Happy 1st Day Of Fall


Today is the first day of fall and I could not be happier! Bring on the apple pie candles, puffy jackets, cool weather hiking and bonfires.

Jake and I have been hiking almost every weekend, and I have so many more hikes planned for the fall! Our latest adventure was a 19.4 mile hike from Table Rock State Park to Sassafras Mountain and back. We definitely pushed ourselves, but being outside ALL DAY was wonderful.

sassafras mountain

I’ve lately developed an interest in “highpointing” and “peak bagging, ” which is one of the reasons we hiked to Sassafras Mountain (it’s the highest point in SC). I’m thinking Mt. Mitchell may be next on our highpointing list.

If you’ve never heard of highpointing, it is when you climb to the highest points in all 50 states within your lifetime. Peak bagging on the other hand is when you summit a group of mountains based on certain characteristics, like geography. The one I’m interested in completing is the South Beyond 6,000. If you are a highpointer or peak bagger, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful first day of fall, and didn’t contribute to Starbucks running out of Pumpkin Spice Lattes… Kidding! I had to end with a fall joke.

Happy Trails!

Appalachian Trail Days 89-92

Thank you to everyone who has watched our videos, we are truly blessed by our viewers and blog readers! This has been the hardest week for us, and sadly this is our last video.

We have enjoyed making our videos each week and we hope you enjoy this one. Stay tuned for more adventures from Hike and Tell!

Appalachian Trail Days 74-81

We hit some big Appalachian Trail landmarks this week… Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs!

Appalachian Trail Days 57-65

We enjoyed two zero days with my family last weekend in a lovely cabin near the Grayson Highlands.

 After leaving Grayson, a shoe snafu turned the week into a bit of a bumpy ride, but Sandals’ family came to the rescue!

Appalachian Trail Days 51-56

Bears, bears, bears… We have seen 7 so far! One moment with a momma bear was a little, shall we say, slightly nerve wracking! Thankfully, we are safe and sound.

We hope you enjoy video #10!

Appalachian Trail Days 47-50

Follow along as we experience and explore Trail Days in Damascus, VA and as we continue north along the Appalachian Trail.

Also, I haven’t mentioned in a post yet, but we are over $1,000 raised for the Levine Children’s Hospital! Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

Appalachian Trail Days 42-46

Life on the Appalachian Trail gets more fun and interesting every day. Some days it rains, some days it’s sunny. Each day is different and meaningful in its own way. 

In our newest video, we enjoy our last days in North Carolina and venture into Tennessee. Two states down, twelve to go! 

National Geographic Appalachian Trail Maps Review

I hope everyone is having a great Mother’s Day so far! Before leaving for the Appalachian Trail, I was contacted by TLC Book Tours to do a review on the new collection of Appalachian Trail maps created by National Geographic.

I have used the first map in the collection, Springer to Davenport Gap, along with my AWOL Guidebook during our first month on trail.

During the first two weeks of our hike, I regularly checked the National Geographic map at night to see what was ahead and to compare it with the AWOL guide. As time went on, it became my extra resource if needed to compare with my guidebook or in an emergency situation.

 I believe that they would serve day hikers and section hikers best, but also be excellent to carry on a thru-hike for emergency purposes. 

I say that day hikers and section hikers would benefit from the maps the most because each map is divided into sections of the Appalachian Trail, which gives a big picture of the area and provides other trail information.

If you were a day hiker trying to create a loop hike, the maps allow you see what’s in the area. You can also see where county lines are, topographical lines and shelter information. 

As a thru hiker, a guide book like the AWOL Guide or Guthooks is extremely important, but it’s also great to supplement with a map, which is why I love the National Geographic maps. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as a guide book, but it gives big picture coverage of the area you are looking at. 

Some ultralight hikers may disagree with carrying maps, but I like knowing I have another resource in my backpack in the case of  an emergency. A side trail or road crossing near the Appalachian Trail could be the means of getting out of bad situation quickly.

The only con I have with the maps is the lack of listed water sources. Every shelter listed at the front of each map lists whether it has water or not, but there are no other sources listed. You can tell where rivers and streams cross the trail, but it is easier to go by a guide book for water source information.

The takeaway:

1. Each map represents a section of the trail, which makes them lightweight and easy to carry.

2. They provide area information, including other trails, mountains and rivers in the vicinity of the Appalachian Trail.

3. These maps are handy for thru-hikers to use in addition to a guidebook for a larger view of the area and in the event technology fails.

These maps were provided for this review, but all opinions are my own.

Appalachian Trail Days 34-41

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

Last weekend we spent a wonderful two days in Hot Springs, NC and headed back on trail this past Monday. Hot Springs has been our favorite town so far and highly recommend the section from Max Patch to Hot Springs for a fun section hike. We are close to finishing North Carolina!