From VA to PA to GA

Catching Up

Since the last time I wrote a blog entry (in October… Whoops), I have graduated with my Masters from UVA (go hoos!), moved all my stuff home, and spent much time prepping and packing. I’ve spent some time outside trail running and hiking despite the fairly cold VA weather. (If Roy who I met hiking out of Rockfish Gap sees this, this is the right Olivia!)
 

Bear Church Rock in Shenandoah NP.

 

I also dehydrated a few meals and packed some lovely USPS boxes to ship to myself periodically. Mostly to towns where resupplies are notoriously bad. Thanks to nuun for some awesome product sponsorship as well! Review coming soon.

 

Sweet potatoes and quinoa. Yum healthy food.

  

Please dont judge my massive first box. This should get me to Hiawasee.


What’s Going On Now

Recently I have been spending more time thinking about my mental preparation for the trail. I leave in a few days for Amicalola and the forecast for my start date is 100% rain/thunderstorms all day. That’s a real bummer but you know what? Whatever. Rain is a trail reality. I’m not too worried about starting my hike with adverse weather. I will be dealing with less than ideal weather for the next 5+ months anyway. Why not get used to it ASAP?

 

A training hike on the AT in VA.

 
I’ve also been thinking a lot about why I want to hike the trail. I’ve been so busy the past few months I was just focusing on getting to this point but now that I’m here I feel the need to reflect. It’s strange that I no longer live in Charlottesville which was my home for almost the past 3 years. I’m leaving all my friends and family behind to be dirty hiker trash, walk in the mountains everyday, and eat awful food from a tiny pot. From the outside, it doesn’t sound super pleasant. But as many hikers have said before, I kind of just feel like I have to do it.

 

My life for the next few months.

 
Jenn Pharr Davis gave a talk at Crozet Running last week. (If you live near C-ville, you have to go there. The Andersens are amazing people who sell great products.) Jenn spoke about her time hiking the trail and setting the speed record. At one point she was telling a story about getting lost on Mt. Washington in a storm, hiking off trail, and becoming hypothermic. Serious stuff. Apparently someone approached her during her record hike and obnoxiously said “Are you even having fun?”. Jenn, who had hiked 40 miles already that day, replied “No, I’m not having fun, but I think this might be better than fun.” And I think that quote really made me realize why I want to hike. To find something better than fun.
See you on the trail soon!

 

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Comments 2

  • Avatar
    Roy Mccausey : Mar 22nd

    Glad you are getting close to your start day, you must be so excited! I know you are going to have a great and exciting time,despite the rain. Just think of it as liquid sunshine! Enjoy every minute of it!
    Glad I had the opportunity to meet and speak with you near Rockfish Gap. Looking forward to keeping up with your progress and adventures all the way to Katahdin!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jeff Lanter : Apr 18th

    Olivia, thanks for your posts as I enjoy the updates thoroughly. I would love to hike the AT but am not in a financial position to do so currently. With your posts I can still use my imagination to be there. I could relate to your Georgia section as I have hiked about 65 miles of that part. Living in Canton Georgia, I’ve hiked Blood Mt probably 10 times so I could relate to your fall as the rocks can be very slippery about halfway down on the Northeast side. It has a spectacular view in the Fall though. Thanks again Olivia.
    Happy hiking and good luck!
    Jeff Lanter

    Reply

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