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Classic Mixbook

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S: Hiking Trip 2009

FC: Oh, the Places You'll Go! | Hiking Trip 2009

1: Feb. 6 - 16: Georgia Feb. 16 - 27: North Carolina Feb. 27 - March 6: Great Smoky Mountains National Forest, NC/TN March 6 - March 29: Tennessee March 30 - April 7: University of Maryland/Home April 7 - April April 18: Gila National Forest, NM | April 19 - April 21: Univ. of Colorado - Boulder April 22 - April 26: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ April 26 - May 30: Las Vegas, NV Death Valley National Park, CA Big Sur, CA Yosemite National Park, CA Sheepie Dreams Farm, Santa Cruz, CA Yellowstone National Park, WY Grand Teton National Park, WY

3: "We didn't get started until almost two pm, so instead of taking the approach we got on closer to Springer. After saying our goodbyes to Aunt Jane and a last lunch at the Waffle House, we started off on the trail - in the wrong direction. What a start. We corrected, backtracked the 0.1 to Springer, snapped some photos and continued on our way..." Day 1 - Feb. 6, 2009 (GA)

4: "Today Russ and I awoke to freezing temperatures and it was tough to get going. Although it wasn't as solid as yesterday we had another fairly steady 10+ miles which was great. Even on the days that we feel our worst, we noted that we're better than our best days of the first week." Day 11 - Feb. 16, 2009 (GA/NC)

6: "We had another sleepless night thanks to the cold. I tried the trick of boiling a Nalgene of water to put in my sleeping bag which afforded me about an hour of sleep but not much more. Our filter also froze up despite me hiking with it inside my shirt the whole day. Even sleeping with a water bottle didn't keep it from freezing, meaning the inside of my sleeping bag is below freezing temperatures. Due to a lack of dry clothing, frozen gear, and going without sleep for days, we decided to hike into Gatlinburg, TN and spend a night there." Day 26 - March 23, 2009 (Smoky Nat'l Park)

9: "Today we became the proud 'owners' of Mugs and Moonpie. After feeding the two pups, they quickly fell into place hiking with us, staying at the heels of the lead hiker but continually looking back to make sure everyone was accounted for. Mugs, the larger of the two, tended to be easy-going and lazy while Moonpie, who was much smaller, was our prissy leader." Day 30 - March 7, 2009 (NC/TN)

10: "It's nice to see spring finally emerging. Although the trees and most bushes still only have very small buds, if anything at all, the small brush is becoming greener and wildflowers are starting to pop up everywhere. I even found some wild chives to throw in with our bacon macaroni and cheese." Day 50 - March 27, 2009 (TN)

13: Today we set off for New Mexico after two days reprieve at home. The first day we drove until midnight, slept for 3 hours, and then continued on to Nebraska and through to Colorado. First we drove for hours through prairies that extended as far as we could see in every direction. Then, without warning, the Rocky Mountains sprung into view as enormous snow-peaked beasts rising out of the flat desert." Day 61 - April 7, 2009 (CT/NY/NJ/PA/OH/IN/IL/IA/NE/CO)

14: "It's amazing how different the southwest is from the AT. On the trail we saw a total of maybe 6 animals other than squirrels and whatnot. Already, before we've even started hiking, we've seen elk, wild boar, lizards, hawks, deer and evidence of large cats." Day 62 - April 8, 2009 (NM)

17: "At the other side of the pond we found a huge drain in the ground, presumably for when the water level is higher. Although rappelling into a metal shaft of unknown depth and exit seemed a little stupid, we eventually descended to the bottom which was thankfully free of rabid bears or man-eating raccoons. Later on we decided to bushwhack our way along a ridge to camp, finally capping it off with a 15 foot free climb down a dry waterfall with our packs still on." Day 71 - April 17, 2009

18: "We had originally decided to go to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon because of the fewer people there but we realized we were in trouble when we called the ranger office for info. They informed us that there were no open roads or camping areas at this time of year and that we would have had to make reservations months ago to get into the southern rim. We decided to take our chances to the north.." Day 76 - April 22, 2009

20: "The hike down into the Grand Canyon was quite possibly the best of my life. The huge canyon walls reached unfathomable heights and the stripes of colors streaking across included vibrant pink, red, white, orange, yellow and violet. Animals scurried everywhere and wildflowers of countless varieties were in full bloom. To top it off, it was an evening hike so we watched the sunset over the ridges of cliffs as we descended into the warm canyon below." Day 77 - April 23, 2009 (AZ)

23: "It was another incredibly scenic day in the Grand Canyon, although a far cry from the pleasant warm evening hike previously. We generally took our time except for the early afternoon when we sprinted from shady spot to shady spot like Vin Diesel in 'Chronicles of Riddick.' I tried some agave after learning its identity but the liquid burnt my tongue and tasted bitter so I spit it out. I figure that once again I forgot the important details of what part of an edible plant is actually edible." | Day 79 - April 25, 2009

24: "From the Grand Canyon, Russ and I made our way west to Death Valley, eager to experience the heavenly spot that such a name might suggest. While it was definitely the hottest place I have ever been, or am interested in going (100+ in the shade) it was also far more beautiful and interesting than I expected." Day 80 - April 26, 2009

27: Two loud honks woke us up this morning so we agreed that was a good sign to get packing. We had somehow ended up camping in someone's driveway and he wasn't thrilled with the idea. We went and used some K-Mart computers to find out that there wasn't much opportunity to camp for free around us. Instead we looked into some WWOOFing. I ended up talking to a woman on a farm called 'Sheepie Dreams' who seemed interested in having us. Our campsite tonight is another dirt road and we are looking forward to hearing back from the farm while we hang out at Sequoia National Park for a few days. Dat 86 - May 2, 2009

28: "The chaos at this farm continually astounds me. I came up to the house to ask about our job duties and over the next hour was treated to plans on building a chicken coop, instructions on weeding and gardening, a tutorial on avocado picking, discussions on lamb birthing and about 30 other things on the 'to-do' list, all intermixed with Sandy yelling at the kids, Chester talking to the on-site builders, the dog running around, etc. In a word: chaos." Day 90 - May 6, 2009 (CA)

30: "The rugged and dangerous terrain of Yosemite was driven home when, on our drive into the park, we saw helicopters rescue two people off of the mountain on backboards. We quickly got to hiking, only staying on the trail for the first 10 miles in order to get sufficiently deep into the park, after which we depended on GPS and maps to find our way around." Day 98 - May 14, 2009

33: "Our campsite was hastily assembled in anticipation of the impending storm. It was indeed incredible sitting on the nose of a rocky mountain with a 270 degree view of gorgeous Yosemite country. Unfortunately the view was enhanced further by one of the most intense thunderstorms I've ever seen. After a spark of electricity bounced between our tent poles we spent the next 45 minutes huddled on the side of the mountain being beaten by mother nature. From afar: astounding and beautiful. From directly overhead: horrifying." Date 102 - May 18, 2009

35: "After setting our campsite up, we continued our tour of Yellowstone. Per usual, our movement was delayed every mile or so by either a large group of buffalo standing around in the road or a huge clump of people stopped to look at aforementioned buffalo. Alongside were colorful hills formed out of mineral deposits bubbling out of geysers, hot springs, delicate limestone terraces, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and other amazing features. Later in the afternoon we returned to our campsite for a repeat of drinks and dogs" Day 108 - May 24, 2009

36: "After a few days, I caught a flight from Salt Lake City back to Hartford, leaving Russ to his own devices. From here on out we're doing our own things, with him staying out west in the hopes of finding an outdoor job, and myself preparing for school which will start at the end of July. While it's been an amazing once-in-a-lifetime journey, we were both ready to get back to some sense of normalcy. The experiences of the past four months, I'm sure, have changed us both in more ways than we now realize. I've been thinking not just about how grateful I am to have been able to go on such a wild, fun and unpredictable trip, but also how lucky I am to be able to return to the loving and supportive friends and family that were missed along the way." Day 111 - May 27, 2009

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  • By: Jacob L.
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  • Title: Classic Mixbook
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: over 6 years ago