Iron Mtn Gap Hike with my Hearing Dog Whoopi

This weekend we were able to go on an overnight trip with a few friends from a local hiking group. This weekend was much needed to get our feet wet again! We were able to try out Whoopi’s new sleeping bag and pad which she seemed to love. Found that we both need to work on training as we were a bit slow moving at times.

Also was able to officially use Whoopi’s new leash (Ruffwear Roamer I think) for which it was intended for and it worked great for us. It allowed us the space when we needed it and was quite comfortable to use. We were also able to use our newly activated SPOT 3 GPS tracker that makes the family and spouse super happy ;).

All in all – it was a successful trip! Whoopster and I are looking forward to the next one!

Here are a few pics from the trip:

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Trial and Error

So today – my spouse and I attempted to go biking on one of the local greenways. Beautiful and gorgeous day to be out!  We got to the parking lot and set out expecting a 15+ mile ride. Unfortunately the greenway was undergoing construction and was detoured. We tried to find our way around to the other side of the detour to no avail… The ride ended up being a bit of a bust with only 7 miles ridden, but it was an adventure and we were able to enjoy the weather and each other’s company ­čśä.

A couple of photos of our unsuccessful meanderings trying to find our way…

   

A bit of information on The Appalachian Trail

Map of the AT going through all 14 states. (Source: Wikipedia)

My hearing dog Whoopi and I are endeavoring to hike the 2,183+ mile trail next year to raise funds for Canine Companions for Independence. I’m sure that some would like a little bit of history about the Appalachian Trail (also known as the A.T.), so here goes!

(Source: TheAThiker.com)

The AT is one of the longest continuous footpaths in the world, and was conceived and started in the 1920’s by Benton MacKaye. It was completed┬áby Myron Avery and the Civilian Conservation Corp by 1937. Today, the trail┬ástarts on Springer Mountain in Georgia and travels nearly 2,200 miles along the Appalachian mountains through 14 states to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is marked by a┬ásingle white 6 inch by 2″ white blaze that is painted at intervals all along the trail on trees, posts, and rocks.

It is estimated that over 2 million people hike the AT each year. Of the 2 million plus hikers on the trail – there are those who choose to backpack on the trail. Backpackers are those hikers who bring their gear in backpacks in order to be able to live on the trail for a few days up to months on the trail. There are 2 types of backpackers on the trail and they are section hikers and thru-hikers. Section hikers hike the trail in small sections at the pace of the hiker, but it can take many years to complete the entire trail. This allows the hiker to do sections of the trail in the optimal season and weather, and also when they are able to due to work and family obligations. Thru-hikers are backpackers who hike the entire trail in one season from┬áGeorgia to Maine (known as Nobos)┬áor from┬áMaine to Georgia (known as Sobos). Thru-hikers usually take between 5 to 7 months to hike the entire trail. In any season – the trail is usually always too cold, too wet, too hot, too windy, too muddy, too humid, too buggy, etc. Backpackers however live for those moments though where they come out of the forest on a mountain top where the air clears, the bugs recede,┬áthe light shines softly on the landscape, and there is a sense of peace as we look out over the valley below. Those are our spiritual moments that renews our soul and invigorates us.

Approximately 2,000 people attempt to thru-hike the trail each year but it is estimated that 25% of hikers actually make it all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine or to┬áSpringer Mountain in Georgia. Hikers get off the trail for many obvious reasons and most are due to poor planning, the trail wasn’t what they expected, injuries, homesickness, lack of funds, and so on. Those hikers however that make it through to┬áKatahdin or Springer Mountain find themselves changed. They are confident, bold, ambitious, goal oriented, and are ready to take on the world.

Whoopi and I are training and pre-paring this year in order to thru-hike northbound the 2,183+ miles from Springer Mountain to Katahdin starting next spring. It will be hard – there moments of frustration and sadness, but there will also be moments of pure joy and happiness as well. We hope that you will continue to follow us in our journey as we raise awareness and funds for Canine Companions for Independence. Thanks for reading!

(Sources: Wikipedia, TheAppalachianTrail.org, TheAThiker.com)