Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Made it to NC!

I made it to North Carolina through the rain and fog.  I've seen my first real taste of bad weather since Hiawassee, with it raining hard two of the three nights.  The days have been filled with lots of cold fog, but I've stayed dry and I've remained in good spirits.  Hiawassee seemed to spread the group I was hiking with out - a couple guys still a day ahead of me and a few behind me, but it's been a welcomed change of new faces and personalities.  Last night me and this other guy got our bear bags stuck up in a tree and we uprooted this huge tree in the process of getting the bags down.  It was scary as the tree came down towards us but then hilarious to recount the events.  I shared the shelter with Pakka from Germany (now Timber after last nights events) and Deva, two incredibly awesome people.  I was starting to feel a little tied down to the group before Hiawassee, so these last few days have allowed me to go my own way a little bit.  The freedom has been nice and the company has remained amazing.

I've completed over 100 miles on the Appalachian Trail and it has been tough.  I knew the first couple weeks were going to be hard, but it's been even harder than I thought it would be.  My knees are in constant pain and I miss my life back home a lot, but this is what I've always wanted and I'm enjoying it immensely.  I get in an auto-pilot trance when I'm hiking a lot, dotted with thoughts about people in my life, my future and what my next McDonalds order will be.  Miles pass without even realizing it out here and the life is pretty simple.  Like I said in my last post, it really makes you appreciate everything so much.

Yesterday I hiked up Standing Indian Mountain and saw a view of mountains peaking out of a vast sea of fog for miles and miles.  I quickly dipped down into that fog and for hours I was cold and could only see 10 feet or so in front of me.  By the end of the day, I was out of the sea and summiting the hardest mountain I've climbed yet, Albert Mountain.  The climb was a rock scramble - super steep, hand over hand, looking for white blazes on rocks instead of trees.  But the view at the top was unbelievable.  After days of being in the fog I could see all of North Carolina I felt like.

I've only done about 5 percent of the entire Appalachian Trail but I feel encouraged and accomplished.  All of the support from everyone has been truly amazing.  It inspires me every morning to get out and hike and every evening if I'm feeling lonely.  So, thank you! Thank you! I love yall a lot.  Now off to do some relaxing in Franklin!  Oh and everyone's been calling me Towns out here.  I pushed an extra 4 miles to get to Hiawassee and while I love being outdoors, getting to the towns is always super exciting.  So, in the tradition of trail names on the AT, Towns it is.


  1. You made my blog this week...

    I love you so much. As hard as this trip is physically, I know it takes its toll on you emotionally, and spiritually, too. I admire your willingness to take the journey, Michael. To dig deep, and experience the moment.

  2. Michael - to paraphrase the opening scene of "The Graduate"...I've got one word for you...are you listening? one word: