Day 34: Campsite near lookout tower to Jerry Cabin Shelter, 18.1 miles
Day 35: Jerry Cabin Shelter to Hogback Ridge Shelter, 14.7 miles
Day 36: Hogback Ridge Shelter to Spivey gap campsite 15.8 miles
Day 37: Spivey gap campsite to Uncle Johnny’s Hostel in Erwin, TN, 10.7 miles
Day 38: Zero Day at Uncle Johnny’s Hostel in Erwin, TN
Our mileage has been increasing! We feel healthy and strong. Today we decided to zero to avoid the cold and give our bodies a chance to rest. We’ve recieved a lot of similar questions from family, friends, section hikers, and our supportive online community while we have been hiking away. We will do our best to answer them here!
Question 1: How is it being in a relationship on the trail?
Icicle = Awesome! It seems that whatever type of couple you are off the trail is probably what you are going to be like on the trail. We rarely argue, are best friends, and love spending time with each other off the trail and so it’s the same on trail. Spending 24 hours together for over a month has only brought us closer together and we are so happy we have 5 more months like this left. A whole lifetime isn’t even enough. So that’s us on the trail. Simply put, we enjoy each others company.
Quailman = Amazing. Being together for this adventure makes the experience so much better. It really amplifies it. Being best friends with Icicle in addition to being married means I have the one person I would want most on the trail with me. It also means I get to share every experience, making them even more amazing.
Question 2: I’ve noticed you’ve done x amount of miles. How will you make it to Maine on time?
Icicle = It’s all about the average. We should average something like 15 miles per day by the end of the trip. So as our miles increase, the average will rise. We are right on track for finishing in six months total!
Quailman= We’ll walk normal for about 5 and a half months and then just sprint the rest. Or use skateboards.
Question 3: What do you eat?
Quailman and Icicle = Here’s a sample of a typical trail day and a sample of a typical town stay for one person.
Trail Day (most days are trail days)
8 am, First breakfast: Two honey buns and coffee mixed with hot chocolate plus creamer
930 am, Second breakfast: A whole bag of dark chocolate covered almonds
11 am, “11sies”: Clif bar and handful of dried fruit
1 pm, lunch: tuna on tortilla and fritos
230 pm, afteroon snack: almond snickers
4 pm, second afternoon snack: ziplock bag of cheez its and handful of dried fruit
4-7pm: probably should eat but we are almost to camp where we can make dinner so we keep hiking instead
730pm, glorious dinner: snack on anything left over from the day then whole box of mac and cheese with single serve spam
Town Day (every 4-6 days or so)
Arrive usually around lunchtime
Lunch: Big salad, fried pickles, Burger, Fries, locally brewed beer of some kind
Snack: Naked Green machine Juice, bananas, strawberries
Dinner: Pizza, icecream
Question 4: What is the best, worst, weirdest, and/or grossest things you’ve experienced so far?
Icicle= One of the best things is getting to see everything in slow motion. We have been watching the leaves on the groud slowly decompose and become soil. Have you ever seen how snow leaves tree limbs? We get to see them slowly shed the snow. At home, it kind of ‘just happens’. One day there are leaves on the ground and then its soil, one day there is snow and then the trees are bare. We love watching this all happen since we are outside 24 hours a day. It’s beautiful to witness.
Quailman= Weirdest thing I think we’ve experienced so far was a case of mistaken gear theft. We were at a shelter having lunch and a couple of women came up hiking the opposite direction. They began asking a few normal questions, like “when did you start?” and “how far are you going?” We had only started to answer when one woman began talking over us about her thru hike attempt, current plans, plans for the future, and her about to get high. Which she then did while we watched, somewhat stunned. After a brief disscussion with her hiking partner regarding not wanting to hike a few hundred feet for water, they packed up their things and our water bladder and moved on. It was, of course, an accident. They simply thought it was theirs and we didn’t realize it was ours until too late. Moral of the story? Keep your gear separate from the gear of high hikers.
Question 5: What animals have you seen? Bears! Wild things?
Icicle= One snake, tons of birds! Birds are so funn and interesting! We love birds now. No bears, but it has been winter.
Quailman= Really loud and absurd-sounding birds. This ranges from birds that sound like arcade games being played to birds that make a long, monotone yell. If I was going to write the sound out, it would be something like “Waoooooooooooooooow”. Birds are weird.