Written by: Grounds Keeper Kris Rolla on the Appalachian Trail
Holy guacamole! I have been on the trail for 74 days! I have hiked over 700 miles and packed out 65 pounds of trash so far. The terrain is getting tougher as I move south. Also, I am feeling that southern humid heat. I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. My feet hurt and I could totally go for a day long massage!
I just left Shenandoah National Park and did not see one bear 🙁 I did however see a couple of coyotes, turkeys, rattlesnakes and deer. I love seeing all this wildlife on the trail. The Shenandoah’s have been my favorite part of the trail so far. I spent every night camping on a cliff, under the stars. It was so magical! I also loved all of the waysides (market/grill) every 10 miles. I ate a ton of black bean burgers and chocolate milkshakes! It was awesome!!
I have been taking a few zero days here and there to resupply, catch up on some sleep and get away from the bugs. The best part of my zero days are wandering through towns. I’ve been finding the best coffee shops and health food stores.
I feel really strong and I am very excited to get to southern Virginia. I cannot wait to see the wild ponies! I hope to spend my 27th birthday camping alongside of them!