Podcast: Appalachian Trail Section Hike part 1

After years of thinking about it, months of planning and too few practice hikes, Kendall and I completed a section hike on the Appalachian Trail a week ago (or as I like to think about it a through hike of the Shenadoah National Park ;-).

We both learned alot about hiking, about ourselves and about each other.  I am not quite ready to say that I want to find a way to do a through hike quite yet, but I definately want to find a way to do another section sometime in the next year our so.  Thinking the Smokies since it’s close and also pretty well defined where to start / stop or maybe the Whites in New Hampshire (if we decide to go to Porcfest again I could combine it with that trip).

Probably not much here for seasoned hikers, since this was our first serious hike.  But if you haven’t developed trail legs or experienced hiker hunger, but are thinking about it, take a listen to hear about our experience fresh off the trail.  We got an hour into it and only got halfway through the trip, so there will be a part 2 (and maybe a part 3) coming soon where we will finish up and share some lessons learned.

A few pics from the first few days on the trail
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At the trail head at VA 522 in Front Royal. So optimistic. So unaware of what lies ahead of us.
After a few miles from VA 522 we entered the SNP and filled out our back country permit paperwork.
After a few miles from VA 522 we entered the SNP and filled out our back country permit paperwork.
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Only about 5 miles in on day 1 (which was a 14 mile day). Already tired of climbing. Long way to go still.
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Where did the food bag go? This guy was our wake up call after our first night on the trail. he pulled our feedbag out of the tree which lead to a 30 minute staring contest. He trundled off and I grabbed the bag, then he came back and was confused as to where it went. This as the first of 16 bears we saw in our nine days on the trail.
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What I imagined the trail to be like.
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It was like this for maybe 5 miles of the 108 we did overall.
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More often it looked like this.
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Most often it looked like this.  Straight up and covered in softball sized ankle breakers.  Trekking poles were one of the must haves.
Our dispersed camping site for day 3, high on a ridge.
Our dispersed camping site for day 3, high on a ridge.
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A pretty typical piped spring.
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