Sun and Moon and Rain and Sun

So many stories; so little time to write!

Biggest news is that we have our trail names: Chris is Butter Meister and I am Snowy Owl. Bodhi is sometimes known as Wigglebutt but mostly everyone knows him as Bodhi. And I mean everyone. We’ll roll into a hostel or shelter and everyone shouts “Bodhi’s here.” I guess that’s what it’s like traveling with a celebrity.

Trail Magic Is Real!

Every few days the trail crosses a road and different groups set up specifically to provide food for thru-hikers. The first one we encountered was a Baptist church pastor with a full spread of every kind of snack cake, cookie, granola bar, chips, and the best hot chocolate liberally laced with half-n-half.

As we descended into Unicoi Gap we were greeted by a cadre of college students grilling hamburgers with all the fixings. They were astonished that Bodhi had never had a hamburger and quickly rectified that deficit.

Today we were greeted by the Kentucky Krew, a small family set up in Dick’s Creek offering hot dogs wrapped in a pancake (instead of a bun) garnished with peanut butter & a bit of honey. Delicious!

Sleep Times

While we mostly stayed in our tent, we did take spend a few nights in a trail shelter to avoid the rain. Imagine lying shoulder to shoulder in a 3-sided wooden structure with rain pouring down & the shelter mice scurrying around you.

We also slept twice at Around the Bend hostel – the first time in a tiny cabin and tonight (4 days later) in an antique VW bus!

Of course we’re experiencing sore muscles, soggy boots, and some shivering temperatures. All that quickly fades as we crest a mountain to truly amazing vistas. On Tray Mountain we were sitting around the campfire when someone said “look.” The moon was rising in the East while the sun was setting in the West. That was the true trail magic.

If you made it this far, drop a note in the comments if only to say “hey.” In the next couple days we’ll cross the border into North Carolina  & it may be a bit before I can post again. Happy trails!



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Comments 23

  • Julie : Mar 20th

    Hey there! I love reading about you journey! I’ll be in my 60s when I head out on my thru hike so your writings are very interesting to me. Thank you for taking the time to give me/us a peek into your adventures.

  • Fran Sharp : Mar 20th

    Hi Leslie and Chris,
    I’m loving reading your blog posts!
    Good for you—doing this trek! I so admire you for “going for it”.
    Hope to see you this summer. Maybe, right?
    Love and blessings to you,

  • Mindy : Mar 20th

    Yay, Snowy Owl, Wigglebutt, and Buttermeister! I’m living vicariously through y’all! Wishing you clear skies, dry boots, and more hot digs wrapped in pancakes! Be safe and enjoy your journey! Sending many hugs from our house to y’all on the trail.

  • James : Mar 20th

    Hey, very nice article. Safe travels

  • Tom : Mar 20th

    Always look forward to your posts. Stay happy. Stay safe.

  • Bob Lamb : Mar 20th

    Eagerly following you, Leslie! In total awe of your adventure!

  • Sky Pilot : Mar 20th

    Look forward to your posts! Sidelined to let my knee improve so will never catch up to you; but so fun to hear your take on everything!

  • Bonnie : Mar 20th

    Hey! Realized I wasn’t getting your posts so tried re-subscribing. It tells me there’s an error, so I’ll try to remember to search for your posts at least every week. Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Glad Bodhi’s doing well – any you two too! Happy trails.

  • Lynn Gliniany : Mar 20th

    Hey Les and Chris! I check everyday for your comments. Love reading them. What an incredible journey you guys have undertaken! Keep on trekking! Love you guys!!!!

  • Susie Lanw : Mar 20th

    We met at Twin Creek a few weeks ago. Took your advice on the trek poles and used them at John Bryan. Worked great!! Thank you! Steve and I both love reading about your adventure. Give Bodhi a belly scratch from us! Wishing you blue skies and more beautiful vistas along the way! Susie

  • Jon Slavin : Mar 20th

    Hey you two, er I mean three. I’ve been enjoying reading of your progress. I admire your bravery and perseverance! I’m still planning on trying to meet you somewhere along your route to hike with you for a while. We can communicate when you get closer to MA. I hope you continue to enjoy your adventure.

  • J : Mar 20th

    Hey!!! 🙂

  • Anne Woodward : Mar 20th

    You’re on the trail 12 days and Bodhi is already famous! Glad the hike is going well and you are getting some trail magic!

  • pearwood : Mar 20th

    Hi, Leslie!
    I have a mouse canister. It is also reputed to be bear-proof.
    Blessings on your way,

  • Ann Biswas : Mar 20th

    Love reading your trail tales! You guys are so brave–we are amazed. And Calvin sends loves and sniffs to Bodhi! Keep going!!! Ann & Kristi

  • Erica Cinibulk : Mar 20th

    Mike and I are enjoying your journals. Congrats on your trail names! We’re enjoying your posts and hope by now you’re bodies have acclimated to the daily trekking.

  • Preston : Mar 20th

    Enjoying your updates as you strike out on this phase of your journey of life and faith! Being limited to dayhikes, it is great to be able to here your insights and reflections.


    Preston (also a retired minister)

  • junie : Mar 20th

    Hi Leslie and Chris! I think you are crazy, but I applaud your adventurous spirit. Please be careful and take care. I am thinking of you with lots of love. <3

  • Mary Ellen : Mar 21st

    Leslie and Chris,
    So glad you are making this trip and sharing your adventures. Wishing you very safe travels and continued great experiences. Very cool to take your dog as well.

    Mary Ellen and Akil

  • Steve Thompson : Mar 22nd

    Two weeks, two states. Well on the way now, I’d say. Not to mention all the eating. Stay warm and dry. SRT

  • Dan Enterline : Mar 24th

    Oh boy!! The weather for Rymer’s Ferry, NC is 60 & sunny this afternoon!! You guys really are on the top of the world!!! Go get ’em!!!

  • Caitlin : Mar 26th

    Happy it’s going well so far! Excited to hear more!

  • Sharon : Mar 26th

    Impressive! You are in North Carolina already! The SO team won Regionals with 68 points and are now on to State. Miss you both in the preparation, but love what you are doing. Give Bodhi an ear rub from me.


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