I mentioned back in April that I was going hiking this summer. I had planned on doing all 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Since I'm already back, obviously I didn't make it that far!
I do need to add up my total miles, but it is somewhere just under 300 miles hiked on the trail this year. I did it in a few pieces. Here is a summary which might actually tell more than my hiking blog (veganhiker.blogspot.com)
5/13/08 - 5/26/08
14 days, 140 miles - Harpers Ferry, WV to just past Duncannon, PA.
I'd only been on 2 overnight backpacking trips before starting. My pack was about 30 pounds and I hadn't used any of my equipment. Amazingly I got into hiking shape really quickly...I did an 18 mile day on the 4th day out, on that day I met Gobbles and Maytag, who I hiked with until I went home. There were a ton of frustrating moments while I figured stuff out. Lighting my stove, pumping water, how much water to carry and how to attach it to my pack, and shopping for food in small towns. Blisters were a huge problem and it rained a ton so I hiked lots with wet feet. I also got lonely which I didn't expect. Even hiking with Gobbles and Maytag I was lonely. After 2 weeks I got a ride to the train station and came home, fully intending to go back out.
A stream in Maryland.
My pack with my water bladder on top of it. I could live out of that pack for a week as long as there was a stream or somewhere to get water.
6/6/08 - 6/8/08
3 days, ~36 miles, to Wind Gap, PA
J was planning on meeting me this weekend to hike so we decided to go out anyway. Her parents made transportation to and from the trail possible! I had planned on hiking further, but we happened to be out the weekend where there were 4 days straight of 100ish degree heat and I had a headcold and cramps. We did a nice 13 mile day to start. Then a brutal 17 mile day over Lehigh Gap, in the heat, without enough water. I felt like shit at the end of the day. The next day was supposed to be hotter so we hiked 6 miles to Wind Gap where her mom rescued us. I was pissed at myself that I didn't keep going, but I felt like shit and pretty much took a week to recover when I got home. It was a pretty area, we just picked a sucky time to do it.
Part of Lehigh Gap. There was also a rocky part and a part with some stunted growth and brambles.
Camp, although we tore it down and slept in the shelter due to threat of rain. I later learned how to better hang my hammock to keep out the water so the threat of rain isn't as much of a threat now.
7/18/08 - 7/25/08
8 days, 95 miles, Pawling, NY to Lee, MA
This was going to be a 3 week, 300 mile hike. My knee didn't cooperate. I was actually doing pretty good mood-wise on this one. I did a 10 mile day to warm up. Then there were a couple of HOT days, then the rain. My knee started hurting a bit after a few days. Then a bit more. Then really bad if I went downhill. It felt better when I got up, until the last day. I was near Lee so I came home. I didn't want to kill my knee. The hiking was good, I got into a nice zone. It was cool to see the thru-hikers, even if they did all pass me. And there were section hikers and stuff too...I hiked a couple of the days with Yahtzee. I had some very empowering moments during this week and was mentally much stronger. I grew as a hiker this summer and am sooo excited to get back out, hopefully soon!
View from Lion's Head. Elev. 1738 ft.
Dessert! Fresh picked blueberries from the top of Race Mtn. carried to camp in a water bottle. I ate soooo many blueberries that day!
Just in case you miss the raised train tracks...some hikers zone out enough that they might.
Tiny Red Eft. Guitar pick for scale.