Sunday, July 14, 2013

Appalachian Trail Nolichucky River to Allen Gap 50 miles of moisture

I've had a week to contemplate the happenings of this year's AT 50 mile hike w/ the Boy Scouts. Conditions were significantly different from last year's sweat-a-thon. It was cold and rainy every day, with a few bouts of borderline hypothermia thanks to the wind. To boot, I contracted a lively strain of norovirus that had me expelling my crunchy, undercooked rice dinner shortly after a feble, febrile attempt to feed myself. I read a book by Andrew Skurka entitled "The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide" prior to this trip that described such adventures as "type 2 fun," meaning the fun is primarily in the discussion and reflection afterwards. This was definitely the case here, because the hike was almost entirely miserable for the whole week. And yet I was scouring backpacking blogs and scheming new adventures the same day of my return home.

Briefly, some gear choices:

Grand Trunk Ultralight Backpacking Hammock-first experience sleeping in a hammock. I figured I would sleep at least as bad as on the ground, at best, slightly more comfortable. It did end up being pretty comfy, but hanging a hammock is an art, along with setting up a tarp for windbreak and ranfly purposes. I plan to use hammocks in the future, although I may invest in a slightly larger hammock.

Dahlgren Alpaca/Merino Wool socks-I have a lot of wicking socks for running, so I wanted to try something different to contrast. I have to say wool seems to be the way to go for hiking. These seemed to perform better while wet (soaking).

New Balance MT110-Best hiking/trail running shoes I have used to date. Light and quick to dry (a relative dry for this particular trip). The rock plate was appreciated for the long trip.

The only pix I took during a break in the rain:

Sadly, I didn't come home with the superhuman levels of endurance I experienced last year. Between cold wet misery and illness, there was not much room for conditioning. The two runs since have been mellow due to lack of energy and some early shin splints I felt on the trail.

Prior to this trip I did a long run on Hutchinson Island where I became well acquainted w/ poison ivy. I found some new areas of the island, an old railroad bridge that crossed over to South Carolina, some toxic-looking evaporation ponds owned by a paper mill, and the worst bugs I've ever encountered here.

No comments:

Post a Comment