In case you haven’t noticed we suck at blogging from the trail, let’s just say the app sucks and we are tired at night and we are in the wilderness a lot. Plus we truly do the same thing day in and day out, which is walk in the woods. So here are a few songs that sum up the hike so far.
I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
After the smokies we basically just continued walking along the state lines of North Carolina and Tennessee. There was a lot of up and down mountain sides and thankfully not too much rain. We had lots of trail magic and didn’t have to miss the trail after Hot Springs, NC due to fire, that’s right we lucked out and arrived in town the day the trail reopened (and yes I’m being sarcastic, I was totally looking forward to justifiably skipping 17 miles of trail).
Meet Virginia by Train
Way back when we started previous thru hikers told us “wait until you get to Virginia, the miles will tick by” and “Virginia is flat, you’ll just fly”, those people LIED!!!!!!! Virginia is no joke, it has big mountains, lots of rocks and some very beautiful views. Oh it’s also ridiculously long. Somewhere near the end we did get to stay at a brewery and once it was over we got to spend a couple of days at our friend Jed’s for a much needed mental health break. Oh and bears we saw lots of bears.
Shake it out by Florence + the Machine
I am so jealous of the ultra light hikers out here. We thought we were prepared for this and that the gear we had was pretty good and it is, for a week long hike. You see ounces count on a thru hike, I didn’t believe it at first, but by the time we reached Hot Springs, NC I was taking a serious look at my pack. I managed to get rid of about 4lbs, including half a pound of surplus strapping on my pack and some of our dry bags. Then in Erwin, TN poor Dan was man shamed when we weighed our packs at the hostel and it was noted that my pack was only 3lbs lighter, which led to my current pack weight of 20lbs with 1 litre of water, I’m a lucky gal.
I can’t feel my
face feet when I’m with you by The Weekend
Somewhere in Virginia I started to suffer, just an all round body revolt, but the worst of it was my feet (and Dan’s). After discussing this with our fellow hikers and some former thru hikers we were informed that this is ‘normal’ and will not go away until well after we finish. This was alarming for us, this did not come up in any of our research. Dan basically can’t feel his toes, they just feel like they are asleep. I was having severe pain on the balls of my feet so I changed shoes and that helped immensely (rock plates are a must!) now I just have a constant tingling at the base of my toes and it takes me a few minutes to get going in each morning.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes by whoever your current favourite children’s entertainer is.
Early on I had horrible elbow pain, I know elbow pain! While other people were suffering blisters and knee pain I had excruciating elbow pain, luckily I was hiking with a physiotherapist who able to do a quick assessment, turns out it was my shoulder! Yeah I hurt my shoulder hiking. Anyway, I changed the height of my poles and corrected my posture oh and lost some weight from my pack and the shoulder is great.
Boys, boys, boys by Lady Gaga
Despite the fact that there are lots of awesome women hiking the trail, we seem to never end up hiking with any of them (or at least not for long). I’m beginning to worry that the lack of estrogen around is affecting my ability to gossip but only time with really tell.
Dynamite (it goes on and on) by Taio Cruze
This song legitimately gets in my head all the time, mainly the part that goes “and it goes on and on and on” because that’s what the trail does. I don’t know when exactly but the enormity of what we are trying to do hit me like a train and it’s a tad overwhelming. But then I throw my hands up in the air and say ‘ayo’ and hike on.