Around the South in 80 Days

…or 4 states of the south-east in 80 days anyway. And I guess technically we started in the far north of Georgia and we’re not quite outta Virginia yet…but still, it’s kind of amazing to think about the fact that we’ve walked 971.8 miles in 80 days! My feet sure do know how far we’ve come though…

For all of you keeping score out there, this means we’re 44.6% done! (And really it’s just been 71 days of hiking if you subtract the 9 days we took to spend time with family in Rochester back at the end of March). Doing the math, that means that on the average, we walk 13.7 miles a day. But if you just consider the average, then you really don’t get a full picture of the kind of miles we do on a daily basIs with 30-40 pounds on our backs. Many days we’re pulling numbers upwards of 15. So let me enlighten you on how the last week went!

•Monday we woke up in Waynesboro. VA. We had to go to the P.O. to pick up a package, get to the grocery store to resupply and get lunch at a restaurant (1 less meal to carry) before hitching back to the trail. So by the time we got hiking, it was 2 pm. We did just 10 miles that day and set up camp around 7. (By the way, this was the start of our time in Shenandoah National Park and our 1st bear sighting!)
•Tuesday we got an earlier start, like 8 am, and managed 19 miles.
•Wednesday we had plans to get picked up by our wonderful friend and trail angel, Marybeth, at 5pm at the crossing of US 33 and Skyline Drive. So that was just 15.5 miles for the day. We got to her town, enjoyed some delicious frozen custard, went her place where she made us an awesome home-cooked meal and let us do laundry, shower and spend the night. It was a real treat!
•Thursday, while Marybeth was at work, we did our usual town resupply stuff and when she dropped us back off in the evening the park, we hiked 4 miles before setting up camp.
•Friday we got back in the swing of things and went 17 miles.
•Saturday we did 18.
•Sunday 21.3 and exited the north end of Shenandoah.
•Today, Memorial Day, we hiked just 13.8 and that is because we had to go into Front Royal, VA for another resupply and meal out. Mmmm, blueberry pancakes!
(For time’s sake and your own, I’ve skipped over tons of details of our time in SNP, but photos will soon follow and I just have two words: blackberry milkshakes.)

So our daily mileage is all over the place, not just 13.7. It all depends on food we have or need to get, if the weather is good or bad and what the elevation profile has in store for us. If you couldn’t tell already, there’s a lot of time to think about hiking out here. Some days are filled with numbers of average daily mileage, other days, it’s other numbers…like mileage noted at the start of the day, what time until 1st break, how far until the next water source, how high the elevation of the next mountain is and over what distance do we climb it, average speed per hour both including and excluding time spent during lunch break…as you can see, it can sometimes get needlessly heady out here.

But then again, what else is there to do but think? Guess I’ll find out over the next 1209.2 miles…

Keep the comments comin’! We love ’em.
~Mel, Click

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5 Responses to Around the South in 80 Days

  1. Darren says:

    so what else are ya thinkin about? the future, gettin out of the shit business you’re in (like the shit business i’m in), getting stuffed at Convivium when you get back, wedding stuff, new photography direction, getting stuffed at Al Di La, hanging out with me, drinking tons of brewskis outside at Washington Commons, being an artist part time and working for Doni the rest of the time like everyone else, getting Stuffed at James, getting the hell away from your dad, making Phil the ring-bearer at your wedding, getting stuffed at Eatily, riding your bike again, riding with me all the way around Jamaica Bay this time, getting stuffed at The Good Fork, going to the MOMA just for the hell of it, riding your bike up and down and up and down and up and down hills with me in sunset park (you probably weren’t think about that one but now you are!) getting stuffed brunch style at Alchemy, making Gary come to town for brunch for ol’ times sake, making Gary come to town for new times sake, getting stuffed at….mmmm…..where do you want to get stuffed at? I know you’re thinkin about it!!!!!

  2. Suk says:

    Hey Mike, how are you. We had met at the Gravel Springs Hut on Sunday. I was with my kids and friends … hope u remember Indian gang.

    I am very impressed with your passion and have shared about u with my friends on FB. Goodluck to you and Mel and enjoy you adventure.


    • Mike says:

      Of course we remember you! You were part of the group doing five 20-mile days! Oh, wait! That was one 5-mile hike, right? We’re doing fine. We just reached Harpers Ferry, and we’re going to enjoy a day in town (no hiking except the 6 miles this morning into town).

      Nice to hear from you, Suk. Stay tuned; there’s more of our adventure to come!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks so much, Suk! We enjoyed meeting you and your friends and family as well. Best to all of you on any upcoming adventures!

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