Hi! I'm Laurel and completed a flip-flop thru hike hiking NoBo solo from Spring Mtn. to Damascus and continuing SoBo from Mt. Katahdin back to Damascus with my boyfriend. I'm a twenty-something recent University of Tennessee graduate who grew up in the Smokies and decided it's time to take the ultimate tour of my home mountain range. In addition to mountains, I enjoy riding all kinds of bicycles, scaling rock faces, and begging for affection from dogs.
Southern Hospitality on the Appalachian Trail
I heard rumors that trail magic was not uncommon in the south, but certainly did not expect it as frequently as I've come across it. I can only think that it's southern kindness running rampant in North Carolina and Georgia, bless our smelly hearts.
It’s not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves.
In less than 12 hours I'll be on the approach trail and before the end of the day I'll officially be on the AT on my way to Maine.
I Heard You Like Gear Lists
I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm a nutcase for stringing up a hammock and tarp between the two trees outside my front door. At least I'm a prepared nutcase!
The Quest for Peanut-free GORP and Budget Drop Boxes
Mail drops have have been the second most difficult aspect of planning for my thru hike attempt after gear. .. Enter my quest to craft drop boxes so I can avoid subsisting off raisins and chocolate chips for 5-6 months. I don't even like raisins.
How a Triathlon Prepared Me to Thru Hike
I have gotten into the ocean when the air temperature was 35 degrees and started a run when it's almost 100. Pouring rain? Great way to rinse off that lake sludge off before hopping on your bike!
What Possessed Me To Do This
Last summer the idea to go for a six month hike popped into my head and it stuck. No matter what I did I couldn’t get it out. I started seeing white blazes every time I closed my eyes.