Saturday, June 9, 2012

Zero Day at Home

On the trail, we are only able to post photos on the blog that Beau has taken on his phone.  We don't carry the USB cord for the camera and most computers we have access to don't have a slot for the memory card. Here's another massive photo dump with photos back from before Beau came on the trail to now.

Side note: I'm noticing in a lot of these photos I have my pack cover on, which is funny to me because I feel like I hardly need to use it. I guess there was a stretch of potential rain for a few weeks and I happen to like a lot of the pictures from those days. 

It's hard to believe we are (basically) halfway through the AT.  Technically we still have a few more days before we get to the halfway mark, but most people consider Harper's Ferry to be the psychological halfway point of the trail.  We are in a good groove now, getting good mileage in every day and feeling confident in our abilities to handle situations that may arise.

What do the next 1000 miles hold? For one thing, we are vowing to take more zero days. And by "take more", I really mean "take some". This may come as a shock for those who are well acquainted with thru hiking, but.... until coming home this weekend I hadn't taken any zero days. We'd hardly taken any nero days- we've had very few (like maybe three) days under ten miles. When we get into town and want a full 24 hours of rest, we'll plan a half day in (10 miles) and leave the next day around noon for a half day out. That way we only pay for one night in town and still make progress every day. Isn't my name so applicable? Lately, we've been doing 20-24 miles daily and decided that with this kind of schedule, we need to take a zero day every now and then.  I think it will be good.

I'm a little nervous about this second half and entering unknown territory.  The first half felt like I was hiking home and hiking closer and closer to known territory.  I have very little knowledge of the trail beyond Maryland, and other than state lines, I don't have much to keep in mind as a landmark. Katahdin still seems very far away and I have a hard time visualizing what that will be like. I have confidence in my physical ability to get there, except of course for any unforeseen injury.  Also, my shoulder has been hurting badly in the past week. Not sure what the deal is with that, but hopefully it won't cause any problems. Vitamin I, anyone?

On the Beau front, he is doing wonderfully. It took him a couple weeks to get into the rhythm of this thru hiking madness, but now he is just as focused as I am on the task at hand.  Doing hard things is great for bringing out the worst in people, but we still really like each other. Go fig. When people figure out that we're married, they always ask how for how long. The next question is inevitably, "Wait... How old are you?" and the next one that remains unasked but I can tell it's in their head is, "And you still like each other after all this?" The answer is YES. I couldn't imagine a better hiking partner. Except for maybe one that carries my pack.

Okay, enough late night rambling. I am usually asleep hours ago, but iPods still need to be synced, Kindles charged, and laundry dried.

Right, the photos:

Max Patch

Snow? At the end of April?

One of my favorite days on the trail on a cool exposed ridgeline. Check out the frost!

This misty weather makes for cool photos

Lady Forward showing us how a vegan does a resupply

One of Beau's first nights on the trail - the view from our tent

A little Joby action

Beau has taken a lot of candid photos of me looking at the guidebook
TN/VA state line
Grayson Highlands ponies

A scenic cow

Face off
Hiking Virginia with stile

The Captain's!

Action shot of Beau

McAfee Knob

James River footbridge
Our first rattlesnake experience 
900 mile boots and new boots

Pepperboy and us at the ATC


  1. Mackenzie this adventure sounds so awesome! My husband and I have been following since the beginning. He'd love to do a thru hike someday but until then we're living vicariously through your blog. Good luck with the next 1,000! (that sounds soooo long)

    Allison Ottley

  2. Enjoyed your update and the pictures! The Captain's place sounds great! Love the zip line over! Keep truckin'! Half way there is awesome! ( just saw all my exclamation points--I'm enthusiastic, I guess!)

  3. Loving it! Good luck and thanks for doing so well with updates! :) Hope your shoulder's ok.

  4. "Except for maybe one that carries my pack".... haha. You guys are awesome!! Keep it up. :)

  5. Awesome! Love your updates. I am so impressed!

  6. Good job on getting us more photos!

    And it’s great to hear that you guys are getting along so well.

    As for the zeros / neros – get some! I don’t know your time constraints but some get focused too deeply in the end-goal and miss the journey.

    I know you are not there yet, but plan for the Whites, develop a strategy for shelter / food / clothing.

    Hike on!
    Cheers :)

  7. I'm still living vicariously through you! Everything sounds so amazing.