Two Weeks on the Trail, and I’m Lovin’ It

Two weeks in and 135.7 miles complete.

What have I learned after my first two weeks?

I won’t ever be alone. After the morning departure, I might not see anyone for a few hours; five has been the longest span of solitude hours.

I just might have the shelter to myself. Not even if it’s dark, cold, and rainy, you’ll surely have company. Rule one: there’s always room for one more hiker. Haven’t camped alone yet. Now that I have a tramily I will not likely travel or camp alone, though we may not see each other for hours.

When you hike you don’t have to talk to yourself internally; I talk to myself out loud. Also sing out even if you stink like I do Currently working on Take Me Home Country Roads. (Hoping to perfect it by Virginia.) Already botched Georgia on My Mind and slaying Sweet Caroline (not in a good way). You get the picture.

I love uphill better than downhill, though hiking NOBO out of NOC and Jacobs Ladder kicked my butt. Smokies awaiting me tomorrow.

Angels do exist. Fresh Grounds’ Leapfrog Cafe, Ron (Ron’s shuttle), Methodist church in Robbinsville, Bruce “Papa Bear” Callahan, Lucky’s grandparents, etc…

Trail angel food.

This is Fresh Grounds.

Heading north is heading into winter. The trade-off is being ahead of the bubble. I mean ahead of the brrrr bubble.

International hikers are way cool; we all deal with changing logistics but compound that by being from another country. Take WOW (words of wisdom) a Palm, that is to say a Brit living in Australia working on his second leg of the Triple Crown. Or T-Rex, a Quebec resident from near Quebec City who was incredulous to hear I ferried across the Saugeney to the wilds of Forestville and Labriville and drove also to James Bay, such remote Canadian sections where he is a surveyor—these areas are rough—no wonder he flies through the AT.

Possibly a new vernacular? If you’re NOBO—you’re a GAME ( GeorgiA to- MainE ) likewise SOBO you’re a MEGA.

Having a temporary tramily member who has the AT and PCT on their resume and is warming up for the final leg of the crown ( CDT) is like carrying a thesaurus when you need a word. Thanks for the constant info and encouragement Swede. You’ll rock the CDT.

Artemis and me.


My trail friends, Lucky and Num Num.


We’ve all heard it. The trail will provide, just ask my tramily member Lucky. He has many stories leading right up to Fontana Dam, including I’m out of TP, wait, here’s a roll (seriously).

Enjoy the ride and remember—do good things and trail karma abounds.

Happy cat trails.


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Comments 6

  • Beretta and Dave : Mar 7th

    Go Man Go!!!!

  • Nikki Stavile : Mar 7th

    Looks like you are having a great time so far! Good luck as you head into colder weather.

  • Denise Marie Ellison : Mar 7th

    One foot in front of the other. Love your writing style. d

  • TaoJones : Mar 7th

    Wait! What? Aussies call Brits “Palms?” Sorry, no they do not, though it may sound like that. They call them Poms. Here, LMGTFY:

  • Pony : Mar 15th

    Down south, before the vast majority of would-be thru hikers have bailed out, you’re right: Unless you work at it (i.e. set up your tent somewhere between shelters), you are unlikely to be alone.

    But if you continue on up through the Smokys, Virginia, the mid-Atlantic, NJ/NY/CT/MA, you might just find yourself occupying even a shelter alone. I did, numerous times, when I hiked in 2016.

    It’s pretty hard to imagine when you’re down there moving along with some part of the bubble, but trust me, mate, it does thin out up north!

    Enjoy your hike.

    ~Pony (CT’15; AT’16; Foothills Trail, Alabama Pinhoti Trail’18)

  • Pony : Mar 15th

    P.S. I wholeheartedly endorse singing out loud in the woods. I did it often.


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