Hiking with Different Groups on Trail

In the beginning I set out on this hike wanting to conquer it on my own. I knew that I would meet people, but I didn’t know how important having another person or people would be on this journey.

An Army of Two

I was lucky enough to meet the person who I’m still with all the way back in Georgia at Unicoi Gap to Lincoln, NH, where we are right now. Having someone else breaks up the monotony on trail and with only two people to account for in the group it makes decision-making a lot easier. We can be as efficient as we want some days and other days we can choose to be lazy if we’ve had a tough few days on trail. We have met a ton of people on this hike so far and our group number has been anywhere from just the two of us to almost ten people at times.

Chaunce and me at Clingmans Dome in the Smokies.


Group Dynamics

The energy of having a group on trail is special. The hard days don’t feel as bad when you get into camp seeing familiar faces and they can be there to pick you up when you need it. The hardest part about it is when people’s schedules change. Everyone is still out here on their individual journey and schedule. Some hikers have all season to complete a thru-hike while others have tighter windows. From the back end of Tennessee all the way to Harpers Ferry we had a core group of about six hikers. The days flew by and we were cruising on trail. There came a time where the number went down to four because of different priorities. I am happy to say that our little trail group made it to New Jersey together, where we then split ways. It is always a sad/happy moment when you break off from a group. You know that everyone needs to hike their own hike but the bonds you make on trail are strong making the split tough.

Ninja, Jukebox, Chaunce, Mr. Perfect, and I at the ATC in Harpers Ferry

A New Group into New England

It was back to just the two of us going through the mid-Atlantic states. We got into Vermont and another group of hikers started popping up again. This time it was people we haven’t seen since North Carolina! We have been hiking around this group for a few weeks now and we have all made it into the White Mountains. The group consists of eight hikers and it is a pleasure to be with them in one of the most beautiful sections on trail.

Half of the new squad on Bromley Mountain in Vermont.

Looking Ahead

We have now entered into the Whites and with 100 miles left in New Hampshire it can only get better from here. The next section includes some of my most anticipated points on trail like Franconia Ridge and Mount Washington.

Until next time. Happy hiking!

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