As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I wanted to provide a progress report on the other five hikers that I have been tracking as they attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
Chip Tillson (Sorry, he does not post photos to share)
Chip began his AT adventure on February 20, 2018. As of April 9th, he has trekked over 350 miles. He is through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, passed Hot Springs, North Carolina, and ten miles beyond Erwin, Tennessee. Having to take several days to heal from a fall on his shoulder, Which Way and Next Step have caught up with Chip. He mentions meeting them and seeing them several times during the past few days. Chip developed his first blister during his hike into Erwin, TN, so he decided to take a zero-day at Uncle Johnny’s Hostel for some TLC before moving on.
Tim Pfeiffer, who started on February 21st. His photo journal makes it difficult to track his mileage but his last photos show him at hiker-made the 500-mile marker. That puts him in Virginia just north of Grayson Highlands.
Which Way and Next Step
Darrell (Next Step) and Alicia (Which Way) Brinberry, retired military most recently stationed in Washington, DC, began their adventure on February 24th. My last post found the couple in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on March 24th. They took three more days to complete the park and spent the night outside GSMAP at Standing Bear Farm. On the next day, the trail led them to Max Patch on a beautiful day. The Bald provided an outstanding view with a stunning 360-degree look at the surrounding mountains. Which Way and Next Step camped on Max Patch and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on March 29th. They arrived at Hot Springs on March 30 and enjoyed three days with family in this wonderful trail town. Hitting the trail again on April 2nd, Which Way began to experience some physical discomfort – sore knees and a tender shoulder from carrying a heavy backpack, so they took a shorter day (10miles) and arranged a shuttle into the Hemlock Hollow Inn. The respite was exactly what was needed and Which Way was ready to go the next day with no discomfort. The trail was filled with rain for a few days and the couple was thrilled to arrive at Erwin on April 7. They spent a zero-day in Erwin, attending a church service and taking in a movie (I Can Only Imagine). I have seen this film and it is just an outstanding movie about the transforming power of God in a person’s life. They experienced a rather discouraging Monday, hiking in the wrong direction for a few hours, walking in the mist and fog, and setting up camp in the rain. I still love their attitudes as shared in their last post, “Mundane Monday was finally over. Looking forward to Terrific Tuesday!”
Return To Katahdin (RTK), Bruce Matson is reporting his adventure in posts summarizing each week. He posts a week behind his current location so his last post reflects his journey through April 3. His strong hike has only included two zero-days in the past sixteen hiking days. He stopped at Hot Springs on the 23rd of March and then again on Easter Sunday in Roan Mountain, Tennessee. He stayed at the Roan Mountain B&B which brought back memories for me, as I enjoyed a day there as well in 2014. His last post finds him camped at mile marker 413.2 at Moreland Gap Shelter about 20 miles north of Roan Mountain.
Hickory who began on February 26. On April 9th, Hickory is staying at one of his favorite hostels on the AT – Woods Hole Hostel, about 11 miles south of Pearisburg, Virginia. He has covered 623 miles of the Appalachian
Trail. Hickory has not posted photos in his online journey until April 9th. It was of the hostel. He gives the following insights into his rating of hosels along the trail, “My top-ten hostels on the AT are clean, sanitary, organized, have fabric mattresses (not vinyl “prison pads”), offer meal options or a hiker-kitchen, are walking-distance to the trail, are clean and organized, may have private rooms, respectfully enforce rules, treat hiker-guests like “kin”, and (with redundancy intended) are clean and organized! Succinctly, the best hostels are like B&B’s at hiker rates. Woods Hole tops the list!”
Here is a quick summary of the progress of each nine thru-hikers that I am following.
Update Miles Hiker Location Start Date
|4/7/2018||353.7||Chip Tillson||Beauty Spot Gap||2/20/2018|
|4/9/2018||355.7||Which Way and Next Step||Unaka Mountain, TN||2/24/2018|
|4/3/2018||413.2||RTK||Moreland Gap Shelter, TN||2/25/2018|
|4/3/2018||465.3||Bamadog||Campsite just south of Damascus||2/15/2018|
|4/9/2018||468.5||Vagabond Jack||Damascus, VA||2/1/2018|
|4/9/2018||500||Sour Kraut||500 Mile Marker, VA||2/21/2018|
|4/9/2018||623||Hickory||Woods Hole Hostel, VA||2/27/2018|
|4/9/2018||729||Hard Knocks||Fullhardt Knob Shelter, VA||1/31/2018|
|4/9/2018||907.3||Opa||Near Skyline Drive, VA||2/10/2018|