3/16/15 Trail Magic & Tray Mountain

3/16/15 Tray Mountain Shelter – 7miles

Extreme climbs today! Today was really tough for me. I started my stupid period and felt totally bitchy. I then got myself into a panic over snacks. I ate to many snacks yesterday and was running super low today and of course was starving. I was really hoping for a run in with trail magic today, preferably donuts but alas it did not happen this morning.

We all agreed that at Tray Gap we would stop for lunch but I was already down to one Fudge Round and lunch wasn’t going to be enough for me after today’s climbs. Just when things were looking really bad and I started getting cramps, I caught a glimpse of what looked to be a table; I was pretty sure I was imagining things. Then I started to smell hamburgers. My pace quickened and I was the first to view the miracle of trail magic! Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, sodas, cookies, apples, bananas and DONUTS! Beautiful round, glazed, goodness! I was so fucking desperate to eat something I ate a big fucking hamburger and it was the best damn hamburger I have ever eaten! Eight years of being a veggie down the drain in 5 minutes.

I consumed the following: One hamburger, one hot dog, two delicious glazed donuts, one lunch size bag of chips, six Oreos, a lunch size pack of Nutter Butters and washed it all down with an ice cold water. AMAZING! The trail magic was provided Mr. Albert and his dog Champ, Mrs. Gigi and her husband Gray Ghost (a past thru-hiker). They really saved the day for me with such wonderful trail magic. After talking and eating for an hour, we parted ways and took off for our last mile and a half.

Once at Tray Mountain Shelter, we dropped our packs and walked down to take in our amazing view overlooking Georgia. We decided to tent instead of staying at the shelter. The shelter was nice but tenting seemed nicer with such a great view.

Apple Cider hiked with us all day today and is planning on joining us for our first planned zero day. It’s really nice to have a girl in our group. Hot Sauce and Roub are still with us as well. I found out today that Roub is in his 60’s and here I am bitching about cramps. We also heard from a fellow hiker that Midnight got off trail for a while due to a hurt ankle; I am hoping we will see him again. Cowboy caught up with us today and Shay and Finn who we have been seeing a lot, were already here when we arrived. We all have deemed Finn our trail elder since he has completed a thru-hike before and is like a fountain of trail knowledge.

Tomorrow we plan to poop out a 12-mile day to Dick’s Creek, hitch in for pizza and beer then arrange for a shuttle Thursday morning for a wonderful hotel room!


3/13/15 Mountain Crossings Hostel

3/13/15 Mountain Crossings Hostel (Neel’s Gap)

We woke to a downed bear bag this morning. Thankfully we did not experience any bear activity last night and all our food was intact. It was super windy last night, which may have led to the bag falling or the extra weight from Nome’s bag on our line. Nome has been coming into camp a bit later than most of current bubble of hikers. He is a very knowledgeable older man, and hikes in skin-tight purple tights and has a beautiful white beard, which along with his sock hat completes the look of a Nome. How he can eat as much food as he carries is impressive; his food bag was the size of both Darwin’s and mine combined.

We left the campsite around 5am in an attempt to summit Blood Mountain as the sun came up. Hot Sauce (the hiker formerly known as Bill), Roub (another handsome older hiker who has been drifting in our same bubble since day one), Truman (a hiker who has blue eyes and jolly personality similar to my father), and of course Darwin and I all took off together. It was pitch dark when we left. Darwin and Roub lead the way. I could see their headlamps about 200 yards in front of me. Hot Sauce and Truman were further behind me.

I kept my head down most of the time trying to my best to not lose the trail and tried to listen for bears at the same time. I knew for sure that about a hundred bears were watching my every step waiting for me to stray from the trail to pull me in for a hug. I started adjusting my headlamp, which kept slipping, and in mid stride, I totally ran into a tree. Now let it be known this tree was not upright, it was leaning over the trail enough that in daylight a hiker would just dunk but not I. I smacked my face so hard against the tree I knocked myself stupid for a few minutes. Darwin actually heard my mook head smack the tree and when my headlamp stopped moving, he hiked back to check on me. He giggled, I stared at him a stupidly, he then deemed me healthy and we continued. Luckily only the bears were witness to this event.

Darwin, Hot Sauce, Roub and I summited Blood Mountain just in time to catch the best views of the day but not the sunrise. After taking a tour of the privy and Blood Mountain Shelter we started our decent as fog and rain rolled in. We arrived at Mountain Crossings at noon and were triumphantly the first to book the hostel. I took a wonderful hot shower while the boys snagged their first hitch into town for pizza, beer, and resupply items.

We had a hiker party celebrating the fact we made it to Neel Gap, the first major landmark on the trail and hiker drop-off. So much history here; the trees were littered with old hiking boots. We swam in an endless supply of hiker food and mail drops, enjoyed pizza, beer, laughs, and gear. Bionic Woman told us war stories from the PCT and her own struggles hiking with one leg, Midnight called all the girls “sweetheart” and laughed at everything, Mis-Placed, Gumby, Apple-Cider, Yellow Jacket, Kiwi and others all enjoyed the stories told by Baltimore Jack, an AT Thru-Hiker God. We all ate a feast of spaghetti, salad and brownies provided by a local church group. I then took a very big poop in an actual bathroom! It was truly a magical time!


July/Aug 2015 National Parks Tour

After getting off the Appalachian Trail earlier than expected in July of 2015,  We were instantly thrown back into fast paced society and had to come home to deal with the death of a loved one. With tons of instant stress, family, and dealing with things we had left behind for four months, we were scatter brained with no time to really contemplate  what had happened to us during our time on the AT.

We needed a Reset…..

Again we decided to pack up our van, grab our dog, and hit the road to visit more of the greatest National Parks that the North West & West coast had to offer.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
― John Muir, Our National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

img_18361st View of the Rockies (right outside Boulder,CO)

img_1871Amazing camp site in the valley of the Great Mountains.

img_1887Elk grazed our camp site every morning we were there

img_1872We really didn’t “Tourist” around much in the park. A great campsite, good conversation, and relaxation is all we needed…

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

img_1971We are connoisseurs of “Classic Park Entrance Signs”.

img_1903The majestic Jenny Lake is something everyone should take in for a moment…

img_1907The mighty Tetons hiding in the clouds. There was still snow on the peaks in July.



Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

img_1996Told ya…

img_1961The awe inspiring “Grand Prismatic Spring” (pictures do it no justice)

img_1933Bubbling clear blue “Thermo Pools” fill the park with a sulfuric smell.


img_1994“Old Faithful” is truly one of the greatest sights in the world (See Video Below of it erupting)

img_1978We stopped for a bit to watch a heard of “Wild Bison” roam the plains of Yellowstone. (I really need a new Camera)

Muir Woods National Monument, California

img_2014We hopped over to San Fran to meet up with our good friend Caron before crossing the amazing “Golden Gate Bridge” to visit Muir…

img_2025img_2019The amazingly tall Redwoods in Muir were no match for Caron’s “Big Red” hair

img_2029Super Tourist!

Sequoia National Park, California 

img_2080This one has been here for some time.


img_2087Snuggles is a real “Tree Hugger”

img_2088The Man! General Sherman is the largest known living single stem tree on Earth.

img_2083Becoming an Official Junior Ranger of Sequoia National Park.

Yosemite National Park, California

img_2047The “Tunnel View”,  Yes it really does look like every picture you have ever seen of it…. Without the frame.

img_2036El Cap

img_2043Massive Granite walls line the sides of the beautiful valley. Like you are in a “Cathedral of Nature”

img_2051Me and Bowie making Dinner on the outskirts of the park


Below is a video I put together documenting our July/August National Park Tour. Enjoy!