Tennessee-North Carolina-Tennessee..where am I?!

The AT criss crosses the NC/TN border for miiiiilessssss. And ya know, the days are flying by out here. It’s weird, collectively they are flying by, but the days themselves are long. Thru-hiking is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit. And I do not say that to toot my own horn. Haha. Seriously though, most mornings I am putting damp clothes, socks and shoes on. It’s gross. I’m gross. I smell bad. Really bad. And it’s okay.

There are tricks, like sleeping with your damp clothes in your bag so that your body heat dries them overnight. But everything is usually damp. Then I breakdown camp, have coffee and breakfast, pray for good weather, and then hike for 10-12 hours, set up camp, hang a bear line, eat dinner and pass out. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. For 2193.1 miles…of mostly smiles 🙂 ‘Cause the reward is so sweet. Those views. The bonds within the hiking community. The sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Waking up in the morning. The sunsets. All of it. Okay most of it. It’s so sweet.

I’m so lucky. And grateful. And ya know what, I’m so proud of myself for making it happen. I know that when my heart calls me to do something, it’s up to me to make it happen. One step at a time, lots of insight into how others have done it, and then go do it.

I’m trying my best to live by that. My old friend  Swedish Fish taught me that. Many years ago, I was so jealous of her travels and adventures and I told her I was envious and she said, ‘well go do it’. And I did. Those four words changed my life. Funny how a person can have such influence over a life’s trajectory. ☺️

I’d love to make this blog interactive, so if you have specific questions regarding thru-hiking the AT please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them in future posts. 

-Zips 🏕

P.S. Enjoy the pics!

 



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Comments 18

  • pearwood : Jun 4th

    And she keeps moving along.
    Good for you.
    Blessings,
    Steve / Pearwood

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Thanks Pearwood!

      Reply
  • John : Jun 4th

    Love reading your posts and seeing the photos. Looks like you’re doing great. Keep moving along and enjoy every moment. You’re on a great adventure.

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Thanks you!

      Reply
  • Caroline Athey : Jun 4th

    And proud of yourself you should be as I am also proud of you. I miss you every day but know that you are living your best life. Love reading your updates and seeing the beautiful places you have seen. Stay strong and happy 😘

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Love ya Mom! 💕

      Reply
  • Brad Whippo : Jun 5th

    Hi Zipsss! I’m really enjoying your blog. How many miles are you hiking per day?

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      About 15. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Vince : Jun 5th

    Curious about what is open in towns when you resupply, and how the stupidity in DC, specifically the NPS, is affecting those who walk the woods. Should be going out next season to finish up. Good luck. Fair winds and following seas.
    Vince aka The Dude, A/T SOBO, ’16, ’17,’18 and hopefully ’22

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Hi there,

      At this point most everything is open. I’ve noticed that some restaurants/hostels closed and never reopened, but it hasn’t affected my hike. Fast food places are drive thru only, so I walk through the drive thru. On trail it hasn’t been a noticeable thing in my opinion.

      Thanks for reading!

      -Zips ✌️

      Reply
  • Russ1663 : Jun 5th

    Trek on Zipsss, your daily grind is so much of the journey; the sights, the people you meet are the experience. Best of trail luck to you. Take care.

    Russ

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Julie : Jun 6th

    Bear lines. Are there bear lines at most shelters on the AT? Does everyone know how to use one? I’ve helped hang a couple on the PCT, just for practice and I know there are videos, but is everyone an expert on the trail? It’s one of the many things I’ll need to practice before I hit the trail. I’m a terrible “thrower”.

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Hi Julie,

      Some camp spots have bear boxes or hang cables, but lots do not. I practiced a little before I left and then had no choice to get good at it on trail! You’ll be fine! We all help each other.

      Thanks for reading.

      -Zips ✌️

      Reply
  • Cynthia : Jun 16th

    I’m really enjoying following your journey!
    Your pics are great!
    We visited the Smokies recently and were up at Klingman’s Dome …. stood right where you sat.
    We didn’t have the same view as you … it was a clear day.
    But hey, you are having some spectacular views along your way.
    Stay safe. Cheering you on!

    Reply
    • Annemarie Athey : Jul 1st

      Hi Cynthia,

      So glad you got an awesome view at CD!

      Thanks for reading!

      -Zipsss ✌️

      Reply

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