A Great Trip Needs An Extraordinary Destination ...Hallo Bay? ABSOLUTELY

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sara: Appalachian Trail Update

Update from the Appalachian Trail
from our very own Sara:

Sara (in jeans) cut her beautiful long blond hair
and donated it to cancer cause
before starting her 2200 mile trek.
We expect her to finish and be back
to help with Camp shut down in September

Greetings all from Roanoke, Virginia! It's been six weeks Saturday since I started the trail. I have gone 694.2 miles so far! I took another day off with my parents and hiking partners yesterday. As for my hiking partners, I paired up with another girl, Shayla, my age a couple of days before Damascus, Virginia. I had met her a couple of other times on the trail and we decided to team up. She is originally from Minnesota but now lives and works by Glacier National Park in Montana. She is super nice and we have a lot in common.
Besides averaging about 20 miles a day now we decided to pull a marathon into Damascus to get there on May 1st. We hiked 26 miles in about 10 hours with breaks included. Our other hiking partner Stephen hiked about 34 to catch us that day. We took a day off in Damascus on May 2nd which was my one month since starting the trail. Stephen had talked to Shayla before about hiking together so as not to be lonely. Stephen is 21 from Texas. He is a ultralight hiker which means that his pack is about 20lbs at max. He had a hiking partner at the beginning but he left. They were planning on going about 25-30 miles a day because they are trail runners. Stephen is very funny and we all get a long really well. As a group we call ourselves Dumbledore's Army. Being the Harry Potter nerds we are, we cut up the last book into 3 ( to reduce weight) and plan on reading it before the last movie comes out which we intend to get off the trail to see. So the three of us have been hiking together for about 2 weeks now.
Ever since we hit Virginia we've been experiencing lots of rain. The past few days we've been hit by afternoon thunderstorms that are short but still leave us drenched. The rain makes things a bit more complicated. Setting up tents in the rain, changing out of wet clothes into dry clothes but then putting on wet clothes again the next day to have it happen all over again. I'm trying to stay positive about it all but it can definitely dampen my spirit sometime.
My parents picked us up Saturday for us to take a day off Sunday. First thing we did was weigh ourselves. Shockingly I have lost almost 20lbs. I hadn't really noticed it myself but then again I don't have daily access to a mirror. It's fairly shocking because I've been the same weight for a long time, but it is expected that I would lose weight. Both Shayla and Stephen have lost about the same. We probably gained back some from this weekend.
We try to go into a town every 4 or 5 days to get a food resupply and then try to stay at a hostel or motel once every week to get a good shower in and to sleep in a bed. It's nice to be in a routine now and I definitely feel like a thru-hiker now.
We expect to be getting to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, by June.
Hope you are all doing well and I look forward to hearing about what is going on with you all.
Hurry Back Soon, Sara
We miss you!

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