Family Hike is now a Solo+pup Hike

Bad News

Ever since we did the Appalachian Trail Approach at Amicalola State Falls, Michael’s been having trouble with his knees. Fun Fact about Michael: He’s broken 21 bones (one each year of his life, except last year broke the streak). Because of all the previous breaks, he has random aches sometimes. We thought that he just needed to go see a chiropractor and get his back aligned or something needed a simple fix. He went to the doctor and was told that if he wanted to be able to walk at all in the future, then he couldn’t thru hike the AT. So Michael is no longer hiking with me (insert crying emoji).

Zara’s almost thru hike

Because Michael is no longer going to hike, Zara’s going to stay home and keep him company. We were scared in the beginning of our planning about Zara overheating and not being able to keep up in the hot weather. She’s a lazy Husky who literally lays on top of air vents with her own personal fan pointed at her all summer long. With her staying at home with Michael, she still gets to go on the winter shakedown hikes and enjoy her fan in the summertime too. The best of both worlds for Princess Zara.

Leo the Lion

You’re probably wondering why Leo still gets to go on the thru hike with me. Leo and I have been inseparable since I “found” him 2 1/2 years ago. He pouts when I leave for work and even sits beside the tub while I use new (awesome) Lush bath bombs. Leaving Leo is not even an option. He would be extremely depressed if I were gone for that long without him. But the exception will be if we get on the trail and Leo is either unhappy or gets hurt. He will then be immediately taken back home to stay with Michael and Zara for the rest of my hike. His well-being is the number one priority and always will be. I’ll be taking a page out of Mayor and Catfox’s book by carrying him when he needs it and trying to get my base weight as low as possible so that I can carry his supplies when I need to.


Now that it’s just me and Leo, I’m going to do resupply boxes for us. Leo is extremely allergic to chicken and sensitive to gluten. With that, he has to have special food to keep him from being itchy, along with allergy medicine everyday. Because of this, it’ll be easier to just send my supplies with his in flat rate boxes about once a week. The logistics will get worked out when I get my AWOL 2018 NOBO Guide in January. Michael has happily agreed to send the resupplies and any other things we might need. He’ll be our supply coordinator and home base while we navigate the AT. He has even agreed to let Zara Skype with me and Leo when we’re in town. I’m really appreciative of all his help and all of the support for me to still do the thru hike, even though he’s not going to be able to. Michael will hopefully still be able to join us on the PCT after the AT.

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Comments 1

  • Peter Quinter : Oct 22nd

    Good luck. I will follow your travels.


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