31 October 2010

Under 300 miles to go! Nearly had a sweet beagle adopt me today. He followed me for half a mile before he ran off. Hope he has a good home or finds one.

30 October 2010

Staying in Pine Ridge with Dwight and Irene, some excellent trail angels!

29 October 2010

Back on the road. I had an awesome time in Raleigh! Got to go to a football game at NC State, and we beat Florida St! It felt good to be back at my alma mater!

26 October 2010

"And if I die in Raleigh, at least I will die freeeee!" -O.C.M.S.

25 October 2010

The rain can't keep me down. It always stops eventually. Been on the Falls Lake Trail for past 2 days. One more day to Raleigh.

23 October 2010

I had a great stay at Little River Presbyterian Church last night. Thanks to Guy Miller for helping me out there! Made it to Eno River State Park.

22 October 2010

If you can't find a Snickers bar, just eat a Milky Way and a Payday at the same time! I'll have to try a Snickers with a Payday. Super Snickers!

21 October 2010

The miles have flown by today. After beginning about 10am, I made it 17-plus miles by 3:45pm. I can foresee a 30 plus mile day in my future.

19 October 2010

A Slack-tastic Week!

After taking the weekend off to rest my legs and catch up on football season, I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week slack-packing around Greensboro. My Granny was kind enough to drop me off and pick me up from my hikes. I walked from Stokesdale to Lake Brandt Marina through Summerfield and Bur-Mill Park in Greensboro on Monday. It was 17.5 miles, and I finished by 3:00 pm.

Today, I started from the eastern side of Guilford County, at the intersection of Hicone Road and Huffine Mill Road. I slack-packed 20 miles westbound back to Lake Brandt Marina through Bryan Park and around Lake Townsend. It felt just a bit odd to be hiking the opposite direction from the past month. On the Appalachian Trail I hiked northbound (NoBo) the entire way except for a 23 mile southbound (SoBo) slack-pack over Mount Greylock in Massachusetts.

On the MST, I'm hiking eastbound (EaBo), but today I slack-packed westbound (WeBo). I spent much of the day thinking about these funny sounding names, and whether they would ever catch on like NoBo and SoBo have on the AT, PCT and CDT (which are all trails that run north and south).

I've enjoyed spending time at home with my family, and I plan to take one more zero day before hiking on from Hicone Road. I want to do early voting while I'm in town, since I'll still be on the trail on election day. I will also resupply, and make sure that my car still runs, and that I still know how to drive!

15 October 2010

Halfway, Home

I'm about to fall asleep. I've pushed my body pretty hard the past 4 weeks. But today I made it into Guilford County and Stokesdale. My mom came to pick me up and take me home to Greensboro; about a 20 minute drive.

So I've hiked over 450 miles, and am nearly halfway across the state, all in just under four weeks! I haven't had a full day off yet, and I plan to take some time here in Greensboro to relax and let my body recover. I also plan to slack-pack the section around Greensboro, so as to maximize my number of nights slept in a bed!

I'll post pictures and more updates of my adventure while I'm here at home with my laptop!

14 October 2010

Stayed dry out of the rain in the barn at Mtn Trail Stables last night! Hiked a long day over the Sauratown Trail to Hanging Rock St Pk and down thru Danbury.

13 October 2010

I've hiked over 400 miles to this point! Great hospitality here at Mtn Trail Stables! Thank you Tammy and Phil! Nearly halfway, and almost home to Greensboro!

12 October 2010

Zeke in Dobson was an excellent host! Thanks again man! Back to trails in Pilot Mtn State Park after 45 miles of road walking the past few days.

10 October 2010

East bound and down! Hiked around Stone Mtn today with my AT friend, Hardcore! Beginning the road walk. Two days until Pilot Mtn state park and trails again!

09 October 2010

I'm pretty much done with the mtns section after 3 weeks! I'd say I'm in the foothills now from Stone Mtn to Hanging Rock. No more BRP, but lots of roadwalks!
Trail Magic!!! A trail angel named Elaine treated me to lunch at the Bluffs Restaurant in Doughton Park! I'm so thankful for good people!

08 October 2010

At the Northwest Trading Post in Glendale Springs. Home-made brownie and a Nehi grape soda. Yummy!
Jeffress Park and 300 miles last night! Good times with Matt in Boone. Nearly done following the parkway. Piedmont is coming up soon!

06 October 2010

Made it to Boone!

After the really chilly weather the past few nights I woke up this morning only 9 trail miles away from crossing Highway 321 just outside of Boone! I hiked through Moses H. Cone Park, by the Cone Manor, and along very slightly graded carriage roads. I imagined this is what the PCT is like, descending half-mile long switchbacks at perhaps a 6% grade.

Mount Mitchell was cold, windy and rainy when Sideshow and I got up there, and it poured on us all the way down to Black Mountain Campground. It was a miserable afternoon, and I was so distraught that we ended up paying for camping there instead of hiking on in the rain to some free campsites 1/2 a mile down the road/trail.

After Mitchell, though, the trail doesn't go above 5,000 feet in elevation again. The closest I got was about 4,300 feet on the Tanawha Trail around Grandfather Mountain, which is where it sleeted! The winds have been biting the past few days, and I have kept hiking with my long johns on under my pants to keep my legs warm. Usually I would have to stop to take off the long johns after 20 minutes of brisk hiking.

It seems the most strenuous parts of the trail are behind me. At least that's according to Bob Benner, who was painting blazes with the trail maintenance crew I met the other day before Harper Creek. He's been working on the trail for about as long as it has been around. I enjoyed talking with him, and I thanked him and the rest of the crew for keeping the trail passable.

When I got into Price Park, though, the trail was a recently dug ditch with a long pipe beside it. The construction workers told me the trail was closed and directed me to the park campground. I saw three deer as I walked through the picnic area next to the campground, the first deer I'd seen all trip! The campground attendant told me that not the entire Boone Fork Trail was closed, but since I had come this far in the wrong direction, I could take the other side of the BFT loop to where the MST breaks off near the backcountry campsite, where I spent the night.

Now I'm in Boone. I met up with an old friend, Matt, from Scouts. He picked me up at the trail crossing on the Parkway, and then I filled up at Golden Corral. I had eaten all of my food from my previous resupply in Marion. I ate the last of my oatmeal and cereal bars this morning to get me to town! I literally only had one mustard and three ketchup packets left in my food bag, so I timed that resupply just right!

I met two other thru-hikers just as I left Black Mountain near the Folk Art Center. They started September 1, and had been taking it very slow. They said they had taken more zero days (days where one hikes zero miles) than days they had actually hiked. I expect they are a few days behind me now.

Also, don't ever skimp on your shoes when long-distance hiking. My $39 pair of trail runners from REI-Outlet.com are falling apart, and I only hope they make it close enough to Greensboro that I can have my mom bring me my trusty Salomons from the Appalachian Trail. At least my blisters have callused over now!

05 October 2010

Nasty weather. Wind, rain, sleet. Occasional sun. Hiding under a restroom overhang to stay dry at Price Park at the moment. Trail construction means reroute.

04 October 2010

Sideshow went home yesterday. Hiking solo again. Met some trail maintainers today, thanked them for their work. Lots of creek crossings, only one true ford.

02 October 2010

Short day. 5 miles. Camped by Linville River before the gorge. Taking it easy so Sideshow can catch a ride at the next road crossing. Boone next week!

01 October 2010

Sideshow and I just got a ride back to the trail with a cop! Thank you JR of Marion PD!