The first of the original Free Range Hikers is on the AT today. I’ll be meeting up with him in the morning to hike another 20+ miles from Newfound Gap to Cades Cove.
It rocks your feet inside your boots. That’s what I told myself six miles in, sitting in my hammock at the Dahlgren Backpacker’s Camp after my first time on the Appalachian Trail. I was so proud of my Merrell Moab Ventilator hiking boots with green Superfeet inserts and merino wool blend socks, and while I have no blisters to report, I have to give the first round to the AT. I lay in that hammock, listening to the wind rolling up the hills and swaying two trees that rubbed and brushed together making a sound like laughter, and fell asleep like a baby in a cradle.
The excursion began with the traffic jam that is the beltway in the afternoon. It took two hours to get to Frederick, Maryland from my room south of old town Alexandria, but I finally rolled into the trailhead and changed out of work clothes…
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