During the last week, I celebrated my one month trail anniversary, reached 400 miles (currently at 470) and entered Virginia, my fourth state. I will be in Virginia longer than I've already hiked!
I also walked through one of my most favorite places on Earth, the Roan Highlands, and specifically Hump Mountain. I first hiked Hump Mountain with some college buddies 9 years ago. I never knew anything like that existed in NC. It seemed like a place from a different country. I was enthralled. I've mentioned Big Bald and Max Patch as being significant places to me. Hump Mountain carries even more weight to me. I really cannot put into words how this mountain makes me feel. I've been there close to a dozen times, and each is a unique experience.
This time, I ran into Lost and Found at Carvers Gap. (We've been hiking together ever since.) We sat on the summit of Hump, talking about our journey thus far and watching storms build in the distance. Suddenly it began to rain a short distance away. The views from Hump are so expansive and it was absolutely incredible to see the rain rushing over the mountain. Right toward us! Or so we thought. The rain just missed us and we stayed dry somehow, yet again. The wind carried bitter clouds away and reintroduced Carolina blue skies.
There is such beauty in this power. There is such beauty in the still. I've never been on this mountain with that experience. The same mountain, yet a totally unique way of seeing it.
After descending Hump Mountain, stayed at Doe River Hostel in the town of Roan Mountain. The hostel is a running farm with miniature goats, chickens, a huge fluffy dog, operated by the nicest guy in the world, Dave. After the best trail breakfast so far at Smoky Mountain Bakery, we headed back onto the trail in a rainstorm. The deluge transformed the trail once again into a river. At one point, I walked through ankle deep water for about a mile. Fun times. But Lost and Found made up for the dreary day by having the foresight to download movies for such days. I drifted in and out of sleep to the soundtrack of Iron Man and steady rain on the tin roof of the shelter.
This week also featured a guest appearance by Fizzy Fun Toy (my friend Daniel who hiked with me for a few days.) Daniel come back, I need an instant data report of my progress, including but not limited to MPH, seconds hiking, miles walked, and VO2 levels.
The last week of expansive views, dodging rain, dodging sun, swimming, and meeting with friends and family on the trail makes me more alive than I could have imagined. The trail is challenging, but it is so so worth it.
Virginia, here I come!!!
I am a filmmaker. I am an adventurer. I believe in children. My friends are obsessed with my beard. I am obsessed with beer. I want to embrace and fully live this life I’m blessed with. I want to be known as someone who loves deeply.
On May 16, 2017 I set out on my dream, the adventure of a lifetime: a 2,189.8 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. I want to push people to live their dreams and pursue their passions.