<![CDATA[A Trail Life - BLOG]]>Sun, 31 Jan 2016 15:13:11 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 18]]>Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:15:16 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-18 Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/24/12
Day 18
Fontana Dam (mile 164.6)

This morning was an easy couple of miles down the road where we shuttled into Fontana Village.  Curtis from Standing Bear came to pick Rooney up after we ate lunch and it was a hard thing for me.  I know he boards dogs all the time and it’s always fine, but it was super hard to watch him drive away with my puppy.  It makes me cry a little to think about it.  Poor Rooney just doesn’t understand why we left him – I just have to hope he trusts us enough to know that we will always come back for him.

After Rooney left, we checked into a room and enjoyed some downtime.  We played disc golf with another couple, Daniel and Sarah, then showered up and had a lazy night in our room.  It was very relaxing and just what we needed.  I was starting to get too funky and needed to clean up a little bit.  There was no way I wanted to go another three nights to Gatlinburg for a shower.

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 17]]>Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:03:58 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-17 Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/23/12
Day 17
Cable Gap Shelter (mile 159.2)

As expected, we woke up to snow on our tent this morning.  I was really hoping to avoid snow all together, but I guess it’s not a thru-hike without at least one cold, snowy night. 

We stayed in our tents until 10am trying to let the air warm up and finally rolled out of camp at 11:15am.  There were a few good climbs, but mostly it was easy miles and we did 15.2 in about 6 hours with one lunch break.  We managed to avoid the group from yesterday who stopped one shelter before us and tonight’s crew is calm and fun.

The couple from Chicago, Guy Line and Bearcub, are here tonight as well as another guy from Chicago (Waldo) and a guy from Downers Grove too (Hot Wheels) – small world!

It was nice to do bigger miles again today.  I was antsy for it and surprisingly felt great all day, with only minor foot pain towards the end.  I even started to pick up my downhill pace a little.

Tomorrow should be a quick 5 miles into Fontana where the dog will get picked up.  I have mixed feelings about boarding him for the week.  I like that he will have a week off to rest, but I hate that I haven’t seen the place that he will be staying.  I need to know that he will be comfortable and cared for.  I will be nervous the whole time and will definitely call whenever I can to check on him.

Tonight is supposed to be cold again, but thankfully not snowing.  I don’t think I can take that again.  At least tonight we were able to stand by the fire and socialize for a minute before bed.  It’s cold, but not like last night.  Brrrrr.


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<![CDATA[DIY Storage Daybed]]>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:54:18 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/diy-storage-daybed
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We've been looking for furniture for our guest room for awhile.  We checked out sleeper sofas and they were in the hefty price range for anything remotely cute or comfortable.  We looked at just having a air bed in the closet and blowing it up when people came over, but we still didn't know what to do with all of our stuff.  The guest room had become the dumping ground for all random containers of stuff. 

So, after some brainstorming and a little Pinterest browsing, I decided we needed something that involved storage.  I sketched up a storage daybed and off to home depot I went.  It took a few days of building after work and a little patience, but I couldn't be happier with it.  And the total price tag, for everything including paint and hardware was about $.  I love it so much that I think we are going to make a slightly shorter version for our master bedroom, to store all of our hiking gear. 
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<![CDATA[Greybeard Trail]]>Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:34:47 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/greybeard-trailPosted by Serial
PictureGreybeard Falls
Another great hike! The winter snow slowed me down a bit, but also allowed me to have this awesome trail all to myself. Excited to get back out on this trail during warmer weather and actually reach the pinnacle.

More about my hike here

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 16]]>Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:05:46 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-16Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/22/12
Day 16
Sassafras Gap Shelter (mile 144)

We finally left the NOC today around 11am and the climb out actually wasn’t as bad as everyone says it is.  I took Rooney by myself today and it was nice to hike with him.  It’s definitely not easy to zone out and hike though because you always have to watch for other people or animals, but it was nice to have my little pupper with me.

The trail was crowded today and I kept having to pass people on an uphill, which is always hard.  Once I pass someone I feel like I need to move quickly and put some distance between us.  It helps with the dog and let’s me just go back to hiking instead of thinking of where someone else is.

We did the 7 miles to the shelter in quick time, but it was COLD when we arrived and tonight calls for snow so we hunkered down and just called it a day.  This is the first time I’ve had to be in my tent before dark, simply to stay warm.

Since we took a zero at NOC and did small miles today, we are with a new group at the shelter tonight.  There are a few familiar faces from random other nights, but the bulk of the guys we hung out with last night did 3 more miles to the next gap.  They all wanted to make it to Fontana tomorrow, but we aren’t getting there until Tuesday when Rooney is scheduled for his pick-up to be boarded.  The thing about this new group of hikers though… they aren’t really our style.  I don’t want to say anything negative about them, but all they do is talk about other hikers.  They make fun of and judge the people they meet and I guarantee they will talk about us tomorrow.  Just not my style at all.  I think we will do bigger miles tomorrow to jump ahead of them and avoid it all together.

It’s odd being in bed so early, but all three of us are huddled together and keeping warm which is the goal.  Rooney will no doubt be in our bags tonight.  And by “our bags” I mean Serial’s bag.  :-)

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 15]]>Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:05:12 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-15Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/21/12
Day 15
NOC (mile 137.3 - zero)

We truly planned to sleep in and get a late start on the jump up today, but when we finally woke up at 9 it was raining and we decided to go get our packages and breakfast before packing up.  Then we ran into all of the guys in the group right behind us and when I saw how excited Serial was to see them, I sort of knew that a zero was in our future.  Not that I mind a free zero in the rain – didn’t take much to twist my arm.

We went through our packages and ate more food, then showed everyone where we were camped out.  There are about 10 tents set up now and it will be fun to hang out tonight.  The festival is still going on and everyone is having a good time. 

So far we’ve seen Brown, Solsbury, Hook, Byron, Red, Little Foot, TK, Octo, Garreth/Gaz, Rocky and a few from last night too.  Should be a crazy night.

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 14]]>Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:04:13 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-14Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/20/12
Day 14
NOC (mile 137.3)

I woke up today feeling exhausted despite only doing 11 miles yesterday.  I was just groggy and slow for some reason.  The plan was to have Serial leave a few minutes early so I could have Rooney today, but as we were packing up Rooney had a burst of energy and ran off.  He was only gone about 5 minutes, but the fog was thick and we couldn’t see him.  I was crying and panicking while we both went looking for him.  Of course he came running back like nothing had happened, but for those 5 minutes it was the worst.

After that, I was tired and emotional so Serial ended up hiking with me most of the day.  It was nice to have the silent support.  I did learn that our hiking styles are too different to hike together everyday though – we would drive each other crazy.

Our normal routine is much better.  We start the morning together and eventually Serial leaves me behind, typically on a climb.  Then we spend a few hours hiking alone and going our own pace.  I usually meet him at the lunch spot we pick, about 10-12 miles in, and then we finish the day together and hike into camp.  It’s really nice.

So today we finished our day with what felt like an eternal descent into the NOC.  We found a campsite and set up for the night, then housed some restaurant food.  We ran into to Stilleto  (a girl friend!), Chief, Suds, Pinky, Flinstone and a few others that we bump into from time to time.  There is a kayaking festival here this weekend so we listened to live music and hung out.  Super fun and a great group to chill with.

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 13]]>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:34:08 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-13Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/19/12
Day 13
Wayah Bald Shelter (mile 120.8)

We rolled out of town this morning after our first zero and it felt great to have an entire day off to rest.  I’m already dreaming of our next one in Hot Springs. 

We took the shuttle back to the gap with a ton of other hikers who were staying at the hotel.  It rained so lots of people decided to take a zero.  We all started hiking at once which is always a pain in the butt, as everyone settles into their pace and people are passing each other.  Luckily we were the fastest ones in this group so once we passed everyone, we had the trail to ourselves.

Our goal was to get in as many miles as we could today so we would be able to comfortably get to the NOC tomorrow, but Serial was feeling tired and his foot was bothering him.  We called it a day after 11 miles, which isn’t too bad for starting close to noon.  Tomorrow we have 16.5 to do, but a lot of it is downhill and we have all day to do it.

Serial was so kind and understanding when I had my tired day last week so I offered to set up out camp by myself while he just relaxed by the fire.  Hopefully he rests well tonight and feels better, but if not we’ll just adjust accordingly.

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 12]]>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:33:44 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-12Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/18/12
Day 12
Franklin, NC (mile 109.8 - zero)

Our first zero!!  It felt amazing to sleep in and laze around all day.  Not much to say about the day… all we did was eat, sleep, shower, do laundry and watch TV.  It was perfect.

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<![CDATA[Appalachian Trail Journal: Day 11]]>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:33:26 GMThttp://www.atraillife.com/blog/appalachian-trail-journal-day-11Posted by Jill

This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT.  To read all of the entries, click here

Originally written 4/17/12
Day 11
Winding Stair Gap, NC (mile 109.8)

We expected rain last night, but it only sprinkled occasionally.   The temps were comfortable and I slept so well after our long day.  This morning we woke up to sunshine and got a jump on our 9 miles down the gap.

We were looking forward to Franklin and our first true zero.  We had two climbs and a lot of downhill so other than aching feet, it was an easy morning.  We arrived at the gap around 12:30 and waited on a shuttle into town.

We explored the town a little bit before the rain started, then settled in to relax and watch bad TV.  My feet are happy to be resting, that’s for sure.

The past two nights have been really fun because I met two girls that I really clicked with.  Almost Awesome is hiking with her boyfriend Possum, and Stiletto is hiking alone, but her and her boyfriend back home have sectioned together before.  Both are awesome chicks and even though our zero day might cause us to lose them for a bit, I will keep in touch and be trying to catch up to them again.

Tomorrow will be a rainy, lazy day and I’m pretty excited about it.

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