850 miles down! Right now I am in Waynesboro, VA. I walked the 5 miles this morning to Afton, VA, where I got a ride down the mountain. The coolest thing about this morning was that I saw my first Black Bear. I basically saw his furry butt as he booked it through the woods but none-the -less I am counting it!
The last 10 days I have been up on the trail with one quick resupply down into town. My friends "Peak-Axe" ,"Rocko", "Shadow Cast" and "Tangent" have been rolling at about 15.2 miles a day with a couple short days and some very long and rocky 25 mile days. But I promised my feet that I would give them a rest once I arrived at Waynesboro. I am going to let my 4 blisters heal up because they were getting pretty bad.... For those of you who didn't see the last pictures then check the Blog Archives.
The trail is starting to bloom! Everything is starting to green and with that comes all of the Ticks, mosquitoes, and bugs! I have already had to remove 2 ticks so far. I am sure that there will be more in the near future as I head into Northern, VA and the Shenandoah's. Can't wait... pray I don't get Lyme's disease!....seriously
I am headed to "Trail Days" It is a 3 day festival that celebrates the Appalachian Trail Hikers of the old and new. There are an estimated 25,000 people there as well as some of my sponsors so I decided to go and grip and grin with the folks. My next post will be filled with pictures I am sure.
Shootings on the Appalachian Trail: I have been told that there was nationwide news about shootings on the A.T. I am fine... I was in Pearisburg two weeks prior to the shootings. The guy responsible for the shootings ended up dying in the cell the following morning. The two fishermen were released after being shot in the head and back. Crazy Stuff!
People have been asking me some common questions so I compiled a list of some of the answers:
Pack Weight: My Backpack Base Weight is around 23 pounds
Body Weight: I started at 165 lbs and now I am at 164 lbs. But that could fluctuate with a stop at the all you can eat Pizza Buffet.
Calories Burned: with my pack weight I will burn around 1,000 calories an hour. Depending on the topography I will burn between 8,000 and 10,000 calories a day. There is no way I can keep up with that amount of calories which is the reason I stop into towns and destroy the all you can eat buffets. (Peak Axe ate 22 pieces today at the buffet today...he is a machine!)
Weather: I just wanted to thank all of you who call my cell phone to check on me when you see a storm that passes through the area I am in. I appreciate your concern...I really do, but I just want you to know that I am doing well. I might be wet, cold, and miserable at times but thanks to my Corporate Sponsors I have all of the adequate gear that I need to brave the weather.
Footwear: I am on my second pair of Boots. Each pair will last around 600-700 miles on the AT.
Questions?: If you have any specific questions that are not covered in the FAQ then feel free to ask them and I will answer them in my next Blog.
E-Pals: I am excited to say that I am connected with various schools and classrooms around the country that are following The Earth Expedition. If you are a teacher and would like to become E-pals with The Earth Expedition then please contact us through the Website.
Special thanks to those who supported The Earth Expedition financially! You are all a Godsend!
Thank you: Brooke Mertz, Aaron and Tana Molesky, Steve and Peg Stamen, Lizzy Richardson, Janet and Kelly Powe, Sherry Metzger, Angie Miller, Mark and Shelly Notter, and Luke Menke.
"Life to the Fullest" Daren Wendell (Vagabond)
<-----swim/shower time ( Vagabond, Peak-Axe, and Rocko)