Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day 77 - 90, 31 May - 13 Jun, Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA

Anyone who has taken part in a long distance sport event; marathon, triathalon; knows of "hitting the wall".  Well, I think Mom and I hit our wall coming into Damascus, VA.  We have spent a week here at Woodchuck Hostel in Damascus, VA resting and slackpacking and are rejuvinated and motivated to head back out onto the trail on to Harper's Ferry, WV.  We have found two new hikers to slackpack with us on up the trail through Virginia.  I have thoroughly vetted them  and am confident we won't have any issues like we did with the last guy.

This AT hiking thing ain't easy, but if it were we wouldn't be doing it...haha.  So onward we trudge!!!!

You know you have been hiking hard when you have worn your SmartWool socks down to their bare threads.
Hendo's socks with white strips along the arches where socks are worn down to the threads

Sun 1 June - Iron Mtn to Hughes Gap-371.2 miles
Juveinile snake

This area of NC and TN is the center of the christmas tree farm universe. Christmas tree farm on the side of a NC mountain

Sat 31 May - Hughes Gap to Carvers Gap-377.5 miles
Red Eft

Cloudland on top of Roan Mtn

Roan Mtn shelter, highest shelter on the AT

On top of Roan Mtn

Mon 2 June - Carvers Gap to 19 E - 391.8 miles

Scouting out parking areas, found ourself in the middle of a christmas tree farm

Hiking over Jane Bald

The usual not so smooth AT

Overmountain shelter, an old barn

Little Hump Mtn

Commemorative plaque on Hump Mtn

Fence obstacles to keep cattle out

Up and over obstacle

Finally done with North Carolina!!!!!

Tues 3 June - 19E to Walnut Mtn Rd - 402.7 miles

Wed 4 June - Zero Day

Thurs 5 June - Walnut Mtn Rd to Dennis Cove Rd - 417.0miles
A memorial bench to Vango, a hostel owner along the AT near ampton, VA

Mom enjoying Vango's bench

Hendo enjoying the bench and view

Small world...we met an old friend and former choir director of Mom's at Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, Terry Cunningham (Midwest Mama). We had a great day hiking with her.
Midwest Mama and Hendo's Mom at Hardcore Cascade.

Fri 6 June - Zero Day

Sat 7 June - Dennis Cove Rd to Wilbur Dam Rd - 429.8 miles

Sign leading up to Pond Mtn...glad I left y hanglider at home!!

Hendo soaking her feet in Laurel Fork Creek

Laurel Falls

Wilbur Dam holds back Watauga Lake, it is an old school earthen da, this is the terraced backside of Wilbur Dam.

Watauga Lake, formed by Wilbur Dam

Huge Beaver hut in Watauga Lake

Sun 8 June - Wilbur Dam Rd to TN 91

Mon 9 June - Zero Day, Woodchuck Hostel, Damascus, VA

Tues 10 June - Zero Day,Woodchuck Hostel, Damascus, VA

Wed 11 June - TN 91 to USFS 69

Thurs 12 June - Zero Day, Woodchuck Hostel, Damascus, VA

Fri 13 June - USFS 69 to Damascus -467.6 miles

We made it to Virginia!!!!

Made it to Damascus, VA


Special thanks to Woodchuck, owner and operator of Woodchuck Hostel in Damascus, VA and former AT thru-hiker.  His hostel and hospitality have been the best yet on the trail.  Mom and I were feeling pretty down when we got to Damascus, but a week of slackpacking, relaxing and visiting at Woodchuck's has done our minds, bodies, and souls good.  We are re-motivated to move on up the trail, but are sad to have to say goodbye to Woodchuck for now, not to worry, we will definitely be back again!!!

Hendo's Mom, Woodchuck and Hendo 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Need to Park Mom's Car

We have not been able to find another hiker to join us in our slackpacking/shuttling, so we are in need of a place to park my mom's car and we will return to full packing.  Anyone willing to let us park the car at their house?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Need New Slackpacking Partner or Someone to Help Shuttle

Mom and I have made great progress slackpacking with a fellow thru-hiker over the last week.  However, we have parted ways with our current slackpacking partner.  Therefore we would like to find another hiker to partner up with or someone who would like to come visit and shuttle our gear.

Here is how it has been working.  We picked up mom's car when we were in Erwin, TN.  There are roads or parking areas that cross the AT approximately every 15 miles.  We have been camping at the northern end of each days section.  Then mom and I walk south towards the southern end of the days section.  Our hiking partner would then drive to the southern end, park and hike north.  We would get the keys from him as we passed each other on the trail during the day and continue south to the car.  When we got to the car we would drive back to the northern start point, pick up our partner and move north to the next days section and repeat.  Doing this allows us to leave all of our heavy gear in the car and hike with a small day pack, carrying only food, water and rain coat needed for the day.

We have been hiking approximately 12-16 miles each day while slackpacking, while with our full packs we were only able to do 10 miles a day on a repeating basis.

So we are looking for another hiker to join us and help us slackpack or a visitor to come and meet us at the end of each day with our gear.  We have mom's car so a visitor would not be expected or have to use their own car or gas.  A visitor could enjoy day hiking on the AT or visit local sites during the day.  Just note that we are still camping at the end of the day and are not going into town daily, we are simply using the car to shuttle our gear. We cannot afford to put someone up in a hotel each night, but would expect them to camp with us or sleep in the car.  Mom and I can do this ourselves, but that would mean we would have to hike seperately, which we will do if we must, but we do enjoying hiking together.

Please pass the word and contact us via email, as cellphone service is hard to come by out here.  You can also leave us a text or voicemail, but do so as a backup.

Cell: 404-234-6513