One Month On The Trail!

Day 31 – April 18, 2017

Today was a very special day. Not only was it my first full month on the trail, but I got to hike in Greene County, Tennessee, where I first dreamt of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

The day started off foggy and gross out. Our plan was to hike 5 miles to the Hemlock Hollow Hostel to pick up our friend from there (Waffles returned his rental car in Greenville the day before and got a ride a ride up to the Hostel). Despite the 0.5 mile hike off the trail, I was looking forward to visiting the Hostel. I had stopped there 3 years ago after hiking a few miles of the AT to get ice cream. It’s also where I purchased my AT sticker that currently lives on my Nalgene.

Upon arrival, I learned it’s under new management. Instead of a grumpy, old lady, a new couple now owned it for the past year. Diana and her husband purchased it as a “vacation home” in TN. They still work in Florida, so her son lives there year-round to manage it. Diana works there in peak hiker season, and her husband visits when his job in Florida allows.

We spent a few hours on the giant front porch eating pizza, playing with the adorable dogs, and relaxing, as the rain steadily fell. If time allowed, I would have spent the night there. All hikers should visit!

A little reluctantly, we returned to the trail (the rain had slowed, so that helped). After struggling up a steep 3 miles ascent, we were back on top of Viking Mountain Road, where it intersected with the AT! The portion that I hiked before!

This section is unique because it had the old AT (blue blazed trail), called a bad weather trail. The new AT is an exposed ridgeline with many rocks and exceptional views (if it wasn’t so foggy!). Velveeta, Pippen, and I chose the much cooler, exposed ridgeline trail. The trail was even better than I remembered! The stone work was extremely well done and the hike was difficult, yet fun. It’s good that I had been before and knew the views, because all we saw was fog.


It was refreshing and exciting to be back where the idea all began. Then, it was just a dream that I was unsure would become a reality. And now, I’m out here, doing it! And loving it!

The day ended with a few more miles to camp, complete with good conversation and a failed attempt at leap frog with our packs on (turns out it’s extremely difficult to jump over a pack with a pack on).

I’m extremely lucky to be out here, making a lifelong dream a reality.


One thought on “One Month On The Trail!

  1. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers. Tess is safe, happy, and truly enjoying this living out this amazing dream that you put on her heart many years ago. Hugs, Mrs. P

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