Archive for March, 2009

Mountains 141.8

March 29th, 2009

Direct from my journal:
9am – 3pm —– 7.7 today / 141.8 total
No rain today, thought there might be when I had my lunch on top of swim bald, but no, it was snow. Snow! Got into sassafras gap shelter a mile later and decided to stay since it would be warmer than tenting. Supposed to be clear tonight, but… Might be good, this way I’ll know if I need to pick up any more warm gear in Fontana. Looking at doing a long day tomorrow, 15mi.
This mountain today was the first one where I’d look up and think I was near the top, but then i’d get there only to realize I had more to go. This must have happened 5 times on the same mountain. Now, I’m familiar with this because that’s how the mountains are in New Hampshire. The amazing thing was that none of the mountains in Georgia were like that, on those when you thought you were close to the top, you were.
Another strange thing I’ve noticed is mountain popping. It’s feignt, like when you have one window down in a car, and goes pop-pop-pop-pupupupupupu. The shelters in NC are a lot nicer than the ones in GA since they have tables, but they don’t sleep as many people.

Nos 134.1

March 28th, 2009

Hiking in the rain is miserable.

I can’t believe how much I think about the nos when i’ve come all this way to get rid of them. I guess I’m worried about getting a job in Arizona when I’m done hiking. It’s funny how easily my mind thinks about the future or the past, but how hard it is to think about this moment!

The mountains do the strangest thing right as the sun sets. The wind suddenly picks up for a few minutes then stops. It’s like the sky or forest is inhaling . It’s amazing.

Here’s a photo of miss Jannett, Hoosier, Single Speed, and Doc.

Friends 107.6

March 26th, 2009

I’ve been hiking around the past few days with some really cool cats: Single Speed, Hurrying Hoosier, Slag Line, Doc, Pancake, and Fruit Booter. The first three have pretty similar paces so they walk together, but the rest of us spread out along the trail. Hurrying Hoosier as a trail journal going too.

I’ve been in Franklin for over 24 hours now, and I’ve got over 12 hours to go waiting for my mail drops. My first zero day, and maybe my last, sitting around sucks. But Miss Jannett, the lady that runs the hostel I’m staying at is awesome. Oh well, back at in tommorrow. I figure I’m four or five days from the smokies, oh boy!

Rain Gear

March 25th, 2009

A quick gear update after a night and day of rain.

1) The marmot mica is an excellent rain jacket.

2) I need to seam seal my tent again.

3) Because of the angles of my tent, the bottom of my down bag gets wet from touching the tent sides. This is really bad.

4) Etowah gear mitten shells are the worst piece of gear I’ve ever had. My hands were wet after 15 minutes of use. I can’t believe the guys at Walasi recommended these, they are horrible. AVOID.

Dreams 91.7

March 24th, 2009

I’ve been having the strangest dreams out here in the woods. And so vivid, more vivid than any dream I’ve ever had at home. I think it’s because it’s so hard to sleep out here. I have no idea how much sleep I’m getting, all I know is that I go to bed as soon as it’s dark and I get up about a half hour after it’s first light. So technically that should be like ten hours of sleep these days. In reality it feels like I’m up the entire night. I can’t seem to stay in one position for more than half an hour before some part of my body cramps up or falls asleep and I have to move again. Supposedly if you put all the little bits and piece of sleep together it adds up to six or eight hours, sure doesn’t feel like it. You’d think it’d be easier to sleep after hiking twelve miles, but no. Anyway I think that’s why the dreams are so vivid, I keep waking up a going back to sleep. The weird part is that they always happen in the area I’m sleeping and with the people I’ve talked to that day. Sometimes Aimee or Alison gets thrown in, but otherwise it’s pretty local.

The other weird thing that happens is that after thinking all day while I’m hiking, I get into camp and sit down to write here or in my journal and can’t remember a damned thing I was thinking about. There’s a trail term for it, but I can’t remember what it is.

Hair cut 67.5

March 22nd, 2009

Some scary stuff has been happening in the woods: someone besides bears has been swiping bear bags, and one of my friends woke up with dog food in his boot, which out here is as good as attempted murder.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering if you can give yourself a hair cut with the scissors on a keychain victorinox, you can.

Food 56.4

March 21st, 2009

It’s hard to call myself a vegitarian after the bacon chilli Texas burger I had the other day and the mcdonalds cheese burger today and all the jerky. Yikes! My hikers hunger hasn’t really set in and I’m still carrying way to much food. I definitely crave burgers though, vegi or otherwise. Oh, and that mcdonalds was from a trail angel at unicoi. Those people are so nice!


March 20th, 2009

Dropped 2 Franklins at Walasi-Yi yesterday after a shake down. Got a better lighter rain jacket and mitten shells, polyester underwear, and had dad send me an old down vest to replace the fleece, which as it turns out holds moisture rather than repells it. Also ditched my camp shoes so I’m about a pound and a half lighter. I never meant to be an ultralight hiker but am glad it’s turning out that way cause the pack still feels heavy to me.

Left knee still hurts, but it feels better after short breaks. Might try to get so gel heel insoles to take some of the preasure off it.

First 30 30.7

March 19th, 2009

Man oh man. I can’t believe I’m doing this. My whole body hurts. I’ve been having the interesting sensation of numbness across my chest, I think I’ve been keeping my sternum strap too tight. But anyway, right now I’m sitting in a place with more heads on the wall than the risd nature lab.

Things that are awesome:
1) hiking poles
2) liner socks
3) hydration bladders

Things that are not awesome:
1) cell reception
2) iPhone battery life

It’s a lot harder to meditate out here than I thought it would be. I take so many more steps than breaths, the whole pace is faster. Half the time I’ve got the verse of some song looping in my head. I haven’t been thinking about food the way people say you do, though I have been having cravings for salted almonds and cheese. Maybe that will come later.

It’s strange being surrounded by so many men. I feel really weird around men, and have a tougher time communicating with them. I didn’t really realize how much more comfortable I am around and talking to women until now because there are very few females about.

In the eternal words of Bilbo Baggins, “it’s a dangerous business, going out one’s front door, you step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet you never know where you’ll get swept off to.”

Reason #8

March 15th, 2009


While it is yet to be decided whether or not I will be given the opportunity to study sustainable design, any honest pursuit into the field requires to time spent out doors. I’m not saying you have to spend months in a tent, but you should know how to shit in the woods. How can a conservationalist work to save something they have not lived in and built a personal relationship with? I think a lot of the modern ethical dilemas stem from the distance between humans and the where and how of the issues, be it the meat industry, the environment, or whatever.

In the words of HDT, “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately.” I go into the woods to experience that which I feel so compelled to protect.