for all future blog posts refer to this link: http://appalachiantrials.com/author/melanie-harsha/
I have started writing for Appalachian Trials. For future blog posts please refer to my page there.
...and not in a good way.
This is not the "I'm dancing naked in the rain at Bonnaroo after partying and not showering for four days" stinky and wet. No.
This is the "I just passed a freshly bathed day hiker and as they walked by I caught a whiff of their hibiscus scented shampoo and let out a sigh of joy. However, when they inhaled my stench the poor day hiker had a physical reaction in the form of a gag" stinky and wet.
This is the "the guy I just got a hitch with a guy who put the windows down even though it's rainy and cold" stinky and wet.
My wet dog smells better than me.
What a great first 2 weeks on trail.
Radley (my pup) and I have put our bodies and gear to the test.
- It rained a lot and it sucked, but it could always be worse.
- I had my first nero.
- I had my first zero (and second). Earlier than I anticipated but I deserve it.
- Radley loves hiking.
- Radley has bad days just like me
- I still don't have a trail name. I'm okay with it.
update: the trail name "peanut" was suggested and I'm thinking about sticking to it
for those who know me- elephants are my jam. Elephants like peanuts. Plus I'm short.
- I've already met some amazing people. I have a great trail family. 6 great guys.
- My pack broke and with the help of I friend I believe I fixed it. If not, I'm so grateful for REI's return policy and satisfaction guaranteed.
update: my mom brought me a new pack, hopefully it will work
- I should've waterproofed my tent (you were right dad)
- Hiking in the rain is fun until you're done hiking.
- I don't have to surround myself with negative people if I don't want to.
- Find one thing to smile about everyday (thanks Zach Davis)
- Trail Angels are the best
- Ramen bombs (instant mashed potatoes with ramen) are only appetizing after a long, difficult hike.
- I'm going to miss Radley in the smokies. I'm in Fontana village right now with my mom and about to part from my dog for 3 weeks. I am so grateful to my parents for taking care of her.
- my mom is the best trail mom ever
- Leave no trace. I want to be a thru hiker that respects this experience. Let's not ruin it for future thru hikers.
- I need a warmer sleeping bag. Update: mom brought one (:
- I kind of want to hike in the snow.
- I hope it doesn't snow.
- HIKE. YOUR. OWN. HIKE.
- Helen, GA. is wonderfully weird.
- My waterproof boots are not waterproof.
- I love my boots.
- I have yet to have a blister, but I have plenty of bruises.
- Radley completed her first 16 mile day (and her second and her third) and she rocked it.
Back on trail tomorrow
- Peanut and Radley
I've never written a blog nor had the desire to, but I think this is the best way to keep everyone I love updated about my adventure! I'm actually on the way out the door to go to Ellijay, GA today. Tomorrow I start northbound on the Appalachian Trail. No turning back now.
I have ten minutes until we leave so this will be a short intro (I completed my gear list earlier this week)
My mom started section hiking the trail 11 years ago. She has about 500 miles left. Go mom! I've gone on several trips with her, totaling ~265 miles on the AT. The plan is now to skip these sections during my thru hike.
I've lived in Boone, NC. for the last 3 years where I was obtaining a Masters' in Appalachian Studies. I graduated last August after completing a thesis on the five signs listed in Mark:16 in the bible, focusing on the practice of serpent handling in the region of Appalachia.
Almost immediately after graduating I started looking for a dog. I found a Catahoula rescue based in Tennessee (Blackjack Rescue). I saw Radley (then Delta) online and went to meet her the next week in Telford, TN. Within 5 minutes of meeting her she was in my car on the way back to Boone.
1st step was the dog, next step was the money.
I obtained a job at a coffee shop to save up some money. The original plan was to work there for a year and to thru hike in 2017. 1) I couldn't wait any longer 2) my parents told me to go for it and they'd support my decision
I worked at Bald Guy Brew in Boone for about 7 months. It was the best job I've ever had. Best boss, best coworkers, best coffee.
Next step was to sublease my apartment. This was difficult for me personally because it meant that the AT was really (finally) happening and I love Boone, I didn't want to leave. But I wanted the AT more. It was subleased within 3 days.
I guess I'm really doing this.
Home to Franklin, TN. For the month of March.
Lists, lists, more lists. Walking everyday. Train Radley. See friends. Another trip to REI.
Sold my car. I love this car. But I don't need it on the AT and I really need money.
Its already March 20th. I have 3 days. Where did March go?
Now I'm driving to Ellijay, GA. Tomorrow we start trail.
IG: @Melanieharsha @Radleyhikes
So that's everything in the main part of my pack. Positioned/Packed like so:
Radley is my 1 year old Catahoula/Aussie/Beagle/Hyena/Who knows what mix.
Here is her gear list.
Her pack weight is about 5 pounds, 3 pounds under her suggested carrying weight.
Her pack: Groundbird Gear. We love this pack. It is custom made just for Radley. The saddle bags come up to leave a harness. Super adjustable and I love the handles on top just in case I need to lift her over rocks and such. It's American made and a very good looking pack.