When the Trail is a Sea of Rocks Forever: An Ode to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is not as bad as they say. “Worst state on the entire Appalachian Trail.” “Pennsylvania sucked.” “The rocks! They kill your feet, your spirit. Ruin everything. They’ll eat you alive.” And what they say isn’t entirely untrue. The trail is rocks for hundreds of miles: sharp rocks, flat rocks, grapefruit sized rocks, rocks like … More When the Trail is a Sea of Rocks Forever: An Ode to Pennsylvania

Ten Important Lessons I Learned On The Appalachian Trail

Lists are fun, don’t you think? The following is a list of ten things I learned (or already knew but hadn’t realized how super-duper mega important they were) on my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. 1. Cinnamon roll is the best pop-tart flavor, hands down. Sadly, its limited edition status has run its course. R.I.P. cinnamon roll … More Ten Important Lessons I Learned On The Appalachian Trail

Oh, Days Like These 

It’s late afternoon when the trail spits me out of the woods and winds its way through yellow-green fields. Silos and red barn roofs and pastures spread flat across the horizon. When the wind whooshes, the tall grass bends and sways and tickles my calves, and thank goodness for the Deet I sprayed on earlier … More Oh, Days Like These 

All the Young Dudes

A strange thing happens after I part ways with Two Bad Dogs: I see ZERO THRU HIKERS on the trail all day (and only four section hikers who are heading south.) This is quite surprising, as this happened only once on my entire PCT thru-hike, and there are more than twice as many people on … More All the Young Dudes

Safety in Numbers/Staring Contests (Never Camp By a Road)

The crusty kids from Virginia and I hike together today. Patrick flies along the trail, barging up the big climbs and jogging down the steep descents. I’m amazed at how fast he hikes with that giant pack; camp shoes swinging wildly from carabiners, a coiled silver sleeping pad thwap-thwap-thwapping against the backs of his thighs.  … More Safety in Numbers/Staring Contests (Never Camp By a Road)