Appalachian Trail Journal

Gear: LighterPack Link 

Part 1: Amicalola Falls State Park to Unicoi Gap, GA

This first section was completed over spring break with family and friends including my dad, sister, and friends Caroline and Clay. I will be returning to Unicoi Gap after completing college at the end of April.

Day 0: The approach trail and the first white blaze

Day 1: The rainforest

Day 2: The Long Day to Lance Creek

Day 3: Blood Mountain and Salad

Day 4: Walking Through the Clouds

Day 5: Back to Real Life

Pictures from Part 1

Part 2: Unicoi Gap, GA to Erwin, TN

I started this section on 5/21/19 (Easter Day). My family drove down to Helen Georgia to drop me off so I could begin hiking from where I left off. I took my exams early and finished all of my senior projects early so I could get on trail as soon as possible. My sister, Emma, and friend Caroline joined me for the last week of this section. I took no days off. I saved all my rest days so I could afford the time to go home, see my family, and celebrate the wedding of two of my best friends.

Day 6: For Real This Time 

Day 7: One Mile Per Hour  

Day 8: First Border Crossing  

Day 9: Listening to My Body  

Day 10: 100 Miles and a Resupply

Day 11: Trail Angles 

Day 12: Wayah Bald 

Day 13: Good Company

Day 14: The NOC

Day 15: Creekside 

Day 16: The Hilton 

Day 17: GSMNP Day 1 

Day 18: GSMNP Day 2

Day 19: GSMNP Day 3- Milestones 

Day 20: GSMNP Day 4 – No Rain. No Pain. No Maine.  

Day 21: GSMNP Day 5 – An Interesting Turn of Events 

Day 22: A Nero out of Standing Bear Farm 

Day 23: Max Patch 

Day 24: Cozy Corner 

Day 25: Hot Springs, NC 

Day 26: A Little Rain Never Killed Nobody

Day 27: Competition 

Day 28: Late Start, Later Night 

Day 29: Back to Ohio 

Day 30-33: 4 Zeros for the Tomm’s (and my body)

Part 3: Erwin, TN to Lexington, VA

This section began on May 19th after a short break in Ohio. Exciting areas of the trail in this seciton include the Roan Highlands, Grayson Highlands, Southern Virginia, and the Virginia Triple Crown. Part of this section was done with my sister (trail name “Itchy”) and friends Crunchy, Flamingo, Cocoa, and Flip. This section ended with a visit from my family in Lexington, VA where I took a zero.

Day 34: On the Trail Again…

Day 35: Beauty Spot 

Day 36: Cloudland

Day 37: The Station at 19E

Day 38: Kincora 

Day 39: Going SOBO Over Pond Mountain 

Day 40: The Rabbit Hole 

Day 41: The Place 

Day 42: A Zero in Damascus, VA

Day 43: Fresh Legs

Day 44: (500 Miles) The Proclaimers and Ponies 

Day 45: The First Marathon Day 

Day 46: Sunoco 

Day 47: Chestnut Knob 

Day 48: A Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer

Day 49: Doc’s Knob

Day 50: Breaking Up

Day 51: A Zero in Pearisburg 

Day 52: Pine Swamp Branch 

Day 53: Running Away 

Day 54: Slippery Slab

Day 55: It’s Still Raining? 

Day 56: Slap Happy 

Day 57: I Need This 

Day 58: 1/3 Way 

Day 59: Grateful 

Day 60: One Pound Reese Cup 

Day 61: A Zero in Lexington

Part 4: Lexington, VA to Harpers Ferry, WV

This section began 6/16/19 and includes Shenandoah National Park along with the few days before and after. This last section of Virginia surprised me with many personal challenges including dealing with the pain of plantar fasciitis. It ended with me deciding to get off trail for a long break back in Ohio to rest my feet, body, and mind as I prepare for the last half of my journey. I hiked this whole section alone but the company of a few hikers including Broadweigh, Fancy Feast, and Frog were a daily occurrence.

Day 62: Father’s Day

Day 63: The Hardest Climb in Virginia 

Day 64: Not Today 

Day 65: Calf Mountain Shelter 

Day 66: SNP Day 1- Revisiting Some Familiar Miles

Day 67: SNP Day 2- A Mom and Her Cubs 

Day 68: SNP Day 3- Trail Magic Chili 

Day 69: SNP Day 4- Friends From Home 

Day 70: SNP Day 5- A Quick Visit to Luray 

Day 71: SNP Day 6- An Epic Slackpack from PBG

Day 72: Feeling Good?

Day 73: Thanksgiving in June

Day 74: Psychologically Halfway 

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Part 5: Harpers Ferry, WV to Delaware Water Gap, PA

This section (on trail) started July 7th and includes the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania which is notorious for its body destroying rocks. All of it was completed with my friend Flamingo. Highlights include my longest day of 33.6 miles, a visit from my best friends, and a great swimming hole. I dreaded PA since I started and I was not wrong about the rocks. This state showed me I was way tougher than I ever imagined.

Day 75- 82: Rest, Recovery, and Reset

Day 83: Back to Business 

Day 84: Torrential Downpour

Day 85: Welcome to Rocksylvania

Day 86: Water Slide Wednesday 

Day 87: Half Gallon Challenge 

Day 88: Going Postal in the Cumberland Valley

Day 89: In and Out Duncannon

Day 90: A Long One

Day 91: Beaver Dam Blazing 

Day 92: Swimming Hole 

Day 93: Port Clinton 

Day 94: Allentown Hiking Club 

Day 95: Baking on Bake Oven and Lehigh Gap 

Day 96: Overheating 

Day 97: Delaware Water Gap 

Part 6: Delaware Water Gap to Bennington, VT

This section features the entirety of my time in the states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Fun fact: This is also the first time I’ve ever been to New England. These states were relatively short in mileage and the trail runs through a very narrow corridor where I was always close to towns, food, and cell reception. Highlights of this section include some magical nights spent with Girl Scouts at a shelter, an outstanding trail angel in Kent, CT, and a special hiker cabin called Upper Goose Pond. I spent a significant time of this section alone but still saw dear friends Flamingo and Long feather for a lot of it. This section ended with an unexpected but timely trip back home to Ohio because I got an infection in my foot that prevented me from bearing weight or even being able to put my foot in my shoe.

Day 98: Brink Road Shelter 

Day 99: Unionville 

Day 100: Girl Scouts 

Day 101: Welcome to New York 

Day 102: Bear Mountain 

Day 103: Struggle Bus 

Day 104: Dover Oak 

Day 105: Kent, CT 

Day 106: Memorial 

Day 107: New Kicks at Last 

Day 108: Entering Massachusetts 

Day 109: Trail Stand

Day 110: Upper Goose Pond 

Day 111: Dalton and Cheshire 

Day 112: A Nero on Mount Greylock 

Day 113: Entering Vermont

Day 114 and 15: A Double Zero in Mass and VT 

Day 116- 138: Getting My Foot Cut Open (Literally) 

Part 7: Bennington, VT to the Maine border

This section features my time hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I had returned to the trail after three and a half weeks of recovery from a MRSA infection in my foot. During these two states I spent my time almost entirely alone except for a few days hiked with Bullet and Luna. The White Mountains were the most beautiful section of the trail in my opinion however also extremely physically challenging. I was blessed with great weather throughout this time period, which is significant because it had the potential to easily become life threatening during extended time in the alpine zone.

Day 139-140: Last One to Katahdin Wins 

Day 141: Taking it Easy

Day 142: Bromley Mountain 

Day 143: Dodging Thunderstorms 

Day 144: The Yellow Deli 

Day 145: Killington 

Day 146: The Lookout 

Day 147: The Blue Barn 

Day 148: New Hampshire 

Day 149: Hexacube Shelter 

Day 150: Into Glencliff 

Day 151: Mount Moosilauke 

Day 152: Lonesome Lake 

Day 153: Chet’s Place 

Day 154: Fraconia Ridge 

Day 155: Ethan Pond  

Day 156: Lakes of the Clouds 

Day 157: Mount Washington 

Day 158: The Wildcats 

Day 159: Carter- Moriah Range 

Part 8: Maine

During my last section of the trail, 282 miles through Maine, I was filled with many emotions of this journey coming to a close. I allowed myself to indulge in the luxuries of towns and didn’t worry about my milage. Delayed gratification feels so good. There were a lot of tears shed through some tough days in the cold and rain but the memories of these days remain more vivid than others. I hiked the great majority of this section with a hiking partner by the name of “Doc”.

Day 160: Maine

Day 161: Mahoosuc Notch 

Day 162: Bald Plate Mountain 

Day 163: A Zero at Human Nature Hostel 

Day 164: Bemis Mountain Lean-to

Day 165: Piazza Rock 

Day 166: Saddle Back 

Day 167: H.O.M.E

Day 168: The Bigelows 

Day 169: Pierce Pond

Day 170: Caratunk 

Day 171: Moxie Bald and Meru 

Day 172: Monson 

Day 173: 100 Mile Wilderness Day 1 – Wilson Springs 

Day 174: 100 Mile Wilderness Day 2- The Chairbacks 

Day 175: 100 Mile Wilderness Day 3- Whitecap Mountain 

Day 176: 100 Mile Wilderness Day 4- Nahmakanta Stream Lean-to 

Day 177: 100 Mile Wilderness Day 5- Abol Bridge 

Day 178: Entering Baxter State Park 

Day 179: Katahdin Stream Lean-to 

Day 180: KATAHDIN.

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