Monday, April 30, 2012


     I left the truck stop in Atkins Virginia and the wintery weather behind as I headed back out on the trail under blue skies and a warm wind.  The blustery white world was replaced with lush green.  I traveled through farm lands, over rolling hills filled with cows and along gentle rivers.  The trail was lined with wild flowers I haven't seen before, not that I know what any of them are, but the flowers just jump out at you in stark contrast to the world around.  I felt like I was stopping every few minutes to take a picture of a some new pretty flower.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


     I slack packed again for ten miles out of Damascus Virginia on a beautiful sunny day.  It was so nice that I hiked with my shirt off to do something about the farmer's tan that seems to be permanently etched into my skin, but alas I ended with the same pasty chest that I started with.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mr. Peoples

     I headed back into the woods with warm weather and beautiful blue skies.  The trail meandered around gentle sloped hills and through fields with wildflowers.  I had planned on taking a shortish day in order to stay at a highly recommended hostel the next night.  My goal was for a place called Mountaineer shelter which boasted a waterfall for showering.  Being such a gloriously perfect day of wandering around daydreaming I said "Why not" to the mountain shower.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


     Heading out of Erwin my father joined me for the first three miles and he would like me to tell everyone that he didn't struggle or want to turn around once the entire time.  So while he carried my backpack I took the opportunities to take pictures of some of the wild flowers that are popping up everywhere.  Spring is everywhere in the lower elevations with trees blooming and poison ivy constantly try to touch my exposed flesh.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Month a Year and Renewal

      I left Hot Springs with a full belly and feeling well rested.  I spent two nights at Elmer's Sunnybank Inn, an old bed and breakfast where Elmer himself cooked these amazing meals for breakfast and dinner.  I also made sure to take a dip in the Hot Springs that the town is named for.  My food was resupplied by a lady named Kayah who offered to bring me these special Indian dinners by Tasty Bite I've been eating, but couldn't get in town. So as I ascended the mountain out of Hot Springs I had a warm feeling from all the positivity that befell me there.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Smokin' (Part 2)

     I left Newfound Gap before noon and headed back into the Smokies under overcast skies with a cool wind blowing from the west.  I seem to always return to the woods with renewed energy and purpose.  I glided up the hills as the blood started pumping into my legs and I began sweating for the first time of the day.