Living Sacrifice

Friday, April 28, 2006

Updates from the Trail VII...

[Sorry for the delay. Received this yesterday, though it's from a few days before. Enjoy!]


So right now I'm drinking coffee and finishing up breakfast at this little Mom- & Pop place callsed "Weasies." I had a pretty light breakfast since I stuffed myself last night with pizza and ice cream. :) I love little places like this. And get this... I'm sitting here writing to you, & this guy comes up to talk to me about the trail & says his son is on the trail now (Sparrow Hawk) and that was a guy I met back in North Carolina around NOC!! Crazy. So he's going to tell Sparrow Hawk I said hi (he's going to be in Waynesboro in about 2 weeks).

The trail has been great the last few days. There's been a little more train, but sometimes the rain is much more welcomed than an 82-degree sunny day... the sun can get really hot going up mountains, so being cool & wet is nice sometimes.

Speaking of cool & wet, now that it's getting warmer, I took my first dip in a creek. The water was *freezing*, but it was a lot of fun. Afterward, I dried off and ate some trail magic fruit. It was a beautiful moment.:)

I've met so many great people... everyone is always so nice, and the little bits of trail magic help keep my spirits up. The green that is grwoing rapidly in the weeds is helping my spirits, too.

Oh, I had fall #18 yesterday. Rain & rocks are a bad combination. It was a funny slip, though, so Bleach & I had a good laugh. I don't know how I fall so much. Not including the snow, I don't think Bleach has fallen once. Hmmm. That's either saying something about me or something about him... what do you think?? ;)

Well, I am quickly running out of room, and this is officially my last piece of paper, so I better wrap it up. I must go. I'm going to try to find the church of the guy who gave me a ride to Waynesboro. My first church trail experience.:) Should be fun.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Hey!!! I'm at the Waynesboro Public Library, and my time is limited. They close here very shortly, so this post is going to have to be...well....short. First and most importantly, thank you everyone for the phone calls and comments and things, especially the phone messages from Easter. My friends rock. :) Megan, I loved hearing the slushie story twice. I probably laughed just as hard the second time. I hope I get to call you so I can hear about Shriver (by the way, for those who don't know, Megan is working at Shriver and you should go visit her because she's awesome).

The trail has been great mostly. Been thinking about a lot of things....a lot of things I want to do when I get back. In less than 2 weeks, I will be in Harper's Ferry, which is the "psychological halfway point" of the trail as they call it, even though the actual halfway point is I think 75 miles or so further north of it. So, that's pretty cool. By then, I will have broken the 1000 mile mark.

Other than hiking, I just miss my friends. I'm really looking forward to coming back home and seeing everyone and getting to take showers every day. *sigh* :) I just paid $1 for a towel and shower at the YMCA here, and now they are going to let us camp out back for free. Sweet. So, after I get off here, I'm setting up tent and heading to do laundry and EAT somewhere. I'm starving, as hikers always are I think.

Love you all and miss you terribly. Thanks again for the messages.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Updates from the Trail VI...

[From a note postmarked 4-17-2006. Enjoy!]

I'm feeling MUCH better this morning. There's a little coffee shop right beside the outdoor store, so while I'm waiting for it to open, I'm eating a delicious breakfast sandwich & fruit, sipping coffee. The coffee shop makes me feel right at home. It's just missing... all my friends. :/

Alright, let's see. Stories from the trail: Fall #16 was a doozie. I slipped on a wet rock & got a bloody elbow. Lol. What next? About 2 days ago, I had a dog named Fido follow me for about 8 miles. Some turkey hunters knew the owner & called, & the owner didn't seem to care that the dog was following me, so he just kept on. I hope he made it back ok. I had to ford my first stream the other day. That was pretty exciting & extremely cold. I was having fun doing it until about halfway across when I realized if I slip on a rock, it's not jus tme that gest wet, but my entire pack... so then I got a little nervous & almost fell! haha.
I almost stepped on a snake yesterday. It was just hangin' out on the trail. I ran into a hiker for the 2nd time named Dreamer, & we hiked together for a while the day-before-yesterday. It was really cool to talk to him. He is an ex-heroine addict who now counsels criminals. We had some good conversations about addiction & behavior change. He was a psych major of course.:)

Oh, let me tell you my "Dragon's Tooth" story. There's a good climb up to this cliff thing called Dragon's Tooth, & the climb goes something like this. You see a hill & think it's Dragon's Tooth, & so you say, "ok, just have to make it up there," but when you get to the top, you realize there's another hill. And it kind of goes on & on like that until you think you're never going to get there, & then... there it is. It's like this:
^ /
^ / \ /
/ \ / V
^ / V
/ V
Sort of.

[Let me emphasize the 'sort of', since I don't know how those slashes will look to you. It should look like little hills, each a little taller than the next. Sort of.;)]

So anyway, I make it to the top... gorgeous views of course. VA is very beautiful. And then I decide it's time to go down. The climb down from Dragon's Tooth is a killer. Jagged-crazy rocks everywhere, & sometimes a huge drop-off just over the edge of the gagged rocks. And to make things worse, I wasn't paying attention & missed a white blaze somewhere, & so I ended up going straight down the side of this thing several yards before I realized I was in the wrong place & had to do some serious rock climbing to get back on the trail, which I was afraid I wasn't going to find. I was not very happy with myself at the time, but I guess now it makes for a good story.:) You should see my legs... scratches everywhere. I got pretty beat up from that. That and all the sticker bushes in VA. Ow.

Oh, & I walked through my first thunderstorm the other day. Naturally, I was on top of a mountain. So it's hailing for a minute, then pouring rain & lightning everywhere, and I'm hiking on a mountain... craziness.

Other than that, pretty much the usual here. Lots of walking. Mr. Starbucks was right when he said VA is kind of a rollercoaster. There's been a lot of ridge-walking with gorgeous views. I've seen some great sunsets, too. And every day, I see more & more green! It's really exciting. I'm so tired of seeing brown.

Ok, I better go. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Updates from the Trail V...

[So I'm skipping a letter, as Kim covered all the cool stuff in her own posts. This is from an Easter card. Enjoy!]

The weather has been fantabulous since the rain stopped on Saturday, & that just makes hiking so much more enjoyable. I've tried out my sandals the past 3 days, & my toes look much better, although the arches of my feet are pretty bad now. I bouth some of that triple antibiotic ointment stuff... I think that will help.

I'm at the post office right now, & they are playing "It's Alright..." which is funny, because I was singing this to myself on the trail the other day. The Huey Lewis version. :)

Anyway, quick trail story before I go. I had to follow my first detour blue-blaze the other day because a bridge was out. Well, I got to the place where the blue-blaze joined the white blazes again, & I was pretty confused as to which way I was supposed to go. I was hot & tired & frustrated, & when I thought I finally figured it out, I saw this amazingly big white cooler sitting on the trail. "No way," I thought. Yep. It was trail magic. I opened it up to find ice-cold apple juice & a laminated weather report for the week. I was so happy. I drank the apple juice in about 2 seconds & check out the weather.

Alright, I'm out of space almost. Thank Christi for the wool & card. She's so thoughtful. [Christi--take note!]

and... Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More ramblings

Murle, thanks for the phone message. :) And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Justin!! :)

New Addition!

Andrea. Yes. Who's next?? :)


By the way, here is a link that provides info on different parts of the trail if you are interested: AT stuff

And this is an excellent map of the trail, if you are wanting to keep track of me: Cool map

OK, time to hit the trail soon. Love you all very much.


Welllll, here I am again. This is Kim. I'm at the library in Pearisburg, VA. I did 11.7 miles into town yesterday, ate a whole bunch, ran some errands (post office, grocery, etc), and was on my way out of town to do probably another 8-10 miles when some older guy named Ray pulled up and offered me a ride to the trail head. Well, he ended up convincing me to stay at a hostel here in town. I'm so easily persuaded. Let's see....hike up a big ol' hill that I have coming up out of town, or stay over at a place that has a shower and mattresses. haha So, I stayed last night at the "Holy Family Church Hostel," and I made a new friend. His name is Coconut Monkey, and he actually carries a monkey head made of a coconut around with him on the trail. He's pretty great. And then, after about 6 days of not seeing him, Bleach caught up with me. So, Bleach was there last night, too. So it was a good stay.....I'm glad Ray convinced me to stick around Pearisburg. it's the next day, and I should be putting in some miles, but I'm finding it hard to leave. I'm reading emails from peeps, checking up on things, LISTENING TO MUSIC with headphones at the library (ah, Jamie Cullum is just hitting the spot), and I'm really finding myself wanting to be back in Oxford. I miss everyone so much. I miss music. I miss the internet. I want to give Jared and hug and I want to see Spencer wear my pack while he does his homework. There are so many people and small things that I miss....I could make a huge list of them, but I won't right now for the sake of time. I don't know why it's hitting me so hard right now, but regardless, I'm fighting temptations of getting off the trail. I'm realizing I have really deep roots in my relationships, which is good, but it's hard being so far away. *big sigh*

I believe now I am over 640 miles into the trip, which just amazes me. Before yesterday, the last 3 days I averaged about 25 miles a day, and when I am doing that many miles, time just seems to fly. It won't be long and I'll be in the Shanandoahs, which I am really excited about.

The weather has been amazing since the rain on Saturday. Just hoping it stays that way, because it sure makes hiking much more enjoyable.

Well, my time is limited here on the internet at the library, so I better wrap this up. It seems like there is so much to write about, but all I can think about right now is how much I miss home. I'll end with a song that really fits my life right now that I've probably posted on my blog before, but I've been singing it in my head on the trail several different times, and it just seems to go well with where I'm at right now.

"I have climbed highest mountain
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for..."


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Do-Rag's Fun Facts

OK, I figure it must get a little boring reading about the same types of things all the time. So I tried to think of something at least a little more creative to make reading this stuff slightly more interesting. This post is dedicated to Doug and Megan.

Do-Rag's Fun Facts:

1. I now have a trail name. It's Do-Rag.
2. I have completely just over 1/5 of the trail so far.
3. I have fallen down approximately 12 times. The times I have almost fallen is too hard to keep track of. :) Hiking poles have probably saved my life.
4. At a road crossing, I almost walked up on some guy peeing behind a tree. If I had arrived 10 seconds earlier, it would have been disaster.
5. I saw a wild boar. Luckily for me, it was dead (they can be kind of aggressive). It was uuuuugly! Like a hairy pig with tusks. Whew.
6. I am now officially in Virginia for the rest of my life! VA is forever. They say hikers get the "Virginia blues." Eh, I think it'll be fantastic.
7. I had a blister the diameter of a golf ball on my heel.
8. Often, songs run through my head while I am hiking. What's interesting is the types of songs.....instead of singing stuff I listen to all the time, I find that often I am singing songs that my parents listened to when I was younger.....weird.
9. When I go into town, I eat A LOT. Check out my food consumption (recalled to the best of my ability) in one day while staying at Kincora:

-2 packages of oat meal and one package of grits (approx 500 cal)
-4 fruit and cereal bars (approx 760 cal)
-oatmeal square (approx 220 cal)
-dried fruit (approx 150 cal)
-1 large pizza minus 2 pieces that I shared (approx 1100 cal)
-2 servings of pasta and pesto (approx 600 cal)
-salad with stuff on it (approx 200 cal)
-cheese (approx 150 cal)
-apple (approx 100 cal)
-candy bar (approx 230 cal)
-2 pieces of garlic bread with butter (approx 350 cal)
-pint of ice cream (approx 720 cal)
-carrots and dip (approx 250 cal)

Grand total: approx 5100 calories. SWEET! That's called "hiker hunger."

10. The coldest night so far was approximately 16 degrees.
11. Wild turkey hunting season just opened in Tennessee. Ye-haw!
12. My longest hiking day so far has been 29.2 miles.
13. I've taken 5 showers in 4 weeks. *grin* What can I say? I'm out in the woods, ya'll.
14. I saw a suicide bomber mouse in one of the shelters (there are lots of mice in shelters...they climb on your sleeping bag while you sleep). Evidently he was running around the rim of the shelter with his buddy and then fell/jumped off, hit the sleeping plateform, simultaneously I heard a "bump" and a "squeek," and then he disappeared. I hope he's ok. It sounded like a hard bump, and it was a long fall for a mouse.
15. Pooping in the woods is over-rated.
16. A hiker named Salsa always hikes in shorts, even in snow.
17. One night on the trail, I slept in a barn. it was a barn converted to a shelter for the trail, but it was still cool. Check it out:

18. I recently spent some time hiking around Watauga Lake, where Glenn proposed to Cathy. :) Here's a pic of me on the dam. It doesn't really give the lake justice, though. The place was gorgeous.

19. I now know what "vitamin W" is because of Pirate.

That's about it for now. I better get off here before I get kicked off. Have a great week! I'll post again when I can.

Small Updates

This is Kim again. I am at an outfitter in Damascus, Virginia, which means I am now in state 4 of the AT....and I'll be in state #4 for a loooong time. Virginia is forever. But that's cool. I'm looking forward to it.

But anyway, I'm not going to post a whole lot right now, just because I hate taking up time on a public computer when it's the only one, and because I am starving and want to try out this little restaurant before I leave Damascus. :) Just a couple new things since the last letter I wrote Jared. I stayed at the most amazing hostel (not HOSPITAL, Doug and Lacey!! ;) called Kincora, located just outside of Hampton, Tennessee. The guy who runs it just has a passion for the trail and for hikers, and he has unlimited amounts of stories to tell about the people who come through his hostel. He and his wife were just awesome. They only charge $4 a night to stay at their hostel, and it was probably the nicest hostel yet. I've heard from other people who know Bob and Pat that they lose money each year keeping the hostel up and running rather than making money, but they just love it so much that they don't care. While we were there, Pinky (a hiker) fixed us all a pasta and pesto dinner with an amazing salad that had baked tomatoes and yams on it. It was fantastic.

Other than that, I've just been thinking about getting into Damascus, since it's such a milestone on the trail. So, I'm here now! Only had a dusting of snow between Kincora and here, and the night of all the really bad tornados and things you've probably been hearing about, we just had really bad storms, and I was at the hostel that night. :)

Oh, Doug and Megan sent me my food package for the last drop off......and they added stuff to it. I couldn't stop laughing. They put notes and pictures in there for me, some kind of tabloid magazine so I could get "the latest news," movie popcorn, some random picture of people saying "go Kim go," and (here's the best) a one-piece PINK outfit from salvo with all kinds of things written all over it, including a "Kimmy22" license plate drawn on the butt. Check this stuff out:

I'm serious, I didn't know what to do with myself. I just laughed and laughed and laughed. I have such amazing friends. And I've been getting lots of messages from peeps on my phone, which really makes me feel loved. Thanks guys. And, Ian sent me a letter! I was so happy. And of course, Jared's been sending me all kinds of great things along the way. :) I find that when I am out on the trail, a lot of my time is spent thinking about people back home. I'm so glad I'm only going to be gone for a few months. I really miss everyone.

OK, so the post was a little longer than I thought. I better go, because I have a cool post to post after this one really quick. :) Miss you all lots! Thanks for the calls, emails, comments, and letters and packages. Love you all so much.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Updates from the Trail IV...

[This is a few days old, and has lots of fun stuff in it. Enjoy!]


It's so nice to be sitting here in the sunshine. The past 4-5 days have been extremely difficult. When I wrote the last letter to you, I think I mentioned 4 inches of snow or something there-about. Well, we hike many miles in snow at least twice as deep as that over the past few days. And if you remember, I wore tennis shoes for this trip. This means I have had wet feet for the past few days..... which means blisters. So my feet have really taken a turn for the worst, and yesterday's 16-mile hike into Erwin almost killed me. Well, not really, but I was definitely in a lot of pain. And then imagine putting these blistered feet into FROZEN shoes in the morning, which I had to do a couple mornings. I really wanted to cry then. lol

Dave (now Bleach) asked me my favorite part of the trip so far. I've decided that one of my favorite parst about the mountains are the balds. I didn't really know what a bald was before I came out here, but I have since learned that they are grassy patches w/ no trees way up in the mountains. Some of them are just huge, and you can see 360 degrees around of just gorgeous mountains. It's breath-taking. If I get around to getting some pictures online, I'll put one up of my favorite bald so far: Max Patch.

[Note: this has been done; check out Kim's picture post!]

So I decided to take a "zero" day here in Erwin. So far it's been wonderful. I came into Erwin yesterday at about 3:30pm after a 16-mile day, checked in to Uncle Johnny's Hostel (which is fantastic, by the way), and relaxed the rest of the evening. Bleach, Bigfoot, Hatteras Jack, & I all went to a pizza place where I got an all-you-can-eat salad bar and pizza sticks. I ate soooo much. And then to top it off, I ate a pint of Moose Tracks ice cream while we all sat in the bunk & watched some hilarious '80s Arnold Swart (however you spell it) movie. LIfe couldn't have been much better. Oh, & we have a fire going in the stove, too. It was just lovely. And so today is my zero day, and I'm just writing letters & hanging out. I hope to make it to the library to use the internet today. I'd love to be hiking in this weather, but I know I need the day off. This means I am staying 2 nights here... but what's really cool is most hostels will offer a work-4-stay, and so one of my nights is paid for because I scrubbed toilets & shower curtains this morning. How about that? I enjoyed doing some work that didn't involve hiking up a huge hill. It felt really good.

Oh, a few things about food that I wanted to tell you. One day when the weather was nasty, Bleach went into Gatlinburg while I toughed it out in a shelter, and I guess that day, in 16 hours, he ate 15,000 calories. Can you imagine? And I know he won't gain a pound. It really is amazing what days in the woods of hiking mountains will do to your body & metabolism.

Well, by the time you get this, I will have hopefully conquered another tough section of the trail: the part that includes Roan Mountain. The trail goes back up over 6000 ft in elevation, and word on the street is that there is about 2-3 feet of snow up there right now. The weather has definitely turned, though, & so I'm hoping most of that is melted off by the time I get there, but I'll have to let you know in the next letter.

Oh, you'll have to tell Christi that I have climbed over quite a few "knobs." She'll appreciate that.

[Christi, please read above. Thank you.;)]

Well, time to go. We are all getting a ride into town to get some chow & be bums at the library.

Kimberly Ann