Day 71 – mile 1089 to campsite at mile 1109.4

We had a warm and humid night last night. We also had some rude deer snorting and cavorting, so it wasn’t the most peaceful night.

We hit the official halfway point for mileage this year in the morning. We are now closer to Katahdin than Springer!


Since the actual midpoint changes a little bit year to year due to minor reroutes of the trail, they decided to take a picture of the midpoint sign and put it on this semi-temporary post. It’s kind of humorous, so I took a picture of the picture. The inaccurate permanent midpoint sign, which is maybe a couple miles north, had a gaggle of girl scouts or something milling about it, so I decided to not take a picture of that for fear of being accused of being a weird creeper.

The other highlight of the day was partaking in the official gluttonous AT half-gallon ice cream eating challenge. This is held at the general camp store in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. You buy any Hershey half gallon of your choosing and have to eat the whole thing in under an hour. You win immense pride and a tiny wooden spoon if you can do it. Trippy decided not to do this, but I happily indulged. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish and would have to hang my head in hiker shame. However, I am a top notch ice cream eater and I crushed it in just under 21 minutes. I didn’t even feel ill. This was one of the fastest times in the log book. What an accomplishment in life.


The start




The glorious prize

The actual hiking today was mostly easy again, although very muggy and hot. We made camp a bit earlier than normal due to threatening weather. It held off for a bit, but is now coming in quick. Our streak of hiking with no rain continues (oh man I am jinxing us so bad).

Tomorrow we hike through Boiling Springs and are trying to get within 10-12 miles of Duncannon on Friday morning. We are taking off the whole weekend for my little brother’s wedding picnic and are so uber super duper excited to see the family and friends.

Vital stats :
Milestones – crossed AT mileage halfway point, crossed 1100 miles, finished 1/2 gallon of ice cream in 20 minutes and 51 seconds
Miles hiked today – 20.4
Mood – ice creamy
Smell – sweet, sweet chocolate
Physical state – normal
Song stuck in my head – Tiny Dancer by Elton John

Halftime stats :
# of miles hiked – 1109.4
Average miles hiked per hiking day (doesn’t include zero days) – 17.1
# of steps (approximately, according to the Internet and stuff) – 2.5 million
Pairs of sneakers used – 2 (C), 3 (T)
# of states hiked – ~6.5
# of states remaining – ~7.5
# of bears seen – 8
# of campfires lit – 3 (usually too tired or hot to bother)
Favorite section – Smokies (Cowboy), Hot Springs, NC to Damascus, VA (Trippy)
Least favorite section – Northern Virginia (C), Shenandoah National Park (T)
Best view – McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs, VA (C, T)
Section looking forward to the most in the 2nd half – White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire (C), 100 miles of wilderness in Maine (T)
Biggest surprise – amount of trail magic and random kindness of so many strangers (C), difficulty of Virginia (T)
Biggest annoyance – gnats/ticks/mosquitos (C), mosquitos (T)
# of full zero days taken – 6
Favorite zero day town – Damascus, VA (C), Hot Springs, NC (T)
Favorite town we didn’t zero in but should have – Front Royal, VA (C, T)
Best accommodations – Tree Streets Inn Waynesboro, VA (C), Hiker’s Inn Damascus, VA (T)
Worst accommodations – Uncle Johnnys Hostel Erwin, TN (C), Budget Inn Franklin, NC (T)
Hardest climb – Roan Mountain (C), Three Ridges Mountain (T)
Sorest body part – feet, no contest (C, T) Food that is most unappealing – oatmeal (C), whole wheat pasta (T)
Town food that is most craved – wings and pizza (C), salad and fruit (T)
Best breakfast – Mountain Harbour B&B Roan Mountain, TN (C, T)

11 thoughts on “Day 71 – mile 1089 to campsite at mile 1109.4

  1. proud Dad aka Packy

    Congrats on your accomplishments! I mean, a half gallon of Ice cream certainly overshadows 1109 miles on foot!!???!! We can’t wait to see you in our redesigned back yard!….Love the halftime stats!

  2. Mom - Tapey

    What is the superlative of AWESOME??!! Huge congratulations on passing the half-way point. Also congrats for completing the half-gallon challenge. I’m not a bit surprised, though. You have been practicing large quantities of ice cream since you were very young! 🙂 Good luck on your trek to Duncannon. Soooo looking forward to seeing you!! Stay dry, safe and healthy. Sending ice-cream thoughts, prayers and lots of love!

  3. Justin Hnatow

    I’ve never been more proud to have you as a brother than I am right now. A half gallon in under 21 minutes?! That puts most of us slow-eating-temperature-sensitive-teeth types to shame. We aspire to such greatness but know that we’ll never attain it in this life. You are truly a champion ice cream eater. Joey Chestnut would be proud.

  4. Shannon

    I send my warmest congratulations to you both for achieving your half way point. I follow you everyday and am very proud!! I wish you both safety and endurance for your continued hike.

  5. AL

    Half way, half gallon! Whoa! Over the top! Maybe should have done 2 gallons in that hour? Glad the prayers and candles are holding off the weather. Stats were cool.

  6. Mark Z

    Congrats to the both of you for getting to the half way point. I look forward to seeing the updates every morning when I get to work. Good luck and safe travels for the next half.

  7. Jenn U.

    Wow awesome accomplishments, congratulations and love the half way point stats! But Trippy, really??? that was your biggest surprise? Love you guys and excited to see you soon!

  8. U.M.

    WOW-Halfway,I knew Cowboy and Trippy could do it!Happy Trails to you!Sore feet,ice cream champ-no big surprise there!


Leave a Reply