If you missed the first half of my (Lindsay) thoughts on our 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru Hike click HERE. If you want to read part two then click “Continue Reading” down below.
Wow, it’s hard to summarize the thoughts of 5 months of hiking into a single blog post, but here it goes! (I’ll make sure it isn’t too long.)
Hiking the Appalachian Trail isn’t something I’d ever considered. Ever. In fact, until recently I didn’t even know what it was. Being from Saskatchewan – the flat prairie ground in the middle of Canada – hiking was not much of a recreational activity growing up, and we most certainly had never heard of the AT. We had taken a few weekend hikes but never anything more than 50 mile when Clay told me he wanted to go on this really, really long hike. I enjoy all forms of exercise, so if a little is good then a lot is better, right? Right! I read exactly TWO books to learn a bit more of what I was getting myself into (Becoming Odyssa and The Things you Find on the Appalachian Trail) and then we started planning our own trip! Simply put, I was hiking because my husband wanted to.
Our pup, Hunter, joined us after Lindsay healed up from her tailbone dislocation to finish off our 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike team; making us Hunter and The Fat Kids. Hunter is not your average pound dog and therefore not your average trail dog either. What they didn’t tell us when we adopted him from the pound 3+ years ago is that he is 1/3 Chow Chow, 1/3 Alaskan Husky and 1/3 Mountain Goat. He is the perfect companion for a long distance hike; athletic, agile, powerful, durable and possesses a level of endurance that Lindsay and I can’t come close to touching!
After a half day in Erwin to get a few supplies and some take out food, the boots kept walking north in a two week effort to get from Hot Springs, NC to Damascus, VA by the 5th of June. As the number of major mountains to climb changed from something you need fingers and toes to count to just a handful left, the lofty goal became something obtainable. After a day off in Hot Springs we planned on two 1/2 days during our 14 day run to Damascus and then a nice two day break in “Trail Town USA”. Well, as plans often go…
We walked into Hot Springs the morning of the 22nd and had great weather and the perfect location for one of our most productive town days so far. After taking a full two hours to eat and digest breakfast on the front deck of a little diner, we commandeered the porch of a “Closed for the Season” hiker ministry right on Main Street; I suppose coming into town at the tail end of the season has its perks! Since the AT literally runs down the sidewalk of Main Street Hot Springs we had the perfect location for conducting a day of errands, eating and drinking while letting the dog(s) relax in the shade.