Mile 342.2 – Mile 420.1

Mile 354.4

Today I was on the verge on tears all day. My body felt exhausted and it was really difficult to even go the 12 miles that I did.I ran into Teddy Rose about 2 hours in to my hike. I’m really glad I did. She’s nursing a bad ankle so we slowly hiked and chatted all day until we got to a campsite at mile 354.4. I’m just really glad I ran into her today. I definitely needed a distraction.

My body is definitely burning calories. I’m almost always hungry.

Mile 368.3

Today I summited Unaka Mountain. It was really beautiful. There was moss everywhere and spruce trees for about a mile or two.

My body still felt a bit exhausted all day. I think that could be part of the reason why I rolled my ankle so badly this morning. It seems to be okay. It just hurt a lot when it happened.

The days are getting hotter. I’ve been sweating more and drinking more.

I made it to Clyde Smith Shelter tonight. Little Dipper and Teddy Rose are here too. We hung out together while I cooked dinner. I set up my tent next to the shelter and they’re both inside.

Mile 383.9

I packed my tent up in the rain this morning. But once I started walking, the rain cleared and just a thick fog filled the air.

I walked most of the day with Little Dipper. Teddy Rose got off the trail to have her foot looked at. She was afraid it might be broken.

I heard thunder almost all day. With about 4 miles left to the shelter, the thunderstorm finally hit us. The trail became a slop fest. I successfully slipped and fell twice.

The shelter I’m staying in tonight is a converted barn. It’s huge. I actually set up my wet tent inside.

Something I was thinking about while walking today and wanted to share – I had a conversation a few days ago about body image and self confidence. In my everyday life I constantly compare my body and self image to others around me. I think most women do this. Or maybe just a lot of women do this. I think – I’d look so much better if I had less belly fat or maybe if my thighs weren’t so flabby or wow, she’s so fit, I just need to eat only vegetables and I’d be happier. I also constantly look at other women and try to guess their pant size and then wonder if their body is bigger or smaller than mine.

Pretty messed up, right?

I realized the other day, I don’t do that as often out here if even at all. I actually feel relatively confident out here and honestly, I feel pretty. I mean, it does sound silly. I don’t shower for at least 5 days and I wear the same thing everyday. But it’s true. I feel good about myself and don’t feel judged or self conscious about my imperfections.

Mile 393.1

I finally am out of North Carolina. 2 states down!

I hiked 10 miles into the village of Roan Mountain. Tonight I’m staying at Doe River Hiker Rest. The house is completely full of hikers. There are 3 dogs, chickens, and goats.

Mile 411.4

My day started out great. Dave, the owner of Hiker Rest, let me follow him into the barn and help feed the chickens and goats this morning. Those goats of his are so friendly.

An older couple that was staying at the hostel made crepes for all the hikers for breakfast. There was fresh strawberries, homemade cream, and maple syrup too. It was so delicious.

I got back on trail around 10am. There were so many streams and creeks within the 17 miles I hiked today. So lush and green too.

I’m around mile 409 now. 400 miles down and almost 20% complete. Those are some exciting statistics.

I’m attempting to take some lower mileage days this week in order to make it into Damascus, VA for Trail Days on Thursday.

Mile 420.1

The trail today was super beautiful. I took my time enjoying the lookouts, washing my feet in the river, chatting with new faces, and setting up my tent at 4pm. I couldn’t pass up this camp spot. It’s so nice.

I wanted to thank you guys for reading these. I’m pretty self conscious of my writing style. I appreciate you all coming back and putting up with it. And also for your kind and supportive comments. Each one really makes me happy and encourages me daily. So, thanks.

End of Day 35.

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Comments 17

  • Lauren : May 16th

    I love reading about the people you come across and their hospitality. And that bit about your confidence on the trail. ?

    • kay smith : May 17th

      I love reading everything you write and enjoy all the pictures. I regret I never did this – you will NEVER regret doing this! Keep on truckin!

  • D : May 16th

    Awesome photos and great writing, as always. See you soon.

  • Brittany : May 16th

    Lady – you are AMAZING! This is so cool to read and follow. <3

  • Kerry : May 16th

    Love it, Anna! That crepe and some goat feeding?!?!

    I know what you mean about body image. Every single girl thinks that way and if they say they don’t they are lying!

    I think it’s great you’re feeling good. I think getting a little further from social media and magazines and stuff has always helped me appreciate myself more. I feel like you look super good too!

    Anywho, keep on trail blazing, little trail blazer 🙂 kikoo.

  • Erika : May 16th

    So proud of you, Anna. Realizing we’re more alike than I thought. I love the short snippets of your writing, I’ve always thought you were beautiful, your pictures are beautiful, and I’m so proud of you. Keep crushing it.

  • Monica : May 16th

    You are so brave to be doing this. Everyone is so proud of you. Reading your daily reports makes me imagine that I’m right there with you. Your pictures are awesome. Be safe and god be with you on your journey.

  • Dick : May 16th

    Anna, I love reading your honest, heartfelt and descriptive comments about your adventure, and your photos are just as amazing. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I’m cheering and praying you on. Patti and I hiked abt two days worth of the Trail many, many years ago. We thought it was hard work, but it was nothing compared to what you are doing!

  • tom roepke : May 17th

    thanks for sharing the amazing thoughts & words and images from your trek. thanks too for your leaning in on those difficult moments & thoughts…incredible Kingdom beauty in all of that. Praying for you! blessings!!

  • Rebecca tompkins : May 17th

    You are a beast. So incredibly impressed. I never stop praying for u girl. Keep posting. We love yur snippets.

  • Jan Stiffler : May 17th

    I am a 67 year old woman. The same age as Emma Gatewood when she hiked the entire trail the first time. If I can get more strength, I would love to do it. I have done some day hikes on the trail. Thanks for sharing. Jan

  • Lorraine : May 17th

    Your going to have one amazing book of memories for yourself with all those beautiful pictures. Good luck!

  • Austin : May 17th

    I read quite a few blogs on Trek, but I really enjoyed yours. Nice pics also. Loved hearing you write about how hiking the AT makes you feel good about yourself. Way to go!

  • Mark : May 17th

    Love reading your posts! Keep um coming and keep on keeping on. Never give up!

  • Chip Richter : May 17th

    Been following your progress all the way… cheering you on Anna… I know what a huge task and adventure this is, I’ve had people close to me take on the AT Thru Hike…. there are things being worked into your Spirit and soul you may not see until long after you cross the finish line… but there are also things being revealed to you in these very day to day moments about yourself and the world around you…. evidences of the goodness and lovingkindness of God. Thank you for sharing some of those things with all of us…. but I do hope you will hold some of those of things close to your heart… keeping them just for you. Walk on dear Girl… Cheering you on! -Chip

    • Mike : May 18th

      Love reading these testimonials and seeing it through other people’s eyes

  • Jess : Jun 6th

    You are an amazing, strong and beautiful lady Anna! I’m glad this trek is giving you the time and space to reflect on so many things.


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