First couple of weeks

First Few Days

I arrived at Springer Mountain after a 7 hour ride. Parked at the parking lot which is 1 mile north of the summit then hiked back down to the car. I stayed at a cabin for the next few days and was able to slack pack the next 20 or so miles due to the help from great friends. For those of you who do not know what slack packing is, it is when somebody drops you off with a day pack and they meet you at the end of the day. You either can sleep in your tent there or go to a place and sleep in a real bed.

We arrived at the cabin the first night around 6:30pm and realized we would have to drive 45 minutes to get food. Lucky for us, the caretaker of the cabin lived close by and invited us over for dinner. One of the guest was from Israel (he was doing work for stay) and had the best tasting hummus ever. Now that is what I call trail magic. Again trail magic is when someone provides a service like a ride into town, food or anything that makes a hiker’s life better. The people are called trail angels.


The start

Winter is not over

After my friends left, I was able to connect with a friend of a friend (thank you Ernie, Rhea was great) and he helped me slack pack some more. Boy was I happy because it snowed for a couple of days and it was below freezing for several nights. I loved hiking in the snow because the trees in the mountains were beautiful. It reminded me of where I grew up, skiing down the mountain, everything frosted. I just don’t like sleeping out when it is cold. I did spend one night in the tent where it was so cold, Yankee and I were both shivering all night long even with all my clothes on, he kept trying to get on my pad which pushed me off it onto the cold ground. Needless to say, I did not sleep much. The next day I hiked 9.8 miles and I wanted to quit. But I did not since they say do not quit on a bad day.

Recap since I left

So in the last couple of weeks, I have climbed over many mountains, one where I actually had to put my poles away and climb hand over foot, fun but tough. Stayed in a shitty motel where the room smelled so bad of smoke, I could hardly breathe. I have come to appreciate privy’s (in the past avoided them like the plague if I could), much better than using the outdoors, slack packing.

Have met people from Australia, Hungary, Germany, fellow Canadians. I usually don’t see them for long since I am a slower hiker. Slow and steady wins the race.

Have seen a lot of dogs out here.

Have seen a lot of young hikers limping into camp and town because they are trying to do too many miles at the beginning.

Found out that mud can be as slippery as ice and roots love to trip you up.

My lungs and thighs dislike the up hills while my foot and knees dislike the down hills.

I am getting stronger every day.

Finished one state, 13 to go.


I thought I would have trouble with my knees due to my past surgeries but it is actually my left foot that is bothering me. I have Morton’s neuroma which feels like a knife sticking in the ball of my foot when I go downhill. Have tried inserts which have helped a bit.

Took a day off today in Franklin to see a podiatrist in the hopes that a steroid shot helps the pain.

Even though I took a zero day (day where you do not hike on the trail), I walked at least 5 miles on pavement (much harder than the trail) going to the podiatrist, finding a store to resupply, go to the post office for a package. On my walk, I found a café that people had been telling me about since mile 50. It is attached to a gas station, the chef is French and I had the best salmon I have ever tasted. That is what is so amazing about the trail. You find unexpected gems and moments along the way.

That’s it for now. Will try to blog more now that I have it set up.


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Comments 10

  • Lauren : Mar 30th

    Glad you got your first post up! Good luck on your journey. I’ll be following along 🙂
    – Lauren

  • Myriam Kayser : Mar 30th

    Je viens de lire tes trois posts et c’est très inspirant. I hope you’re having the time of your life and I can’t wait to hear all the details. Bisou!

  • Myriam Kayser : Mar 30th

    Je viens de lire tes trois posts et c’est très inspirant. I hope you’re having the time of your life and I can’t wait to hear all the details. Bisou! ?

  • Amy : Apr 1st

    keep up the good work, spirits, and writing. love hearing all about it.

  • Mona : Apr 1st

    You GO girl! Love knowing that you are faring well (neuromas aside) and that you are so open to the beauty. Just waiting for my slack pack assignment! You are one incredible woman! P. S. to Yankee -don’t hog mama’ s bed.

  • Melanie : Apr 2nd

    All of us send love and strength from the dental office. keep kicking butt, I can’t wait to hear more. ???

  • Andrew P : Apr 3rd

    Great to hear that you have made it through one state already! Your (and Yankee’s) perseverance is incredibly admirable, especially given that you’re experiencing some pain. Hopefully that resolves, and you can continue to rock on (no pun intended)! Super proud of you 🙂 Also, your post from Yankee’s perspective was hilarious and awesome!

  • Megan : Apr 3rd

    Congrats on all you have achieved so far. Hope you heal up real soon. Thank you for everything you did for Erin and myself. When we get back to the east coast we want to take you out for dinner. Give Yankee a big hug for me.
    Lots of love, Marshmallow and MacGyver (Erin and Megan)

  • Dave (AMP-Absent minded Professor) : Apr 4th

    I found out I had a Morton’s Neuroma 3 years ago (it got inflamed from Marathon running)
    The Steroid shots didn’t help and was painful as heck. My doctor said “Live with it, or have the surgery” and I rested it a while.

    It only flares up when I do too much. Place a cotton ball between the two toes where the Neuroma is and try to get a wider boot/sneaker for that foot.
    I’m going to try and use Altra trail runners on my upcoming section hike. They are not like standard footware, the toe box is more of less the shape of your foot.

    Good Luck!

  • Tresha : Apr 10th

    You are amazing Nadine! Love your photos and your insights!! “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir Abrazos chica, y ojala que todo vaya bien!


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