Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of doing a number of different trips using Osprey's Exos 58 backpack. My longest trip was a 120-mile loop in the Wind River Range of the amazing state of Wyoming. The pack held up great and is extremely comfortable for long days on the trail.
That’s the message I sent to some friends upon my family’s arrival to the Volunteer State. I already have an affinity for the mountains that was birthed in me when I grew up in Oregon, and as November began, with the leaves turned a beautiful golden yellow color, the air carried a crisp - almost cedar tasting - feel to it – and I was loving life. Add to that, the fact that it was my 31st birthday and we were in town for a wedding – and it’s clear to me that the galaxy had offered me a most radical weekend adventure.
Explaining the functionality of my internal framed Gregory Z-Series (Jade Series for the ladies) backpack is like trying to explain the resourcefulness of a pocketknife on the trail - it's essential. The versatility is broad, no matter where you find your destination.
As the keeper of a North Carolina-based hiking blog I'm always keeping an eye on what the competition's up to. And I'm happy to report that on any given day (most, in fact) these sites based in the U.S. Southeast put mine to shame.
When I started hiking, pants and underwear were near the bottom of my shopping list. I was too busy snapping up hydration packs and low-rise hiking shoes. Then I came home after a sweltering 12-miler with a burning in my crotch that nothing to do with getting lucky.
It was Krispy Kritter's birthday today, happy birthday man!May 30, 2010 – Day 55 - Sunday Destination: Jennings Creek, Va 614 Starting Location: Wilson Creek Shelter Today's Miles: 17.00 Trip Miles: 746.80
"Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life, there may be no security, but only adventure."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
"Fall seven times, stand up eight." ~Japanese proverb
"You can only do what you can do." ~ King Lui, Glastonbury Castle
"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."
~Rainer Maria Rilke
May 14, 2010 - Day 39 - FridayDestination: Damascus, VA - Trail Days Starting Location: Atkins, VA Today's Miles: 0.00 Trip Miles: 539.10
The first thing I did when I got into Damascus was walk up to tent city where the majority of the hikers were staying. Tent City was laid out differently this year because part of the land was under construction for new baseball/soccer fields. Volunteers for the last three days had been cutting and constructing trails and campsites in the posion ivy infested woods running along a stream. The trails ran a 1/2 of a mile in one direction and a 1/4 of a mile in the other. Premium tent sites were being taken quickly. Several communities were springing up with names like Billville, Miss Janets, Riff Raff, Alcatraz, Trail Talk, Dog Bone Fire to name a few. I decided to head over to the Gear repair site to meet old friends. Granite Gear, big Agnes, Osprey, Mountain Hardwear and others were present repairing for free broken or torn gear brought over by thru hikers. Due to the new configuration, the crowds did not enter through this section to get to tent city this year so the numbers of visitors were down this year. Met up with my friend, Fix It Man and he set me up for the weekend. I decided I wasn't going to do anything but relax, eat and have a few beers.