Beginning September 8th, I hiked the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Forest, a dream that was years in the making. Here are the wrap-up statistics:
3 women - my friend, Leigh, who accompanied me days 1-11, my friend, Angela, who was there for days 10-13 and me
1 dog - Molly
2 shuttle drivers - my husband, Gary, and Leigh's husband, Shaune
13 days of hiking - 1 day of rain, 2 foggy mornings, 10 sunny days
112 miles hiked
22 mountains, 2 rocky knobs, 3 unnamed hills
3 bears - all in the area of the campgrounds
5 snakes, including a dead rattlesnake on the road
Countless deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and birds, and one critter only Molly spotted and jerked the leash from my hand and went for her own romp on the AT.
38 insect bites - for some reason the bugs preferred me over my friends
4 blisters - on my feet. Leigh and Angela each had at least one.
132 bottles of water
12 miles on the longest day, day 13
33,818 steps - most in one day
It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Or at least after recovering for a week or two.
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.