Podcast: Appalachian Trail Section Hike part 2

Kendall and I sat down last night to record the second and final conversation about our section hike of the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park (part 1 here).  After the hike, the whole family took a week off (in Charleston, SC – highly recommended!)  and it’s been straight back to work for me since we’ve been back, so I wanted to get it done before much more time passed and we started to forget some of the details.

In this episode we cover the second half of our hike from Big Meadows campground to Calf Mountain Shelter. The second half of the hike was different from the first, with some high highs and low lows.  The best part was finally getting in sync with the original schedule and being able to bound from shelter to shelter each day.

The shelters are where you get to actually meet other hikers, so if you are going to be alone or course avoid them at all costs, but if you are going to meet people and hear their stories, make it a point to spend at least half your nights at shelters.  You don’t have to stay in the shelter itself – we tented a few of the nights we were at them – but just being there to share in a meal and swap stories as the sun goes down is an experience that makes the whole days hike worth it.  There are some fascinating people in the world and I know a few more of them from my time on the trail.

If you come across this and have suggestions for sections we should look at to hike next, I would appreciate any suggestions in the comments.  Looking to get a different experience from the SNP so I can get a more accurate view of what it would take to do a through hike.  No definite plans as of yet, but just an idea forming which was all it took to get us out there the first time.

A few pics from the last few days on the trail

After a long climb without stopping. I think that look on our faces is pride? Or pain. Not sure.
One of the unexpected benefits of hiking the AT was $1.37 (incl tax) Yuengling’s at the camp stores.

Key to hill climbs (for me anyway): Beastie Boys.  It just makes you dance.

Our last dispersed camp setup after day 5.
Each shelter has a log book that lets you see who was there before you and lets you say hi to those that will come after you.
You don’t realize how much better simple things like a table make your life until you don’t have them for a few days.
The only thing I saw that scared me more than bears. This was hanging over the trail, just out of view. Evidently (from a sign we saw later) there was a second one that we totally missed.
Last full day on the trail celebration lunch.
Calf Mountain Shelter on the morning of our last day.
One of the last blazes on the SNP section of the AT.
We are the champions! Now let’s get some lunch…and a shower.
Drying / airing everything out off the trail.

Show Notes / Gear Links:

Leave a Reply