of my latest concoction that I adapted from a soup recipe that I had found and tried at home.  It tastes very good!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dehydrated Trail Food - Chili Mac

As time quickly approaches for my departure on my AT thru hike attempt I am spending more and more time dehydrating meals to save money as well as provide me with meals that I know I will enjoy.

This is my version of Chili Mac.  I have adapted my previous recipe that I use at home for chili to accommodate a larger amount of servings and to also kick up the heat a notch (which my wife would not enjoy if I was just making it for us at home).   You can dial the heat down by cutting out the red pepper flakes and adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper and jalapenos that you use.

I hope this helps out in creating your own backpacking meals!!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Prep...More Food Stuff!!

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time preparing ground meat products for my upcoming trip.  Cooking, washing, dehydrating and preparing this type of food made me wonder how my diet is going to treat my body over the course of the next several months.

Here are a few photos of the process I used to make gravel.
Brown Lean Ground Beef/Turkey/Chicken