Sunday, March 30, 2014

Departing Franklin, NC - Mile 109

Day 10 - passed the 100 mile mark!  Franklin, NC - we have arrived!

The days have been cold, the nights colder.  We even got some snow one blisteringly cold and windy evening!  Looking forward to warmer weather.

We had our first trail magic back in Neal's Gap -- missing parts and an outdated camelbak replaced by a mint-condition one from a hiker box!

In Hiawassie we were given delicious chilie and cookies right in the trail!

Speedy G may have overstocked a bit on food

And later, we even had time for a beer!

Then our first milestone - One state down!  Goodbye Georgia!

We walked, and ate, and slept...

And we made it to Franklin!

And also, I got a bunnie cookie! (Love you Marguerite!)

Today we're back on the trail -- Onward towards the Smokies! 

Happy Trails, y'all!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Atop the mountains

Atop the mountains 
We follow the white blazes
Ye olde wooden pegs

Many men have tread
These such beaten paths of lore
To find inner peace

Like buffalo bill
Or Jeremiah Johnson
The woods reveal all

We are warriors
We are flame breathing dragons
We fly through the skies

We can walk through walls
And read everybody's thoughts,
We superhumans.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Neel Gap

Day 3, we made it to Neel Gap! We are all amazed by how the little amenities feel so incredible now. 
Thank you again to Vanessa for dropping us off and then having a brutal drive home. 
We hit all of our planned destinations so far, and the first two nights in shelters were great experiences, getting used to the routines of each day and already meeting some incredible people hiking thru with us, Tim, Hannah "Pokerface", Elijah, and a few others. Hannah was the first to receive her trail name after having a particularity bad poker face and hiding in her coat while playing cards. Athough the three of us have not received names individually, as a unit we have been dubbed the Fast Philly Boys. 
We hoped to take it kind of easy on Saturday after a tough day on Friday of hiking almost 11 miles before lunch and then taking on the formidable Blood Mountain that stood in our way of Neel Gap. The mood changed to excitement and jubilation at the top of Blood Mountain and spirits were high during our descent, knowing that "civilization" was soon at hand. We picked up our mail drops (thank you so much Kristen for the fresh fruit, and Margaret aka Mum for our big resupply), and gorged ourselves on frozen pizza and microwave cheeseburgers. Then came showers, laundry, and the enjoyment of each others' company in the warmth of a cabin.
The plans for the next few days have changed a bit after seeing the weather report of rain starting Saturday night, continuing through Sunday and Monday before turning to snow on Tuesday. So we will push on Saturday, Sunday and hopefully get to a hostel along the way on Monday to take a zero day Tuesday during the snow. Regardless, the plan is to still make it to Franklin, NC by Friday for April Fools Fest. 
Take care everyone and please leave comments for us on the blog!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Final Pack Weights, Tomorrow is the Day!

A quick update!  We're settled in at Amicalola Falls and our starting pack weights (3 days of food) have been tallied!

Also we forgot like 30 things, thank god for Amazon Prime and "General Delivery - hold for thru-hiker"!!

Dark out, but I expect the park is quite pretty in the day.  We arrived just as the sun was fading from the horizon.

Pack weights!  Jeremy won with a 30.5

Here's all the gear ---

And our trusty support team!

We start our ~159 journey tomorrow morning.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gear Test One - Nomad CHARGEKEY

This is the first of possibly a few gear reviews we will do as we evaluate (break, tear, destroy, and become furiously angry with) things over the next 6 months.  Full disclosure on this particular item:  I was in contact with Nomad's team about shipment timing for our trip, and they were nice enough both expidite my order and they threw in a second CHARGEKEY free of charge.  Crazy nice team to interact with; however, opinions in this post are my own and no compensation was received for my statements.

The story!  After extensive Amazoning for a lightweight iPhone 5s lightning cable and/or microUSB cable for my Kindle... I gave up and returned to trusty Google.  Almost immediately I found the crowdfunded project by Nomad called CHARGEKEY.

Aside from obviously being something I wanted to attach to my key ring immediately, I thought this is perfect for our thru hike!

My plan is to carry a single microUSB CHARGEKEY and use the Apple microUSB to lightning adapter (also tiny sized for easy losing) - saving both space and weight over anything else on the market.  Anywhere. Period.

Received the nicely flat packed envelope today and got right to it.  Here are some pictures of my experience-

Envelope scattered amongst some gear!

Cute intro as we dig in!

BOOM!  Hello, little friend!

Test one: Kindle!! Success.

Here's my plan for test two!  Notice the tiny little adapter from apple.  For normal users, Nomad offers a lighting variant of the charge key which we will see later.

BOOMDIEADA! Tiny, lightweight, versatile (thanks to the gf for unknowingly lending her phone for this shot)

Another shot of my setup, Apple wall adapter is pretty much 80% of the size and weight here.

Nomad CHARGEKEY lightning on the left! (Key ring attached as I wanted) And microUSB on the right!  What an awesome concept!

Plenty more gear and more to come friends.

We leave TOMORROW for Savannah.  First trail day is March 19th.  IT'S GO TIME.

----updates to follow as we gain experience and test durability on the trail---

Monday, March 10, 2014

Are You Carrying a Gun?

This is the number one question we get from so many people, immediately after saying that we are thru-hiking the AT. We greatly thank the author of this article for answering the question for us.

Danger (And The Fear Of It) On The Appalachian Trail