Day 79 – 82 Hiker Carries Heart Shaped Rock from Georgia to Maryland… Then Proposes!

She said “No.” Technically she said “Get up and stop embarrassing me in front of my friends.” Apparently a heart shaped igneous is not the same as a brilliant round with VVS2 clarity. although it wasn’t tremendously heavy, it must’ve been at least 30 carats. And before people get up in arms about a fake proposal, this is something we (I) do often. 

In fact it’s how I asked her to be my girlfriend in the first place. The psychology that this rock however, was hindering my ultralight goals (but it’s the thought that counts). I picked up this rock probably the first week on trail with the intention to give to her. I’ve probably passed 50+ such rocks since. She was appreciative ononetheless that I carried such a large burden all the way from Georgia to give to her.

Kristen and I (mostly me) spent the whole weekend eating to our hearts content. My hearts content requires a bit more food to satisfy, however. We had numerous meals out and the continental breakfast at our hotel each morning was a godsend.

I got the tour of her hometown (Middleton, MD) and got to meet a bunch of her friends. We had beers at the brewery in Harpers Ferry and crab cakes at her former restaurant of employment; The Main Cup. At least two of her friends gave me a thumbs up of approval for the fake proposal. 

The July 4th holiday brought pools, golf, fireworks and my first crab feast. I was schooled up by at least three different people on the process of picking crabs (I’m basically a pro now). I have enough sodium in my system now to sustain me for at least the rest of the month on the trail.

It was nice to retreat to shelter with relative ease during the thunderstorms over the holiday. Something I won’t soon take for granted again.

I also got a few new gear upgrades. I sent my North Face pack in for repair (aluminum lumbar frame broke) and bought an Osprey Exos 48. My Altra Lone Peak 7’s had over 750 miles on them and after some research I’m switching to Altra Olympus 5’s. The shoe is supposed to have better cushion and a more durable sole material. I also traded out my Kelty 20 degree down bag for a much lighter REI 30 degree Magma sleeping bag. Altogether I think I’ve shaved off five pounds from my base weight. I’ll try and find a scale soon to check. My last check at Four Pines a few weeks ago was 25 pounds.

It was sad to see Kristen go, we both want me to come home. We also both agree it’s only right that I see this thing through to the end. I’m lucky to have someone equally committed to my goals. The trail calls me back tomorrow. I’ll likely give myself a day to ease into my new gear and get back into the swing of hiking all day. I’ll likely begin Marathon Week on Saturday, two days from now.

Stow away in my pack for day 83 of the Appalachian Trail.

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Comments 3

  • thetentman : Jul 7th

    You are gonna lose your trail legs. Make it count!


  • Rabbit : Jul 7th

    Show her you love her AND you’re not a moron. Collect heart shaped leaved instead. Lol. You’ll never catch me if you’re lugging rocks!

    • thetentman : Jul 8th



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