Backpacker Radio #41: Chaunce (Yes, Juliana Chauncey)

She’s baaaaack.  Sort of.  Halfway.  At this year’s Trail Days, I caught up with Chaunce, who was roughly half way into her AT thru-hike, to talk trail, like the good ole days.  She regales us with tales from the first 1,000 miles of her trek, including what has surprised her, how her gear system has held up, how it’s differed from her PCT hike, and talks about that time she awoke to a stranger humming and dancing atop of her hammock.   We do a Triple Crown of Highlights from the southern half of the Appalachian Trail, featuring Jabba, who jumps in and out throughout the show, get a bot’s analysis of Backpacker Radio, and get our freshest trail poop story in the history of the podcast.

This is a fun reunion show and just a reminder that the cinnamon is still connected.

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Subjects discussed in the episode include:

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Comments 1

  • Pony : Jul 4th

    I think Chaunce is probably right that one’s first long-distance hike will often seem, in memory, to be more “difficult” or harder than subsequent hikes.

    That said, I’m always amused at how people are making declarations about the AT’s difficulty, whether as a whole or in part (say, Pennsylvania), without actually having done the whole trail. The thing is, people have often heard so much about the trail that it *can* seem overhyped, whether it’s the iconic experience of McAfee Knob, the PA rocks or the difficulty of the trail overall. But this, I think, leads many people to prematurely pronounce that something was “overhyped,” i.e. the satisfying experience of hearing NOBOs declard in Duncannon that Pennsylvania “isn’t that bad,” only to hear check back in with them after Delaware Water Gap, when, y’know, they’ve actually had to hike the truly rock-drunk part of the PA AT.

    So I am going to say ditto for Chaunce re the difficulty of the AT (as Jabba noted in the background): Sure, for an experienced hiker, a PCT alum, the southern AT might not seem that bad. But I say, let’s hear what she has to say after NH and ME.

    My Triple Crown of southern AT highlights:

    1) Jumping off the James River footbridge (which you are expressly forbidden to do, but many do anyway)
    2) Singing with my crew while walking through those “Sound of Music” pastures and hills — flowers, cows, open fields — just after Atkins, Va.
    3) Arriving at McAfee Knob in a cloud and watching the sun finally burn through.

    Lowlights for southern AT:

    1) The “hostel” at Wolf Pen Gap
    2) Coming within a millimeter of getting hypothermia during the “Cinco de Freeze-o” storm, May 2016
    3) The gradual “breaking of the fellowship” of my trail family from Lickskillet Hollow to Pearisburg and finally, John’s Hollow Shelter … and continuing on alone.

    Reply

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