Through the Smokies, and I Just Keep Walking
I’ve made it through the Smokies. At a little over 70 miles, it feels like such a feat to have successfully made it past that point. I’ve been told that many people quit during or after the Smokies, but I triumphed. We had one day of miserable weather, but beyond the day of solid rain and hail, we got very lucky with weather. Now past Hot Springs, I’ve hiked over 275 miles, which is longer than the Long Trail in Vermont (I thru-hiked the LT in 2011). That’s an accomplishment to me.
I’ve found my core group of hiking friends. We don’t want to give our tramily a name, because it’s cheesy, but we seem to be calling ourselves the Fab Four. There are three dudes and me. Although I’m the only girl, somehow we all fit together well. We span in age from 31 to 22 and come from very different backgrounds. We are an unlikely group of four, supporting each other through the day while also laughing with (and at) each other. It’s awesome to have a group to lean on and plan with. Although we mostly hike separately during the day, we come together at night to laugh and recount the trials of the day.
Hike, Eat, Sleep, Repeat
In terms of mileage, we are keeping it between 12 and 16 right now. Everyday we feel stronger, we hike hills faster, and we wake up less sore. We all have our daily routines. Mine is roughly as follows.
–7 a.m.: wake up, breakfast, coffee
–8 a.m.: begin hiking
–10:30 a.m.: snack time and water break
–12-1 p.m.: lunch break or another snack
–3-5 p.m.: arrive at camp
–5 p.m.: get water and filter
–5:30 p.m.: dinner
–6 p.m.: brush teeth and hang bear bag
–7 p.m.: socialize for a bit
–8 p.m.: relax in tent, sleeping time
Hikers live by the schedule of the sun, so when the sun comes up, my day starts, and when it goes down, the day’s over.
I’ve been hiking for over three weeks now. My routine is set and I’m cruising. I’m having a great time, overcoming challenges, and growing every day. Each day has afforded me amazing views and various obstacles. I love it out here and I can’t wait to keep hiking and continue exploring. Next stop, 300 miles.
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