The Beginning of Something Big

I started hiking!

WE started hiking! Nikki is joining me for the first week at least, maybe first two weeks, well heck maybe the whole thing. Plans are still being made at this moment, but I can tell y’all what might slightly unconventional hiking plan is so far.

Flip Flop

Rather than starting in Georgia with the masses of thru-hike hopefuls, I instead started on April 20 at Daleville, just north of Roanoke, and will be hiking north to Mt Katahdin Maine before flying/bussing/train-ing back and hiking south to Springer Mtn Georgia. This way I can avoid the overcrowded trails in the beginning and join the dispersed thru-hiker crowd that has started trickling into Virginia. Then I’ll be in Vermont/Maine after mud and black fly season when it will be warmer, and hiking south into Georgia as it gets cooler with Fall. I’m hoping for a good balance of solitude and cool friends, and for mild temperatures on thru.


I started my hike with Nikki Saturday April 20. On May 2, just 12 days from starting, my parents are picking me (us?) up from the trail and taking me to my cousins wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Yeehaw! Then May 5 or 6 they’re dropping me back off right where they picked me up and I’ll keep frolicking northwards alone for a few days/weeks. THEN Nikki will be rejoining me (maybe?) after her side quest and we will hike all the way to Katahdin. Bada bing bada boom. I think we’ll (or just me????) get there in early August but it’s tough to predict with potential injury time and the fabled white mountains (dun dun dunnnn). AND THEN I will be staying at HYA for a few weeks – I think Nikki will be on another side quest too – and restarting the southbound portion in late August. So, all in all, I think I (we?!?!) will finish the trail early October at Springer Mtn after hiking for about 4.5 months not including breaks. Swag.

Our adventures!!

Day 0:

dad energy. We started around 4:30 pm after my friend Kiara (from HYA) dropped us off at a gas station in Daleville. We made it about 4 miles and set up camp on the ridge and grubbed. Hanging the hang bag only drew a little bit of blood and took 30 minutes of throwing rocks and getting the rope stuck in the tree. We started Salems Lot by Stephen King, chosen out of 3 possible books downloaded on the kindle we are borrowing (thanks Bhati!!!). I can’t wait for it to get spooooooky hehe

Day 1:

We had an enlightening conversation about the feng shui of chocolate and mayonnaise and eels (uhhhh don’t ask). We swigged some olive oil… yeah, wouldn’t do that again. We took a lunch break at a shelter and ended up spin kicking lots of trees – no trees were hurt in the process! I had my Sunday class with my guru and other students; we started on poetry which I love. Overall it was a pretty spontaneous, rambunctious, swag day. Oh and we hiked 12 miles!


Day 2:

Another 12 miles down. We spotted our first nut beasts (squirrels) and chipmunks (nut bastards?). We’re not quite sure why it took so long to find some, but we think the trolls are keeping their populations down. After hiking a while in mutual silence, we stopped at a stream to fill up our water and stumbled across fiddlehead kingdom! It was an epic marshy island of only fiddlehead ferns and one tree in the middle. It felt elfishly magical. Then we hiked down the mountain and yelled about spirituality which filled the air with good vibes. Finally we called for a shuttle to Middle Creek Campground, met Scorpion Queen while eating black bean burgers and nachos, and had an hour plus long energetic fun time on the playground equipment and playing horse (using ‘scorpio’ instead to honor Scorpion Queen) at the basketball hoop. Trail life is so magical!

Day 3:

We slept in late at the campsite, ate a hearty breakfast of egg and hash-brown sandwiches, took showers (clean!) and got back on the trail again around 1:30. Then we crushed about 9 miles of trail and 3220 feet in elevation gain – the burn was so good. We camped at a shelter for the first time! We whipped up some mashed potatoes for dinner; for me maybe too much but for Nikki the struggle was real… We decided to sleep in the shelter,  but I had to jump ship around midnight and set up my tent when mice were running around my head. Nikki is friends with the mice so they didn’t bother her. All is balanced and well with the world. 


Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?