Coco and Earl — Days 8 through 13

Perhaps this isn’t news to most, but finding reliable wifi in the woods is challenging! This will be a much shorter post as we are heading back onto the trail very soon.


Since my last update, Earl and I have hiked miles 52.9 through 106.1. Many beautiful days with mist and without and one painfully cold and rainy day (and two nights). We even celebrated our 100th mile by climbing a fire tower in freezing rain with incredible wind gusts. Somehow my fear of heights did not kick in as I climbed the wet metal stairs while fighting against wind that required me to hold tight to the railing. The view? Mist! Ah well. You win some, you lose some. Still an unmatched experience.


We certainly created a tough situation for ourselves Thursday and Thursday night. A few lessons learned:

1. Always bring at least one extra day of food.
2. Make sure some of the extra food does not require cooking.
3. Bring more toilet paper.
4. Keep your down jacket dry.

Lessons learned that we were prepared for:

1. Have a backup water purification system available.
2. Ensure your backpacking partner is eating.
3. Keep one set of dry and clean-ish clothes.

All that said — disaster averted! We got dry, warm(er), ate a bunch of peanut butter and protein powder, and were picked up by our hero, Manny, who took us into Franklin on Friday morning.


Still, things have been wonderful. One of my favorite things has been listening to the different sounds each night in the tent. We’ve heard owls calling to each other and another bird swoop right by our tent while calling. Another night, wolves off in the distance. I’m used to hearing coyotes, but wolves sound completely different. No yips, just long lovely howls.

On another night I woke up to what I thought was a bear and was immediately alert. All systems were go. I was ready. It was close. So very close. So very, very close that I discovered it was my sweet husband softly snoring. Dammit. I still pulled the bear mace in.

All right — shuttle is on it’s way and it’s time to move on. If all goes as expected, we’ll be taking a short trip into town in about three days.

Safe travels!


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Comments 4

  • Cindy Hans : Mar 21st

    Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Love the tower climbing…it’s a win to not experience fear of heights! Excellent!

    • thecountesscoco : Apr 6th

      Yes! I’m still a little surprised at myself!

  • imin2w8s : Mar 21st

    Way to conquer your fear of heights in that instance! I’ve a few years to wait until I can thru-hike, but look forward to reading about your journey and experiences!

    • thecountesscoco : Apr 6th

      I’m excited for you to also experience this!


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