The Beginning is Here!

Well folks, we are officially hitched!!!! Spring came to Michigan just in time for our wedding and besides our officiant getting violently sick a few hours before the ceremony (sorry Jackson!) and needing to find a last minute alternate (thanks Bob!), we had the most magical day. Indulge me as I share one wedding photo:

Photo credit to the talented and beautiful Alyssa Wrubel.

So what has happened since our wedding? Let me fill you in.

Quick Recap:

Over three days, we said goodbye to our two families, finished putting everything in storage, rented a vehicle, did some panic grocery shopping in Ohio, and drove down to Atlanta. We took the train and then walked a mile to our hotel. That walk, which involved cutting through a giant mall and following a very questionable exit sign, was an enlightening experience.

My pack was too heavy.

Skinny Down.

Upon arrival at the hotel, I promptly tore my pack apart. An extra sleep shirt, fleece, heavy-duty glasses case, unnecessary stuff sacks, and my third pair of socks were thrown into a bag and dropped off at the nearest FedEx. I also did a serious purge of my food bag. Since I was moving out and hate wasting anything, I had thrown a LOT of non-perishables into my pack and figured I would eat them along the way, right? Wrong. I don’t like Kind bars in normal life and seriously doubt they will taste better on trail.

When I weighed in my pack this morning at Amicalola Falls State Park, it was a respectable 26 pounds, including 5 days of food and 2L of water (Nick’s was 29 pounds- thanks for being the team pack mule, honey!).

The Approach Trail.

And finally, FINALLY today we started hiking! It could not have been a more beautiful day- 70s and sunny. The 8-mile approach trail (from Amicalola Falls State Park to Springer Mountain, the official southern end of the AT) was accurately rated as “strenuous” but I had an awesome hike and my pack felt pretty good.

We arrived at Springer where we were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Springer (no joke, their last names were Springer and I LOVED that they took advantage of the perfect dad joke. They also took our picture for us!). It felt pretty surreal to see the first white blaze of the AT.

Officially on the real-life Appalachian Trail!! (Photo credit to Mr. and Mrs. Springer).

Next steps.

Our plan is to hike 8 or so miles per day until our first resupply to try and ease into this whole hiking all day, everyday routine. Hopefully, I didn’t throw away too much food during my food bag purge… (just kidding Grandma, we’ll be fine).

Expectation vs. Reality:

Expectation: we will have to force ourselves to stop hiking after 8 miles.

Reality: we were SO ready to lay down after hiking the first 8 miles.

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Comments 18

  • Mom : Apr 6th

    So exciting!! Glad it was a perfect first day!
    Love the Expectation vs. Reality 🙂

    • Manfred : Apr 7th

      Expectation v. Reality was a highlight for me too!

  • Aunt Lisa and gang : Apr 6th

    Sounds like a great first day! I’m chuckling at the food purge…..I’d struggle with that as well, cause the amount of snacks I pack for a road trip to MI could feed my family for probably a week, LOL. Good luck tomorrow!

    • Kara : Apr 10th

      Gotta have those snacks!! We still had leftovers by the time we made it our first store. Thanks for the well wishes!!

  • Aunt Suz & Uncle Gary : Apr 7th

    Let the adventure and memories begin. Have a safe trip.

    • Kara : Apr 10th

      Thank you! It has been a great experience so far!!

  • Nicholas Phillips : Apr 7th

    *Congratulations in entering married life! Ancient Jewish tradition allowed newlyweds to spend a whole year together without working to get to know each other, but of course their parents made the selection, but unique newlyweds drop everything and spend months together on the AT. I think it is wonderful! Ideal time in your lives to build on the foundation of your relationship by taking on a challenging adventure in beautiful reflective surroundings!

    *So proud of both of you taking on the AT. I have done 3 sectional hikes on the AT; Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut.

    *Stay hydrated, keep feet dry, pace yourself until you get your hiking legs underneath you. Keep you eyes open for snakes under/around rocks, and logs, check for ticks, utilize bear boxes/poles or make your own in the trees if not available, pitch tent around live trees not dead ones, expect change in weather and temp, Enjoy God’s creation, seek God’s Word and voice in your reflections, and embrace the gift of each other!

    As you post, I will be marking your position on my AT map in my office, and praying for you both! Blessings! Dr. Nick

    • Manfred : Apr 7th

      Awesome stuff, Nick!!

    • Mom : Apr 7th

      Nick – Thanks for praying, for the encouragement to Kara & Nick, and the sound advice!

    • Kara : Apr 10th

      I didn’t know that about ancient Jewish culture- so cool! Thank you for the encouragement and advice!

  • Mark Scott : Apr 7th

    Have fun you two! You know you could have spent some time relaxing at the cottage instead! Just saying….

    • Kara : Apr 10th

      Ha! We’ll have to take you up on that when we’re back in Michigan!

  • Suz : Apr 7th

    Dear Kara & Nick,
    Congrats on the marriage and this new chapter in your life.
    My fiancé and I are literally wanting to do the exact same thing for our honeymoon.
    This is so exciting and inspiring to see and I will definitely be following your journey and rooting for you guys!
    Good luck with the next few months and the adventures you’re about to embark on.
    Happy hiking!

  • Linda B : Apr 7th

    Congratulations! on so many things. Happy hiking!

  • pearwood : Apr 7th

    Congratulations, Kara and Nick!
    What a honeymoon!
    Steve / pearwood

  • TBR : Apr 7th

    Wow, that’s some awesome start-the-AT weather you got there … a good omen.

    Actually, those Kind bars would probably have tasted better after a day’s hiking … as you’ll discover, everything does.

    Enjoy your hike, you newlyweds!

    • Kara : Apr 10th

      Okay, confession time: I ate Nick’s kind bar last night and it brought me back to life after a tough afternoon hike. Thanks for the well wishes!

  • Delaine FormerWW : Apr 8th

    Congrats you two! Kara, missing you dearly… but rooting for you guys every day! I’m really glad that I can live vicariously through you and not actually have to hike 8 miles in the woods and then sleep on the ground for half a year ;P

    <33333333333 tp


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