West Coast Roaming

Now in Washington. This next adventure, part two of my 3 months of wandering, is beginning in Washington where I’ll help a very special friend birth her first child.  After this week I’ll make my way quickly through Oregon (2 nights) then on to California.  I’ll see some highschool buddies in Humboldt, some herb school buddies in the Sierra Nevadas (and hopefully get some Tumbler in Chico!), and then to San Fran for visits with a few different peeps from various phases of my life, hiking part of the Lost Coast Trail, then to AZ for all kinds of reunions, and on to Texas before back to Virginia.  Since I’m still nomading it up I’ll keep writing and posting and I go.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Love,

Orange

Hitch-hiking Along the Appalachian Trail

I just realized I never wrote a post about hitch-hiking! This feels like a good topic to address because the act of thumbing it, hitching, asking strangers for rides, gets a lot of negative attention from people who have never done it. Continue reading Hitch-hiking Along the Appalachian Trail

Post Hike Reintegration

As I write this, I’m on a plane Portland bound, and listening to Fleetwood Mac. It’s been my plan all along to go West for a month after  my hike, but I didn’t expect it to be so hard to leave.  I feel like a bag of trail mix.  Salty sweet crunchy soft.  I’ve got a thousand feelings but I’m just observing them and paying attention to where they come from and what they have to teach me, rather than getting hooked into any one of them and spiraling out – which is kinda what happened yesterday. Continue reading Post Hike Reintegration

Day 51 – Last Day!

Thomas Knobb Shelter -> Damascus, VA!

We got an early start and since we actually got some sleep (finally wasn’t freezing), we said our goodbyes, and began the journey to our final destination in the good company of Slingshot (super cool dad, superfit trail runner, and all around great dude).  We had 15.6 miles ahead of us, and were blessed with the best weather, bountiful energy, and thrilled adrenal glands keeping us well supplied.  The three of us took a 1 hour lunch break, stopped to check out gorgeous bridges and river views, and hiked along the Virginia Creeper Trail for a bit.  We founds many places deserving of their own future adventures, hopefully in the Spring of 2015. Continue reading Day 51 – Last Day!

Day 50 – Penultimate Hiking Day!

Thomas Knob Shelter

Holy Cow there is only one more day of hiking on this journey. 15ish miles tomorrow and then Damascus.  I don’t know where to begin this entry.  I’m feeling bittersweet about approaching the end, and now having completed the penultimate day of hiking, I’m just chillin’ next to an awesome fire. I’ll start here and recount backwards I guess. Continue reading Day 50 – Penultimate Hiking Day!

Day 47 (I think): Chilled to the Bone with Four Days to Go

Feeling refreshed after several very difficult days.  The weather has shifted from crisp fall to blustering cold, gray, windy, dark, rain.  Hiking 16-18+ miles a day aint so bad, til it gets dark and starts pouring.  The Appalachian Trail becomes barely discernible from the deer trails and so on.  Luckily I haven’t had to pitch a tent in pouring rain.  But I have been so bone chilled that the thought of continuing on would bring me to a stopping sobbing point of despair, at the bottom of an intense climb with no reward in sight.  Honestly, especially yesterday, I had to “Let go and let God” as they say.  My blood was so thick it barely moved through my veins, my spirit felt truly crushed and my heart broken by the struggle of hiking. Until I halted and said aloud, “God! Get me through this!” Continue reading Day 47 (I think): Chilled to the Bone with Four Days to Go

Appalachian Trail Blaze Guide

Luckily for us hikers the AT is very well marked by white blazes along the entire path.  A blaze is a rectangle (quick brush stroke) painted on a tree trunk, which serves as a beacon of hope for the weary wanderer, confirming that you are indeed still on the right path.  I have found them the most helpful during night hiking, when the trail is less distinguishable from the deer trails, forest roads, and old trails. Continue reading Appalachian Trail Blaze Guide

Day 39: Holy Family Hostel

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Gorgeous Holy Family Hostel.

Today I had a beautiful day (17ish miles) hiking along ridges, creeks, old rock slides, and even some time to sunbathe. Today we were warned, was supposed to be terrible and dangerous. Thunderstomrs, beginning yesterday afternoon and carrying over for quite some time. Well it did storm in hte middle of the night and I was grateful to be in a shelter rather than the tent, but today…TODAY I could not have asked for a more splendid day to hike 17 miles. It was close to perfect AND! As soon as we came to a resting place with a meadow I practiced Supported Headstand pose, getting one beautifully executed! Continue reading Day 39: Holy Family Hostel

Day 38: Pine Swamp Branch Shelter

I feel like I’m being haunted by weather forecasts. I wish I could tell everyone I meet not to mention whatever they’ve heard, good or bad, about potential weather changes. I like setting out and not thinking about some stupid meteorologist man’s inaccurate predictions of Nature’s behaviors. Continue reading Day 38: Pine Swamp Branch Shelter