Days 23 through 27 on the Appalachian Trail

Day 23

The morning after my zero I felt refreshed and antsy to get back in the woods. I had felt stressed all day during my zero because I felt like I had so much to do and not enough time in one day to do it. I left the hostel and headed towards the trail which was a short road walk through town. Once I was back in the trees I felt myself relaxing; similar to how I felt after Gatlinburg. It was a warm and sunny day and I took my time enjoying the views at all the look out points. Three miles into my hike I stopped and stretched for ten minutes. I have decided to make an effort to take care of myself in small ways. So my goal is to stop and stretch for ten minutes everyday after three miles. I felt proud to be taking care of myself and when I continued hiking my legs felt a lot better. After hiking for eight miles I walked up on Ramen who was taking a lunch break I sat with her and we enjoyed our fresh resupply foods for an hour break. I continued on and got to a blue blaze which was a fire tower. I dropped my backpack to walked up to it. The views were stunning and the wind felt amazing after a sweaty day of hiking. Me, Bug, Ramen, and Beatle sat at the tower for a while taking pictures and being in the moment. When I arrived at the shelter after 11 miles I decided to set up my tent in order to have my own space and get some alone time.

Hiking out of Hot Springs

 

Day 24

When I woke up and put on my hiking boots I found five cashews inside. I laughed out loud thinking that a mouse was trying to find a good place to store them. Sadly I had to dump them on the ground in order to get my boots on but I hope the critter is able to find them again. It was a foggy morning and when I got hiking I felt groggy and slow. Once again I stopped after three miles to stretch. The sun started to come out as I was stretching which boosted my mood and helped me continue on. I got to a shelter for lunch and hung out with some thru hikers for a while. Me, Bug and Beatle went up and over an open ridge line together that had some fun rock scrambling and great views. Shortly after the ridge line we arrived at the 300 mile mark!! I hiked two more miles to the shelter which made my day a total of 16 miles. It was such a fun day because I got to hike alone and with others.

Ridgeline views

Day 25

I once again woke up to a foggy morning. I left the shelter first and went through a big field which looked creepy with all the fog. The terrain was really flat so I was flying through it and felt really strong. Soon the fog blew away to a stunning sunny day. I arrived at a creek and took a lunch break and filled up my water. It was relaxing listening to the sound of the creek while I ate. I soon arrived at the shelter where I had planned on staying at. I was 16 miles into my day but still feeling strong so I decided to push on. Beatle, Ramen, and Dream decided to come with me and we found a stealth campsite next to a small stream. It was my first time not camping at a shelter and I was really excited. I thought that the day had been 20 miles but I did some bad math and it ended up being only 19.5. I’m sure I’ll hike a 20 mile day soon!

Awesome hiking partners

Day 26

I slept really badly since my sleeping pad kept deflating during the night so I was glad to get up and hiking when the sun came up. I knew it was going to rain so I started the day with my raincoat and rain pants on. Two miles in the rain started. I caught up to Bug and we hiked over big bald together. The rain was gusting so hard that I had trouble standing up straight and the sideways rain stung my cheeks. I was glad that I wasn’t alone because it was so scary. We got back down below tree line and took a short break at a shelter in order to get out of the rain. Me and Ramen left the shelter together because neither of us wanted to hike alone. We had a really good conversation which kept my distracted from my rain coat completely soaking through. At the top of a mountain we stood under a large rock to escape the rain for a few minutes. As we stood there shivering a huge clap of thunder rang out. We looked at each other and then started running down the mountain. The thunder continued as we got to a lower elevation. Once we got down to a gap we stopped and took a break. The trail went back up a mountain and we were nervous to go up to a higher elevation again but we didn’t want to keep sitting at the gap. We decided to continued and when we got close to the top of the mountain we ran over it in order to lower the amount of time we were up high. After a long 17 miles we arrived at the shelter and sadly it was full. I had to set up my tent in the rain which was the last thing I wanted to do. The people at the shelter were really kind to me and they built a fire so I could warm up. They also gave me a bivy sack to line the bottom of my tent with since it had already soaked through. I went to sleep nervous that I was going to wake up in a puddle and frustrated that my sleeping pad was broken.

Sitting in the rain

Day 27

I woke up to the sound of the people packing up in the shelter. It was still dark out but I was ready to hike the six miles into town and get everything dried. My sleeping bag had gotten pretty wet overnight and all of my hiking clothes were soaked from the day before. Luckily it was a warm sunny day so I knew I would dry out quickly. I packed up and headed off, thinking about all the food I would buy in town. The six miles went by fast and I was so relieved to see all my friends sitting on the porch of the hostel.

Me and bug!

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Comments 12

  • Avatar
    DIY : Mar 27th

    If the mouse/ chipmunk/raccoon found your cashews, so could a bear!

    Obviously never store food in your tent, but don’t forget to check your pockets before going to bed!

    Good luck, and happy trails!

    73 de Daryl, N2DIY

    Reply
    • Avatar
      DIY : Mar 27th

      I can’t believe I misspelled my first name on my first post to this forum!

      I can blame voice to text on this, but my proofreading skills need improving too!

      Happy trails, 73 DE Darryl, N2DIY

      Reply
  • Avatar
    DIY : Mar 27th

    I can’t believe I misspelled my first name on my first post to this forum!

    I can blame voice to text on this, but my proofreading skills need improving too!

    Happy trails, 73 DE Darryl, N2DIY

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Eli : Mar 28th

    Caught up on all your posts. What a journey! Thanks for posting so I can experience it vicariously. So impressed with your positivity even through the rain.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    James : Mar 28th

    Hannah,

    Thank you for chronicling your adventures , It is enjoyable reading about people who have the determination to actually thru hike the AT. My question is how do you and your friends stay together since many enjoy hiking alone. It seems that if you get ahead, you stay ahead. Do you all agree to meet everyday at the a shelter or inn or the next stop. Do you say that if we get separated will meet here in a few days?

    James

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Hannah : Apr 3rd

      We sometimes plan on shelters we are going to stay at but usually it just happens! We all do our own thing and if we stay together that’s awesome and if not that’s ok too. We also have each other’s phone numbers so if we get separated it’s easy to find each other again a few days later.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Bruce : Mar 28th

    Your chronicle is very enjoyable and informative. Thanks for taking the time and effort to write. Happy hiking!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Nancy Silver : Mar 29th

    Wow! How do you deal with that rain? When you go into town to dry off oh, what do you do? Do you hang things or do you have a place to actually dry your bag, shoes, or anything else? I would love to see some pictures of the shelters and get a sense of what they are like. I love hearing the lingo that must be hiking lingo that I have to kind of figure out! Love ya, Sweetie!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Hannah : Apr 3rd

      When I get to town I often lay out my tent and sleeping bag so they can dry off. A lot of hostels have boot dryers which are awesome. Shelters are three sided log cabins that are about every eightish miles. I’ll text you a pic of one when I get the chance!!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    pearwood : Mar 29th

    Yay, Hannah! Your stories make me happy.
    Blessings,
    Steve / pearwood

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Becky : Apr 3rd

    Have you passed Sam’s Gap and Big Bald? I live near there and often leave snacks out for thru hikers. If I know when you plan to pass thru, I’ll be sure to set out treats and collect trash. Any snacks/treats you especially want?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Hannah : Apr 4th

      I’ve already passed that area but thanks for the kind offer!

      Reply

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