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Us on the AT

Lady, the Tramp, and two furry toddlers take on the Appalachian Trail

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How to Difuse a Time Bomb

The days are a blur. I couldn’t tell you what day it is at this point. I am fully engulfed in these hills. The only time we know the days of the week are days we make it to a town. We resupply and if we’re lucky sleep in a bed. Then right back to trail. Its a relentlessly viscious cycle. But all in all our hearts are still in it for the long haul. We’ve had some time off trail for trail days in Damascus, Virginia and spent some time with my brother Shane in Tennessee. We’ve drank to toasts given by trail legends and rubbed elbows with hundreds of people who have actually done what we are trying to do. But above all else and besides all that fun, we still have a couple thousand miles to complete. Because after all we are not thru hikers until we complete this entire trail.
  So therein lies the question. When do we feel the need to give up? When will we hit that wall? And beyond that what can we do to defuse this time-bomb? 
  The routine is life now. Up at 7am Breakfast. Pack up as quickly as possible and walk as long as possible, most days 10+ miles. Dinner at 7pm. Bed ready by 730pm and food hung 8pm. Repeat. We’re in the groove now. We’ve got our towns planned to get the most of a zero day and Madison kills it when it comes to eating out here so I consider myself the luckiest guy on the trail. I just carry what she tells me and we keep hiking on. The last sign we passed a few miles back said 1,914  miles to Katahdin. Seems daunting considering what we’ve gone through just 270 in the first month and a half. We’re still slower than most but we’re still out here. 
 Most people drop out before Hot Springs, NC. We’ll be there tomorrow morning…. AND we’ll continue on the day after that, weather permitting. We still have more miles to catch and smiles to be had! 
PS. We now have trail names. Now, I’m Tramp and Madison is Lady. I think it fits!  
Stay tuned kids! We’re just getting started!       -Tramp

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Return Everything Immediately: a customer service story

So that tent issue we had. It sucked. But, honestly, what was worse was the complete lack of concern we got from every person we spoke to at REI. We went with that tent because of their phenomenal reputation for helping thru hikers in tight spots.

Not so much.  Continue reading “Return Everything Immediately: a customer service story”

Embrace the Suck

Hitting the trail, packs and all!

 

Day one from springer to hawk mountain shelter. All in all around 9 miles total. It was a rough 9 miles. More strenious than any other hike we’ve yet to do together. The most difficult hike I’ve ever done in my life and thats before you add the 40 lbs I was carrying… Turns out mountains are tough. Who knew?

We keep on learning our ability to push each other goes far deeper than we imagined. We make a damn good team if I do say so myself. All in all we made it to the shelter, tired, but we made it. We immediately started learning. Little things like, set up your tent promptly upon arrival. Because you know, rain and stuff. Once we set up the tent in a slight drizzle the rain stopped. Madison cooked and amazing dinner of noodles, summer sausage and cashews. We made new friends and like clockwork, when the sun went down every one retired to their sleeping quarters.

Then there was rain….  Continue reading “Embrace the Suck”

9 boxes.

I’ve been self-reliant since I was 17 years old. My life has been up’s and down’s since I was 4 when I lost my Mother. I’ve raised my kid brother from the age of 11 starting when I was 18.. I alone kept food in his mouth clothes on his back and for the most part, a dry bed to sleep in. All while fighting the recession .. He was 18 when he left and I was alone…. Alone for the first time in my life. I lost my house, my relationship, my little brother, friends, family and even my dog max…. down but not out. I stayed on a friend’s couch for 3 months.

Continue reading “9 boxes.”

jump feet first

*DEEP BREATH*

We could damn near count the hours until all of this planning, gear hunting, gear testing, and wild dreams come to one single moment in our lives… That first step.  The very first of five million steps we’ll take to make this dream a reality. Every night I look into the eyes of our dummies (our dogs) “are yall ready?” Ready to prove all of the naysayers wrong? Hike and survive well past 200 miles so we can tell Brian Moynihan to eat it? (Feel free to ask me about Brian)

Continue reading “jump feet first”

So…we’re doing this

We’re going to attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Me. Dylan. Bandit. Charlie. In just over two months we will be quitting our lives to go live in the woods for half a year. HALF a YEAR.  Continue reading “So…we’re doing this”

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