Yoga Sisters on the Appalachian Trail

When my sister and I finally started out to hike the Appalachian Trail, we were a motley and mismatched pair.

She, an experienced athlete with actual backpacking experience and more chutzpah than you can stuff into a 60 liter pack, and myself, an idealistic homebody working at a public library.

I romanticized the great outdoors found between pages of books by John Krakauer, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Bill Bryson, Cheryl Strayed, Lucy and Susan Letcher, Michael Crichton, David James Duncan, and all the rest. While my sister dragged me on actual real backpacking trips where I spent weekends in a state of heightened alertness waiting for a stranger or a bear to emerge from the woods and kill us.

Our first section hike, 47 miles through the state of Georgia, did nothing to dispel my transcendentalist visions. But it introduced me to new concepts like dirt that graced my fingernails and shins, and how much uphill climbs suck.

“This is an awful lot of uphill,” I said once to my sister, thinking of those long stretches of meandering woods we’d traipsed through so often.

She turned to stare at me, “Myrt, that was the Foothills Trail. This is the Appalachian Trail.”

I stared at her as the impact of her words sunk in.

“It’s a mountain range,” she added.

I have yet to see my first Eastern Black Bear. Have not stumbled upon my first Copperhead or rattler luxuriating, stretched across the trail.

No grouse has yet erupted from dense underbrush to scare the crap out of us (though I have heard their groovy basketball dribble from afar). I have yet to be stung by a bee. But just the same, like you nomadic folks who can never leave the woods behind, I’ve been “bitten.”

I’m Myrt, and Walkie is my sis. Separately, Walkie is a petite powerhouse, and I would be lost without her on this trail.

Together, we’re the Yoga Sisters.

We start our next section in April, and in the meantime, I hope to explore topics that are new to me. My first section of the trail found me consumed with worry and doubt, but walking, just walking no matter how I was feeling, always took me to the next summit.

So, now that I know I can do this, this eternal walking through woods, I hope to share discoveries and explorations of such topics as nutrition on the trail, anticipated gear changes, and peeing in the woods.

Next up: To Bidet or Not to Bidet: On Packing Out Shitty TP

Thank you for sharing this hike with us, and thank you, trail!

Myrt & Walkie,
The Yoga Sisters

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Comments 14

  • Christine Martin : Feb 7th

    Wow! What a great story! Can’t wait to read more!

    • Daneen Schatzle : Feb 7th

      Thank you, Yoga Sister!

  • Michelle : Feb 7th

    Can’t wait for the rest of the story!

    • Daneen Schatzle : Feb 7th

      Thank you, Michelle!

  • Debbie Lyons : Feb 7th

    Can’t wait for this year’s continuation!

  • Curtis : Feb 7th

    Very cool! Looking forward to hearing about the next leg of your journey. And the trail bidets too!

    • Daneen Schatzle : Feb 7th

      I can’t wait to share my newfound dedication to trail bidets, Curtis!

  • Daneen Schatzle : Feb 7th

    Thank you! 🙂

  • Alex Castillo : Feb 12th

    I met you guys last year during your section hike. Your morning yoga was a great start to my first morning on the trail at Stover Creek. Hopefully I see you guys again this year. Good luck and have fun

    • Myrt, a Yoga Sister : Feb 13th

      Oh my gosh, Alex! I’m so happy that you commented. I hope everything is going well for you. Yes, I hope we run into you on the trail again. My sister was excited to hear from you, too. All the best 🙂

  • William Keith : Feb 17th

    Your writing is great! I like that your very humorous but stay on subject. I hope to enjoy your blog while thru-hiking, NOBO, beginning in, April.

    • Myrt, a Yoga Sister : Feb 17th

      Oh, this was so nice, William! I hope you enjoy your NOBO. That’s amazing! Maybe we’ll run into you on the trail. Happy hiking, and thank you for your kind words!!


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