Days 40 through 45 on the Appalachian Trail

Day 40

I woke up early even though I was in a comfy town bed. I think my body is used to waking up with the sun so I can’t sleep in anymore. Bug and I walked over to the other hotel where our other friends stayed. They had bought too much permethrin so we sprayed our hiking clothes and left them out to dry. I walked over to Walmart and bought a new spork since I snapped mine in half while packing up my backpack. I called a shuttle, which Bug, Dream, Firebow, and I split. We all sat at the trailhead for a while eating lunch and finally got to hiking. I hiked the 9 miles with Bug and Firebow. We had great conversations about the meaning of life and whether God exists. It was fascinating hearing different perspectives. We arrived at a schoolhouse for the night. It was built in 1893 and was used until 1939. It was creepy at first but I was so happy to be inside that I didn’t care. We cooked dinner on the porch and saw a really pretty rainbow.

Sleeping in the schoolhouse.

Day 41

The sun is rising earlier every day so I was able to start hiking at 7 a.m. without a headlamp. It was so pretty hiking through foggy meadows as the sun rose. Three miles into my day I arrived at a gas station. I saw Bug’s backpack outside so I went in to say hi. We ended up sitting outside the gas station for two hours eating snacks and drinking chocolate milk. With our stomachs full, we continued our hike through sunny fields and meadows. We reached the 1/4 to Maine sign halfway through our day. It feels surreal that I’ve hiked this far and I’m so glad that I have plenty of trail left to enjoy. I stopped at a creek and took off my shoes to put my feet in but the water was so cold it made my feet hurt even more. We arrived at a shelter after 17 miles but I decided to set up my tent because I wanted my own space for the night.

1/4 of the way to Maine.

Day 42

I was out and hiking by 6 a.m. because I wanted to be able to take the day slow and enjoy it while still getting in miles. I arrived at a river crossing four miles into the day. Luckily it hadn’t rained in a couple of days so the water was only halfway up my shins. The uphill after that was so hard. I saw a giant black snake on the way up which scared me so much. I got to the top of the mountain where there was a shelter. I contemplated staying there for the night since it was supposed to rain all afternoon but I decided to keep going. I put on my poncho and raincoat just as it started drizzling. I hiked the last few miles with Bug and we played 20 questions. It was so fun and made the time pass by really fast. We arrived at a shelter after 20 miles and luckily we were able to squeeze in and didn’t have to set up our tents in the rain. I got my wet clothes off and made a ramen bomb. After two honey buns, I was satisfied and went to sleep content with the day.

Crossing the river.

Day 43

I didn’t set an alarm but once again woke up early. I hung out with everyone at the shelter for a while and then got hiking. It was a sunny and flat morning and I really enjoyed it. 11 miles later I arrived at a road to trail magic. I got an iced tea and some peanut butter crackers. Bug and I got a ride into town where we resupplied, charged our phones, and lay our clothes out to dry from the rain. We got a hitch back to the trail at 6 p.m. and arrived four miles later at a campsite. It was my first time night hiking and I really liked it. Seeing the sunset from up on a ridgeline was stunning. I set up my tent and ate a sandwich I had packed out from town.

Me and Bug hitchhiking out of town.

Day 44

I woke up to the sound of Bug packing up her tent. I got up and packed up. It felt good to starting hiking because it was still cool out. I hit the 600-mile marker early in my day. My feet started to hurt so I took a lunch break at a pretty campsite. I sat there for an hour eating lunch and listening to the birds chirping. Firebow and Smiles passed by so I decided to hike with them. We went through some meadows with lots of flowers and cows. We arrived at a road crossing after 14 miles where I walked to a hostel to pick up a package and they walked to a gas station. We decided to camp near a waterfall. At the gas station, Bug had bought marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers so it was a fun night filled with yummy food. We cowboy camped and I fell asleep to the sound of the water.

Me and Mr. Quack at 600 miles.

Day 45

I woke up to a slightly damp sleeping bag from the condensation of the river. Bug and I stopped at the gas station on the way back to the trail and got coffee and breakfast. We started hiking on a flat beautiful section of trail. I saw a snake slither into a tree and a deer eating grass. I also saw a turkey vulture circling over its next meal. I listened to some podcasts and ate the rest of my Parmesan cheese for lunch. My feet felt really strong all day but when I arrived at a road crossing I was excited to head to a hostel and be in a real bed for the night.

Walking through meadows.

 

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Comments 12

  • Matt : Apr 14th

    Love th simple journaling style. Gives such a good understanding of what a thru hike is like. Enjoy the miles, Hannah!

    Reply
  • goatbaby : Apr 14th

    You write well. Keep working.

    Reply
  • Maryann Gunning : Apr 14th

    Great adventures! We are a few miles off the AT in Vernon, NJ. Where you cross Rt 94 before the steps of Vernon uphill! A map may suggest heaven hill farms for replenishing supplies. We live nearby and section hike the AT. Just tossing it out there if you’d like a ride to acme supermarket, a swim in the lake, a hot shower, a home cooked meal, maybe even a bed depending on the day… we are strangers so you’ll decide….however we can help. We’re retired so if we can help you on your journey, feel free to reach out via email or my cell 516/319-0729. Safe journey. Maryann

    Reply
  • Ralph B. Mahon : Apr 15th

    No mention of skunks?
    So many out and about in the evening/night near me.
    Light from your headlamp makes critter’s eyes glow.
    Sounds like you are having the time of your life!
    Wishing you the best.

    Reply
  • William Smith : Apr 15th

    Enjoy reading about your hike keep it up

    Reply
  • Laurie Haw : Apr 15th

    Such an inspiration..keep up all the hard work Hannah and most of all keep having fun!! Love all of your posts and pics!!

    Reply
  • A.T.Hobo : Apr 15th

    I don’t think sleeping or staying in the schoolhouse is allowed. It’s a historical site. I’m part of PATH and it is located in our section.

    Reply
    • Hannah : Apr 17th

      It is allowed and encouraged for thru hikers to stay in the schoolhouse as long as they are respectful of the property. Thank you for your work on the AT!

      Reply
  • Eli : Apr 17th

    Love reading the updates, very inspiring! Everyone is rooting for you!

    Reply
  • Julia Woodward : Apr 17th

    Great work, Hannah! Loving reading these updates! Stay safe, hike well. 🙂

    Reply
  • Tom : Apr 19th

    Well done. Couple times yearly I ride motorcycle up in north Georgia and NC, we’ve occasionally bumped into hikers at AT spots which happen to be on pull off. Lovely folks. I’d barely make .6 miles let alone 600. Cheers.

    Reply
  • Mr Bee : Apr 19th

    Can’t imagine hitching these days! Really enjoy and appreciate reading about your adventures. Sorry your feet are such an issue. Be safe. Please take precautions to avoid a bear encounter!

    Reply

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