When hiking the Appalachian Trail, you meet a lot of cool people. People who share a special bond with you. People who love the great outdoors and pushing the limits. People who are thru hikers, section hikers, or even day hikers. People with different stories.

I don’t want their stories to be lost. I think everyone deserves to have their stories told. Here are some of the people we met on the trail.

SECTION #1: Damascus, VA to Shady Valley, TN

  1. Just as we were starting out on our very first section, which happened to start in town, a man called out to us from his car. We paused and talked to him for a few minutes. He told us that he, too, was a section hiker and wished us good luck on our hike. It was encouraging to meet someone right away who knew what we were about to encounter.
  2. When we reached the state line 3 miles in, we were excited! As we were pausing to take in the moment, an older couple approached us, showing the same excitement when they saw the border sign. Their excitement was louder and well deserved, as they were approaching state #4! They had started out late May (it was now early August) in Georgia and were heading to Damascus. That was their final stop of their section before they take a plane back to Maine. I was impressed. They looked to be in their 50s or 60s, and here they were, backpacking nearly 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail. They gave us some information about the shelter we were heading towards and we told them what to expect for their final 3 miles. They also showed us an app that looked incredibly helpful for our next trip. These two were so friendly and enthusiastic that it gave us new hope and new excitement about our hike.
  3. This couple told us about a couple they met along the trail. That couple was in their 80s, and after hiking sections of the AT for many years, they were finally completing the final section! Wow! Maybe it is possible for my friend and I to eventually finish!