Another piece

I’m excited to announce that I have picked up another little bit of my equipment. The Static V sleeping pad. I’m part of a wonderful group on facebook, the Appalachian Trail Women’s Group and I asked for a consensus. about eighty percent of my responses came back to try this one – so I did.

No sale, but not overly expensive to begin with. I’m 5’5″ and was worried about the size. I read the reviews and decided to stick with the medium. It seems to be a great fit. Granted… I’m SO not used to laying so flat. I usually have a pillow between my knees or under them, so I may have to spend the weight and pick up a couple of small pillows.

 

20160921_210727I tested it out with my sleeping bag and they’re pretty comfy together. They both pack down nice and quick. So far, so good. I’ll even be able to use them both on the A.T.20160921_210816

Like my yellow toenail in the pictures? Oops.

 

It’s not pretty

I have completed my little test stove. I used a crappy little hole punch which hurt my hands. The result isn’t perfect, but it works. I actually think I need to downsize for the titanium kettle than we have. The larger one works, but I think a small can would be better.

Appalachian Trail

It has been a long time dream of mine to hike the Appalachian Trail.

My dad gave me the bug. To clarify, his misinformation called to my inner explorer.

We used to hike all of the time when I was a kid. We’d stop on the side of the road and just blaze our own trail. We’d take drives up to Mount Mitchell or Mount Pisgah and just roam all over the mountains. Old Red Socks used to tell me that the whole area was part of the A.T. So I was in love with the idea of seeing more of this massive trail growing up.

As I got older and researched the information, I discovered that the A.T. actually follows along the North Carolina/Tennessee border. This never changed my desire to take it on. As the days pass by, that desire grows stronger and stronger. So I’ve made up my mind.

I shall spend the next three years training, planning, and preparing to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. A six month journey from Georgia to Maine on foot. We’ll secure our gear slowly, making sure it’s the right stuff, test it in the field once we get to NC. Hike a little bit every day (even if it’s only a mile). In 2019, 2020 latest, I will be setting foot on the trailhead, ready to go.

When big foot attacks!

No woman ever said that she enjoyed her large feet. There are many reasons. Whether you’re tall, short, chubby, thin… your feet will always look disproportionate to you. Always.

Sure they make large sized shoes, but they are more like comical representations of regular sized shoes and more often than not appear as clown shoes when you try them on.

Most women with large feet are often plagued with high arches and numerous other problems.

I am no different. I have my own personal history and love affair with the clunky hiking boots and after speaking to someone at REI last year I bought a nice pair of Merrell Moabs. They felt great right out of the box, I wore them around the store for a while and I was just excited to get a new pair so I could hit the trails.

In my excitement however, I seemed to be focusing on the wrong things. After my first full day wearing them, I was sorely disappointed. I couldn’t wait to get home and chuck them across the room. They clung tightly against the top of my foot and my toes would start to lose feeling. My insole ached and the pain inched up my already bad back. I’ve tried breaking them in since then, and they work in a pinch (They’re all I have at this point).

Needless to say I was super thrilled to be making a trip back to our ONLY REI in Florida yesterday. I decided to try a pair of trail runners. I had a few in mind that I’ve had my eyes on. The Ahnu Sugarpines or Salomon XR’s I thought might work great. Terry has a pair of Salomon boots that he wouldn’t trade out if you paid him.

We arrived in Jacksonville and ate lunch before entering the store. We head straight back and I start looking. I figured I would try the clearance shoes first and work my way up the line.

After three long hours however, with sour spirits, I threw in the towel. I tried on every style trail runner they offered and even a couple of road runners and boots to no avail. The Salomon’s I could slip my foot right out of, I had to tie the Ahnu’s so tight to keep from slipping that they hurt. I even tried on the Merrell Grassbow and All Out. My foot either slipped around inside, rubbed against the heal, pinched at the top…. Nothing.

Zig

I miss my shoes…. :,(

I owned a pair of running shoes not long ago, the Reebok Zig trainers with bright teal and yellow. I love them for street running. I left them on the porch one night to dry out after getting wet and someone stole them. So I thought you know – that would work fine to get back into the swing of hiking. They never once hurt my feet and I loved every second that I wore them. I already know they fit great so I can order them online without even having to go out.

But of course they were JUST too old. They no longer sell the same style – and I’m not about to buy a pair of shoes without trying them on. So it would seem my quest today is to trek down to Brandon and start the hunt. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I need a miracle.

Nagging Fears

I had a brief moment of doubt today. Granted I have thousands of them everyday, but this one made me worried that I can’t accomplish one of my dreams. Ethan and I went to Bass Pro today. I wanted to check out some of their ultra light equipment. They didn’t have any. Before i accurately processed that this was the case, it snuck up on me. “All of this stuff is too heavy, too bulky… I’ll never be able to make it work!”

Then I remembered that I was in Tampa and the only people that shop there live, sleep and breathe camo and fly a rebel flag. Of course I wasn’t going to find what I needed. It just means I’m going to have to look harder for all of the things we’re going to need to tackle the Appalachian Trail. We have four years to prep (well 3 and a half). We’ll get there.