A.T. 8: Overtime

1,000 miles

I set a goal to walk 1,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail. This has been one of the most fulfilling accomplishments in my life. Virginia is long. The final miles of the state drag testing my mental endurance. There is no better feeling than seeing a sign nailed into a tree 1,000. I have done it! Then ... [Continue Reading]

A.T. 7: VA 3

Little Stoney Man Lookout!

Virginia is the longest state on the Appalachian Trail and I feel it. While the views are amazing, the 540 miles feel never-ending. There certainly are some amazing places, such as the Grayson Highlands, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs. Many days record low miles because it is too beautiful to not stop and soak up ... [Continue Reading]

A.T. 6: VA 2

McAfee Knob

I first realize I've developed friends in Pearisburg, VA, roughly 650 miles into the trail. The past few towns I've been enjoying rest days with consistent acquaintances. While I want nothing more than to be alone in Pearisburg, I can't resist chatting with the multitude of amazing people I've met. Sitting on my hotel porch, ... [Continue Reading]

A.T. 5: Virginia

Rocky Tops!

Over 460 miles complete! While of course each day is filled with back sores and sweat soaked clothes, I develop a rhythm. Days become more routine. I am guaranteed steep climbs and unreliable water sources. I strategize my water supply to avoid running out. Several days have absolutely no reliable places to refill. It can be ... [Continue Reading]

A.T. 4: Tennessee

Welcome to Virginia!

Trees display white blazes leading the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Tennessee seems to lack a few of these blazes causing confusion. They are scarce at times making me question my path. Beyond that, the terrain is magnificent. The 74 mile stretch has less devastating hills and follows rivers, ... [Continue Reading]

AT 3: North Carolina 2

Hot Springs sidewalk

I experience two polar opposite weather systems in the Smokies. The first two days are brutally cold unable to stop without shivering leading to thirty five degree nights. However I cross Clingman's Dome, the highest point of the AT standing above 6,600 feet, in sunshine while friends of mine witness snow the day before. I ... [Continue Reading]

AT: North Carolina

Clingman

AT: North Carolina I am greeted with two massive hills entering North Carolina sweating profusely. My legs are getting stronger as I turn ten mile days into eighteen mile days. The trail is much more gradual as the bright green terrain makes stopping in quiet areas very peaceful. At times, the hills are long and steep. ... [Continue Reading]

AT Week 1

Camp # 2

Holy crap this is difficult!  70 miles in.  Less than 10 miles until North Carolina.  I stop in Hiawassee, Georgia for my first rest day after a week on trail.  This is my most challenging, exhilarating adventure yet. The Appalachian Trail begins with an additional mile to the Southern Terminus atop Springer Mountain.  I manage seven miles ... [Continue Reading]

Go For It!

GO FOR IT! Everything I've been a part of has prepared me for this trip.  School offered diverse friendships and a zest for new information.  Sports pushed me to keep going when times got tough.  My internship in Texas allowed me to experience a new life outside of Illinois.  My time working at the Grand Canyon ... [Continue Reading]