Well, I’m Toast

“I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile, will be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong” – Go the Distance from Hercules

Ignore my cheesy Disney lyrics … But when I got my trail name I felt like I finally belonged in this weird Appalachian Trail world.

I was at Top of Georgia (TOG) hostel and their kitchen area doesn’t have an outlet near the counter top. I had been sick the past two days and only wanted toast. So, I was holding the toaster waiting for 5 minutes when a worker informed me the outlet I was using was broken. The room was full and everyone was staring at me making toast …

People wanted to name me “Proctor Silex” the name of the actual toaster … But I figured “toast” would be easier to remember.


Day 1: Low Gap Shelter from Neel Gap. 11.5 miles.

Day 2: Tray Mountain Shelter. 15.4 miles.

Day 3: Budget Inn Hiawassee. 11 miles.

Day 4: TOG. 0 miles.

Day 5: Muskrat Creek Shelter. 11.5 miles.

Day 6: Carter Gap Shelter. 12.5 miles.

Day 7: Long Branch Shelter. 8.6 miles.

Day 8: Gooder Groove Hostel, Franklin, NC. 7.3 miles.

Day 9: Wayah Crest picnic area. 5.8 miles.

Day 10: Wesser Bald Shelter. 15.8 miles.

Day 11: Sassafras Gap Shelter. 12.6 miles.

Day 12: Brown Fork Gap Shelter. 9.1 miles.

Day 13: Fontana Hilton. 12.8 miles.

Day 14: Mollies Ridge Shelter. 11.4 miles.

Day 15: Derrick Knob Shelter. 12 miles.

Day 16: New Found Gap. 18.8 miles.

Day 17: Gatlinburg, TN. 0 miles.

Memories/ Highlights :

• Day 2 on the trail I had some stomach issues… Imagine having the worst stomach flu/ food poisoning of your life, but experiencing it outside , in the cold, wind and rain. I actually even ran out of toilet paper and had to cut up and ration my pack towel.
The next day I pushed more miles than intended to get to Hiawasee for some much needed medications. The following day I took a zero at TOG to recuperate. I didn’t start feeling completely okay until a few days ago.

•Pukes & Dukes was a jokingly suggested trail name … I’m glad that was avoided!

•I’ve met and have been hiking with two girls who also blog for Appalachian Trials! Dill & Stan. They give me life.

• the cold has frozen my shoes only once! I have trail runners and they unfroze quickly which made for a happy Toast, but unhappy toes.

• my tent clasps froze too! I had to breathe on them to get it to open.

•Neil opened a beer bottle with his teeth.

• my Klymit pack broke (Kevin) and it stabbed me in the butt repeatedly for 30+ miles . I now have an Osprey Aura.

•hiked an 18.7 mile day.

•The Doctor giving Blue a cheeseburger @ Newfound Gap when he was planning on hiking 3 more miles after already hiking 17.6. It was one of the happiest moments I’ve ever witnessed .

• we arrived at New Found Gap and lounged on the stone wall there. I now really understand the meaning of “hiker trash”.. I gave my legs a wet wipe bath , Blue made dinner, and Dill napped on her pack.. All on a monument with tourists around. We were literal trash in all their photos .
A cute little boy around 8 years old came up to us and asked “do you guys sleep here?”
I responded with, “no, we sleep in the shelters on the trail”
I realize my response probably made this boy think we were homeless… Which we kinda are ?



Introspection :

I spent my last semester of college trying to be someone I’m not. I put so much of my energy trying to be the “cool girlfriend “, pull off Summa Cumm Laude, and do all the college things that a college kid is supposed to do. I never felt like I was good enough.. Not good enough for my  ex boyfriend, my scholarships, or my own standards.
Out here hiking, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.
I rely on myself to make my mood better, to hike all those miles, and to stay safe.

And I am more than enough.

Pictures :





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Comments 9

  • Greg : Mar 17th

    Wow! Great post. Thank you, needed this one.

  • tracy : Mar 17th

    Awesome Emily!!! Follow your dreams. I am glad your doing so good!!!!

  • Steve Holzhauer : Mar 19th

    Have a great time Emily!!

  • Joyce : Mar 19th

    Good job…you’re doing it! Life is a big ol’ learning experience!

  • Joe Powers : Mar 19th

    It sounds like this experience is just what you needed…all those “expectations” that you placed on yourself didn’t get you what you needed. Now you’re finding out who you are, and you seem to like the new “you” a lot!

  • Mary : Mar 21st

    Best thing I’ve read all day!!!!

  • Susan Kraeszig : Mar 21st

    You’re living my dream, girl! Great mileage! Enjoy!

  • MaryB : Mar 21st

    Love that last photo of the tree. Great post

  • thomas sheets : Mar 21st

    You are indeed an inspiration Emily (Toast). Keep up the miles…. and smiles!!


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