Day 11

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Walked from NOC to Brown Fork Gap Shelter. That’s about 16 miles, it was really challenging because the first 6 are up hill, and you end with a pretty good uphill right after Stecoah Gap. Someone left us some apples! I love apples.

Got some new shoes. Way better! The rigidness of my others was really pounding on my feet. These feel much better at least for now.

Day 5-7

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Day 5

Day 6

Day 7
It’s hard to peck out these letters on a screen littered with drop of water. I will keep this short. All I can think is Gandalf can’t you do something about this deluge. It’s wet! Still awesome but wet. Very thankful mom was in Franklin bc I needed a resupply and she dried my clothes. Praise The Lord. All the other hikers at the shelter were stoked too bc I brought back some pizza & beer!

Day 4

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I imagine these posts will get fewer and farther between as I go on. But things are new so it’s really fun. Today kicked my butt pretty hard. Two 20+ mile days in a row. I’m only going 11 tomorrow the I’m going to Hiawassee for the evening. I should be in NC on Sunday or so.

At the top of Tray Mountain

Day 3 – Blood Mountain

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I’ve done right at 16 miles today. I think I’m going to go a couple more miles further to some campsites. It will be my first night setting up my tent. The shelters are pretty nice just because you can get up and go in the morning. I’m loving this and the weather has been amazing so far. :)

Update:
I actually ended up going like 22.5 miles today. Camping on top of an amazing mtn. Got to watch the sun set and everything!

Day -1

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I wanted to write a quick post before I went to sleep, or at least tried to. The snoring has already begun. Graaah, graaah. I imagine this will be the normal rhythm of the night. I’m super excited though! Today was so stressful and the past weeks have been equally so. Trying to get work done, trying to get taxes paid, trying to make plans for anything that may happen. Life is just too complicated. We’ll I’m here now and I guess the rest just is what it is. I’m planning to hike 8 miles tomorrow to the trail head, which means I’ll actually begin hiking the AT on Wednesday.

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As stressful as the past weeks have been I have felt so loved. A huge thanks to all my friends for supporting me on this trip, or at least acting like it. Thanks so much for taking me out to diner, having a bon fire, making me a cake, writing me cards, and even writing me a song. That’s the first song anyone has ever written just for me! I wanted to post the lyrics but I forgot them at the house and didn’t have time to write a post before I left. I even got a special burger from the Filling Station!!! That made my day :) Anyhow, I am so thankful for you all!

If you want to keep up with me make sure you follow my blog, the posts should automatically go to FB but I am going to personally try to avoid it. I would love to see see comments on here though :)

The Luxury Item

Guilele

I’ve been debating on what I should bring. I’m pretty much as minimal as I want to go on gear. My cookset, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, first aid/toiletries and pack weigh a  whopping 20lbs. That’s pretty good I think. Anyhow I keep debating on what item I want to take just for me. I have a kindle, and I have a guitar both of which are in the air. The guitar weighs 27oz which is pretty good considering it’s a GUITAR. Well, Cordoba calls it a Guilele.  I found it in Best Buy one day and just had to have it.

It’s really a cool little instrument and it was relatively cheap so I’m not worried about something happening to it. It was like $100, which in the guitar world is not much. It is tuned up a 4th above the guitar, meaning it’s like playing a guitar with the capo on the fifth fret. All well and good but that means every song I know has to be transposed or sang way higher.

I decided to try it out with the song this little song :) It’s not the best sounding guitar but it makes noise. Maybe that would be a bad thing though. Might make people not like me. haha

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this will be my luxury item. I love to write songs and writing songs with out an instrument for me would be like playing soccer with out a ball. It’s a hard decision though bc I don’t want to regret bringing it. I’ve just heard so many stories of people bringing things that they didn’t need to and I’m trying to keep that to a bare minimum. What do you guys think?

Ramblings on Decisions, Love, & Suffering


I wrestle with my mind, with my decisions, with my thought process. Carefully, I over analyze every last detail. The words used in a conversation, the inflections, the look in someones eyes, or the smile. Is it sarcastic? or is it subtle enough to imply something? Each detail adds clutter to the scene. Reading people isn’t my best talent. My stubbornness is genetic. And selfishness, a curse. Decisions? Maybe it’s because I’m a dreamer, someone who read far too many fairy tales growing up. But I’m not just a dreamer, I am a realist too. I know people hurt each other. I know we all do selfish and evil things. I know life doesn’t always turn out how we want.

It won’t happen to me. Oh did I eat those words. Lesson learned. Dreamer meet real life. It doesn’t take much to change everything. A few words. One phone call and life can be flipped upside down. But it’s kind of  beautiful though. The brokenness. The suffering. The way each one us gets to experience life differently. We often measure our success by happiness and physical blessings, but can’t success be about finding freedom? Confidence? Security? Don’t those things come from falling down and learning to get back up?

Suffering. Is it really a curse? It seems like we always run from it but maybe it’s the key to our freedom. Maybe it’s the key to letting go. It’s not that we should bring it on ourselves, or that we should wish for it. I just think think we could view it differently when it’s upon us.  It helps us realize what’s important. It gives us perspective. It reminds us that the world turns with or without us. You know when you are flying and you look down. Life’s problems just feel so small. Isn’t that a good feeling? Oh, if I could permanently install that thought in my head. How quickly I forget.

Everyone has a different process when it comes to songwriting, but  it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to write with out a reason. Without finding love and loosing it. Without getting my heart-broken. I wouldn’t be able to write if life was always even keel. It’s the highs and lows that produce songs. It would be impossible to describe something you’ve never felt. Love is the greatest and most powerful emotion in the world but you’ll never be more vulnerable. No one wishes for heartache, but so many beautiful things come from it. It’s a risk but as the saying goes:

‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson
Lost Love
(From “In Memoriam”)