Hiking With The Ellis's 2017

User: StevenEllis
Dates: 17 Mar 2017 - 26 Jul 2017
Duration: 4 months, 1 week
URL: http://TrackMyTour.com/md14D

Appalachian Trail hike 2017 GA to MA

Wednesday 26 Jul 2017 14:32

Mile 728---we are taking a zero day today as everyone is in need of extra rest---we are spending two nights in a Super 8 ---we have been shopping---new hiking pants---new shoes after 500 miles---we were feeling all the rocks---we resupplied our food source---got our phone updated---went swimming and did a little extra sleeping---keep praying for our energy levels to continue---OPWAM

Posted: July 26, 2017, 6:32 p.m.

Tuesday 25 Jul 2017 20:35

Mile 728---we hiked the Tinker Cliffs this morning( picture)---very beautiful view of the valley from 3000 ft ---the trail went right along the Cliffs for almost a half mile---then we got into the rocks on the ridges again and it made for a long day---we finally made it to Daleville VA and are going to stay here two days to rest up and take care of business ---we had Pizza Hut and all the salad we could eat tonight---we sleep in tomorrow ;)---keep us in your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: July 26, 2017, 12:35 a.m.

Monday 24 Jul 2017 19:38

Mile 712---we all were totally exhausted today as we camped at the hostel instead of staying inside with the cat and bad smells---the cat brought a mouse to one of the girls sleeping inside as a present too---it was a beautiful night on a wide open hill until a nasty thunder storm moved in and we didn't get to sleep until after midnight and the tent was hot as we had to keep the fly of the tent closed---the big Banti roster woke us up at 5:00 am with constant crowing and then after we got up he couldn't stop chasing the hens who were all over the yard--we did a short day today but we had an awesome place to hike to McAfee Knob---see picture---Jenny wanted me to tell everyone that she hung her feet over the edge also---Nancy even ran into a tree she didn't see---so you see a day off is coming Wednesday ---we are in a shelter tonight and it looks like rain ---lucky us ---keep praying for our health and safety ---OPWAM

Posted: July 24, 2017, 11:38 p.m.

Sunday 23 Jul 2017 20:58

Mile 701---today we traveled from Audie Murphy's Memorial to the road after Dragon's Tooth---wow what an adventure--- the sheer wall in the picture is about 30 feet high and Nancy had to come down it with her back pack on ---the rest of us did too--but Nancy is 64 yrs old ;)---we took a beating on the climb and descent---we had another 1.5 miles to the road for the hostel we were going to and would't you know it someone put a ton of rock climbs in that 1.5 miles to make all of us over 60 irritated---we finally made it to our hostel on the last drop of water---we took showers then went to an all you can eat family style restaurant to pig out---what a meal of chicken, beef, potatoes, beans etc. plus four Pepsi refills ---Nancy is worn out so she is sleeping---we have fresh clean clothes and smell good for 12 hours :)---keep praying for our health and safety---OPWAM

Posted: July 24, 2017, 12:58 a.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 21:04

Mile 690---the picture is of the oldest living oak tree (300 yrs) on the trail---it was in a cow pasture with lots of blackberries that Nancy thoroughly enjoyed---we thought GA had steep climbs ---well VA is tops now---we crossed the Eastern Continental Divide today and had the thrill of walking on slanting rock faces near it---our water filter quit today ---scary, as water is scarce in some spots---I took the filter apart and with a little knife managed to get it working again---we ended the day with a 3 mile climb up to the Audie Murphy Memorial---a WWII hero who died in a plane crash up here in 1971---we are camping near it---hopefully showers tomorrow ---the girls were trying to kick me out of the tent because of the smell----keep praying for our safety---OPWAM

Posted: July 23, 2017, 1:04 a.m.

Friday 21 Jul 2017 20:14

Mile 676---there was a beautiful sunset last night on top of Wind Rock as you can see by the picture---a very nice lady gave us a brick of cheese, crackers and another person gave us some beef jerky---they know hikers are always hungry ---today we had two very steep climbs ---no one thought of switch backs I guess---we walk through some beautiful cattle country too---we are camping by a stream so the sound of running water should put us to sleep even though there were no flat places to put up the tent ;(---Jenny's friend has traveled ahead and is leaving the trail today ;(-----keep praying for our safety and family unity---OPWAM

Posted: July 22, 2017, 12:14 a.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 20:00

Mile 662--- "Ruffles have Ridges" and Ridges have Rocks---tons of rocks ---it seems like they never end--- time and miles seem to stand still---one shelter was closed today because of so many dead trees waiting to fall---another one was full of bumble bees---Captains camping place with a zip line to cross the river was also closed as he had cancer surgery---did I mention we needed water to camp tonight and both springs on the map were dried up---Nancy was pretty worried ---we again told her God would provide --- notice the picture---someone ahead of us had found a trickle source of water and left us a note to help us out---we were able with a little patience and Jenny's ability to dig it a little deeper to make a small water fall ---we were able to get almost 5 liters of good water---God is so good to us---we are camping on Wind Rock and it seems like the whole town is coming out to watch the sun set---we are staying in our tent as the flies are biting very bad---we also saw two girls that we met at the Ice Water shelter on our first night back in the Smokies with John Traverse---makes you feel good to see people you know----keep praying for our health and sanity :)---OPWAM

Posted: July 21, 2017, midnight

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 17:34

Mile 648---we left Pearisburg about 7am this morning---fully loaded with 6 days of supplies that we had mailed to ourselves---we have too much food so I was plenty tired on the climbs today---we had to walk a mile just to get on the trail---many times we have to walk extra for water, a shelter or to be able to resupply---tough part of being on the trail---we had a very long climb to start with and we had to filter water twice before our campsite as water sources are drying up---the picture is a selfie on top of the climb---we even ate supper for lunch so we would have enough water for the night---we are camping alone tonite so it may be cause for light sleeping for me---the flying ants are biting pretty bad tonite so we are glad to be in our tent---Nancy slipped down onto her backpack this afternoon and because she was tired she stayed down for 10 minutes to take a nap ;)---keep praying for our safety and sore feet---OPWAM

Posted: July 19, 2017, 9:34 p.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 10:06

Mile 634---we had a nice short day into Paris---no, sorry I mean Pearisburg VA---beautiful views ( picture)---one was called Angels rest ;)---the deceptive finish was hard on Nancy as we had made it to the road but had to hike up another huge hill to get to another road ---then we had to walk into town up a huge hill in the heat :(---just a refresher ---the Wapiti shelter were we lost Jenny yesterday was the site of two murders in 1981---man convicted---let out of jail in 1996---went back to same place in 2008 and tried to kill two men---died in jail a soon after ---yesterday Jenny heard someone scream " he is after me" ---she ran and found her friend for safety----we knew nothing about this---just found out this is the town where the killer lived---keep praying for our safety---OPWAM

Posted: July 18, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 19:52

Mile 626---we had another 18 Mile day so that we can make it to Pearisburg VA tomorrow for resupply---good flat trail for the first 7 miles then straight up---we missed the shelter Jenny was waiting at so it was 2 hours before mom and I felt comfortable after a long climb when we saw our lost daughter again ---we were on the trail so we knew we had to find her somewhere----at least she knows how much we love her---keep praying for our safety ---the picture is from an overlook after we found Jenny---OPWAM

Posted: July 17, 2017, 11:52 p.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 19:49

Mile 608---we had another long 19 mile day---but we reached the 600 mile mark ---Nancy is a trooper---we have a nice campsite tonight with showers, nice grass and shade---the picture is of Jenny Knob shelter where we had lunch ---water is getting more scarce but we are finding enough---pray for my neighbors in Wauconda as they are having extreme flooding probably the worst ever---our house is ok but the neighbors across the street are doing a lot of sand bagging---we also saw our second bear today ---much bigger than the first one---OPWAM

Posted: July 16, 2017, 11:49 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 20:54

Mile 590---it looked like rain all day this morning, but it turned out to be a beautiful day---the picture even shows Nancy relaxing at a viewing area---the day started out rocky again for the first couple of miles and then turned into a nice walkable path for the rest of the day---we even took a break at a fast moving creek and water fall to soak our feet---the past two rainy days have left us wet and grumpy but the sun makes all the difference in your attitude ---keep praying for our health and safety ---OPWAM

Posted: July 16, 2017, 12:54 a.m.

Friday 14 Jul 2017 20:39

Mile 573---we had a long day today as it rained a lot ---a terrible through long grass ---the first shelter we stopped at had a dead mouse in one of the bunks ---so we pressed on to the next shelter 11 miles away at 1 pm ---we thought we could make it as it was a fairly flat looking ridge to follow on the map but we didn't know about all the rocks and little steep ups and downs--- Nancy had had it so at about Mile 16 we found a sign that advertised a St. Luke's hostel in God's Thumb Print ( picture is arial view) ---we were walking the Ridge around the hostel---we called and couldn't get through---finally after an half hour they called us back---we had a fast truck ride down the windy road from the ridge into a neat little farm where we got put up in a neat bedroom with two large beds --- nice shower---they did our laundry for us---we had steak, potatoes, green beans and Reese's pie for supper and breakfast is going to be big also---keep praying for us to eat enough food to keep our strength up---OPWAM

Posted: July 15, 2017, 12:39 a.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 20:38

Mile 558---today we had several highlights---we saw our first bear and Nancy yelled loudly to make him run away---we hit the 1/4th mile marker (547 miles) of our journey --- my daughter Katie celebrates her 29th birthday---Jenny has a friend who walked with her all day---Nancy fell again on a downhill on a slick rock but is ok---we got soaked in a torrential downpour---we had almost a zero water resource when we reached our shelter---after an hour we were able to salvage 4 liters of clean water---Allen a new friend was at our shelter first and had made a fire so we all were able to dry off---the Lord had been good to us today ---keep us in your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: July 14, 2017, 12:38 a.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 18:45

Mile 544---we are in Atkins VA in a hotel cleaning up and doing laundry---it was a hot late morning in the valley---Moose a friend of Jenny's came out to meet us 3 miles from town on the trail and walked back to the hotel he was staying at to hike with our family for the next few days---we went out to late lunch with him and had a good time---resupplying was difficult as the town is 3 miles away from the Relax Hotel ---so we need to adjust as our meals as they are going to be different the next few days ---pray for us to handle the heat we probably will experience and that we can always find water--the picture is of the cat who lived at our shelter last night and woke me up at 1:00am trying to steel another hikers garbage that he did not hang----OPWAM

Posted: July 12, 2017, 10:45 p.m.

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017 19:12

Mile 532---Day 49---today we made a long hike (19 miles) so that we would be in place for a short 11 mile day tomorrow---so that we can go to a motel tomorrow night---Nancy was tired so we helped her out a little carrying some weight and then after lunch we had to filter more water so we told her to go ahead by herself as it was a climb---it took us about 15 minutes to do the job---then we took off after mom---I have never been so tired ---it took me 2 miles to catch her---Jenny did it in about 1.75 miles---Nancy had been putting on the after burners trying to impress us ---which she did---we made it the 19 miles plus to Partnership Shelter which has a "cold water " shower, privy with toilet paper ( TN had no privys) and pizza delivery---that is why I have a picture of the Mt Rogers Visitor Center as I am waiting out front as it is closed to get my pizza and chicken wings---the Center is next to our log cabin shelter---I also have a brother named Roger so I am checking to see if he really reads my blog----keep praying for our energy levels to be maintained by the food we get to eat ---OPWAM

Posted: July 11, 2017, 11:12 p.m.

Monday 10 Jul 2017 19:49

Mile 513---today was one of best days of the hike so far---we hit 500 mile mark and made it to the Grayson Highlands---it was like I was a cowboy out on the Ponderosa or on a wagon train headed west---beautiful wide open spaces, wild ponies ( picture), longhorn cattle, corals etc.----it was very rocky hike but if you are still young it is a place you need to see---Nancy fell down when the first pony approached ---she was coming off down some big boulders---she landed on her pack so only got a small cut on her arm which we patched up---we also went through fat man's squeeze which we all made :)---keep praying for our safety---OPWAM

Posted: July 10, 2017, 11:49 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 17:38

Mile 497----Day 48---we had a tough climb to begin with but we got to go through a farmers cattle pasture and meet some cows and a calf---we climbed White Top Mt---this was the most beautiful view of the entire AT so far (picture) ---then we hiked up to Thomas Knob Shelter ---Nancy and I were a little slow today so Jenny hiked on ahead with a friend---we thought she had gotten lost as she usually waits for us every mile or so ---but she hiked all the way with her friend so mom and I were a little nervous---always parents ;)---we are in a shelter just before Grayson Highlands where we will see all the ponies etc. ---Nancy is taking a nap while Jenny runs---I was fighting with a tree that tried to steal my rope for hanging our food ( a half hour fight which I won )---from our shelter the view is outstanding ---you can see at least 6 mountain ranges over ---keep praying for the strength to continue our trip ---OPWAM

Posted: July 9, 2017, 9:38 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 20:26

Mile 486---we had a good breakfast at the Woodchuck Hostel early this morning(picture) ---blueberry waffles, hard boiled eggs, cereal and milk, potatoes, orange juice, etc.---when you leave a town after resupplying---the terrain is always up and the backpacks weigh a ton---so you know we were working pretty hard and sweating good---after an hour, we stink just like we did before we went to town to clean up---such is life on the trail--- the shelter we had planned to go to has been having a lot of trouble with flying squirrels putting holes is the hanging food bags, so we decided to go an extra mile to another camp site after already doing 16 miles ;(---keep praying for our safety ---we are camping with our friend Drew tonight which makes us feel a little safer too---OPWAM

Posted: July 9, 2017, 12:26 a.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 22:01

Mile 469----we took our first zero day of our hike---Nancy needed a rest and so did the rest of us---we washed clothes and watched a couple of DVD's---took a nap---relaxed with our feet in a Creek in town---played a game and mentally prepared to hike again tomorrow ---we are in VA now for 540 miles, so about one fourth of the trail to do before we get to West VA----pray for our safety and the ability to honor the Lord in all we do---OPWAM

Posted: July 8, 2017, 2:01 a.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 15:34

Mile 469---we made it to Virginia today ( picture)---Nancy led the troops almost 19 miles into Damascus VA---there was a lot of downhill so that was a plus today ---Nancy has a blister on a blister so we are taking the day off tomorrow to relax and give her foot a chance to air out and heal---we have a nice little cabin at the hostel all to ourselves---we pigged out again this evening at a pizza buffet---wow we are we packing the food away when we come off the trail ---we are also taking twice as much chocolate along as we did originally---we are looking forward to sleeping in and having a good hot breakfast made for us by the hostel owners---keep us in your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: July 6, 2017, 7:34 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 17:32

Mile 450---it was a tough day for Nancy---her legs were heavy---must be from the long miles---she is sleeping now at 5pm---so hopefully she will be able to recover quickly ---we must all stretch and drink plenty of fluid to keep feeling well---today is Jenny's birthday 32 ---so she is full of energy ---just ran for 32 minutes---we ate two big chocolate bars at lunch to celebrate---we plan on celebrating more in Damascus---yes we are on the road to Damascus---hopefully we will be in Virginia tomorrow---we are all alone in the shelter so far---pray for our protection as we sleep---OPWAM

Posted: July 5, 2017, 9:32 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 8:13

Mile 436----the picture is of our hostel cabin last night---it was like sleeping in my shed at home---two bunk beds with memory foam mattresses---excellent sleep---our shower was a large bucket with holes in it that hot and cold water ran into to mimick rain ---no curtain on my side of the double shower :(---we left late after an included breakfast of cereal, donuts and fruit---very muggy---soaking wet with sweat after 15 minutes---we had a 4 mile stretch where we could not stop to rest or anything because of bear activity---our legs were tired and how nice to get to our shelter early to lie down---we even ( thanks to Jenny) got enough water 1.7 miles early so I did not have to go .3 of a mile almost straight down to get more water---thanks for your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: July 4, 2017, 12:13 p.m.

Monday 3 Jul 2017 22:26

Mile 427---wow what a day---we did two small climbs quickly----then we came down into the Laurel Falls area---it was really beautiful---but then we hiked down down down to the falls on steep rock steps---we put our tired legs into the cold water and had a nice break (picture)---then we had to walk along the river another mile or two then up and over a huge climb---Nancy wanted to quite at the top but we talked her into coming down out of the mountain to a cool hostel were we could hitch a ride into town for Subway and a McFlury---she was glad she changed her mind---it made our second day of 17 miles---the Boots Off Hostel is like a kids dream---rustic and cool---4 person bunk houses---a tree house being built ---keep praying for us---OPWAM

Posted: July 4, 2017, 2:26 a.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 10:59

Mile 410---we had a nice time at the Doeriver Hiker Rest in Roan Mt TN---we had our own private room and the noise in the hostel was drowned out by our own air conditioner ---we had a good night of sleep on excellent mattresses---we were back on the trail by 8:15 am thanks to our nice host who took us 6 miles back to the trail---the first 400 miles of only up and down is over---so today we had move level travel than usual---we saw Jones Falls today as you can see from the picture ---it was a very unexpected and a beautiful sight---today was our longest day so far 17 miles---everyone is tired but all the food we had yesterday was very helpful---we found a bench today in the middle of the woods that let us sit and look at all the high distant Balds that we hiked yesterday which was kind of cool---keep praying for our safety---OPWAM

Posted: July 2, 2017, 2:59 p.m.

Saturday 1 Jul 2017 14:16

Mile 393---Nancy was awakened by a mouse saying hello this morning at 5:45 in the old red barn where we were sleeping ---we left about 7:30 am and climbed two Balds " Little Hump and Hump" but as fortune would have it, it was foggy and rainy the whole time we were up there--- but you still feel like you are in "The Sound of Music" as you hike---we made it to a hiker hostel in Roan Mt, TN---the owner is very nice and will take us to town to eat and resupply---at this point in time we have a whole 50 foot air conditioned trailer on a farm all to ourselves---we got the master bedroom with our own bathroom and can use the laundry room and kitchen----last night was the first time I have felt hunger pains---so you know we will be pigging out in town and buying a lot more candy to carry with us ---keep praying for us---OPWAM

Posted: July 1, 2017, 6:16 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 13:13

Mile 384---It rained all night last night but we were snug in our shelter with about 10 other hikers and two dogs---we had a lot of good conversations around the fire ----we started walking in the rain this morning---we crossed three Balds at over 5,000 ft and saw nothing---we did a half day today to give Nancy a rest---we had her down for an afternoon nap and a mouse showed up ---you can imagine the sounds---she is resting comfortably now even snoring a little---oh no another mouse showed up--- pray for her courage with mice to improve---how do you like our throne for the day (picture)---OPWAM

Posted: June 30, 2017, 5:13 p.m.

Thursday 29 Jun 2017 19:02

Mile 377---we did a lot of climbs today we are up over 6,000 feet---we are staying at the highest shelter on the AT ---it is a little chilly and as you can see from the picture we have a nice fire going and the shelter is totally inclosed for bad weather---Jenny saw her first bear so her whistle was blowing quite loud---Nancy had a much better day but didn't want to stay in the shelter as it was too creepy---then 10 more people came who we knew so she adjusted nicely---we have a few ex-service men with us who are out here to help their PSD---keep us in your prayers---we are going to see some very nice places the next few days---OPWAM

Posted: June 29, 2017, 11:02 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 20:10

Mile 366---the People were complaining about having no water and wandering in the wilderness just to die but Jenny and Dad reminded them that God would provide :) ---with in one mile we found a water source and we were good to drink and cook the rest of the day---we had no dinner last nite except for snacks to save water for today's hike so everyone was a little irritable---God provided quickly and the rest of the day went pretty smooth---we even had two dinners to make up for last night ---we climbed Unaka MT which was covered with beautiful blue spruce trees at the top---to keep the people from more complaining in the afternoon Jenny and Dad provided baggage relief for them :)---we are renting tonite by ourselves---thanks again for your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: June 29, 2017, 12:10 a.m.

Tuesday 27 Jun 2017 19:32

Mile 354---we left the hotel this morning about 10 am after a good breakfast---it was going to be a short day so we could take a nap in the afternoon--when we got to the shelter a roaring fire was going---music was playing---clothes were hung out on a line---moth balls were all around the best shelter we had ever seen---so I spread the tarp in the shelter and told Nancy to lie down---then out of the woods comes a mountain man with two large knives in his belt carrying wood for the fire---Nancy's and Jenny's eyes went big looking at me telling me without words we are not staying here---so at 1:00 pm we set out for the next camp site 8 miles over the mountain---when we got to the camp there was no water but in 13 miles we had only drank 2 of our 6 liters---usually in 13 miles all the water would have been gone---so praise the Lord for helping us not to use more water than we needed today---thanks for your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: June 27, 2017, 11:32 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 9:45

Mile 342---picture is of our descent into Erwin TN---we hiked into town to an all you can eat pizza and salad place---they put more than 12 plates on our table as we had to use a clean plate for each helping ---we had our fill and boy did it fill good to pig out---then we went next door to a Dollar General to resupply before going back on Trail tomorrow---when we came out a lady who was waiting for some other hikers offered to give us a ride to the motel ---we accepted---now at the motel we are almost relaxing after we finish the laundry and repacking ---thanks for your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: June 26, 2017, 1:45 p.m.

Sunday 25 Jun 2017 18:55

Mile 336--- (picture from our shelter tonight) nice hike today mostly down with a couple steep climbs---did a shorter hike today as mom hurting a little---Jenny got to walk with an ex-Marine today so he got a good work out---she ran lots of hills while she was waiting for me to filter water---we don't know where she gets all the energy---Erwin TN tomorrow ---hopefully nice motel ---we are getting dirty and stinky again---keep us in your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: June 25, 2017, 10:55 p.m.

Saturday 24 Jun 2017 14:25

Mile 325---we hiked mostly in the rain and had some steep climbs---mom is hurting a little---Jenny's hip flexer hurts a little---we are two days out of Erwin TN---all down hill into town so we should make it ok---probably take a rest day for vacation :) ---having fun but a lot of work---today we hiked up to Bald MT with a 360 degree view of the mountains really awesome ( picture) ---the shelter we are at is totally full ---there are also four dogs which makes sleeping so much better---Nancy just had a mouse run the full length of her sleeping bag ---so you know there was a lot of screaming---Keep praying for our health and safety---OPWAM

Posted: June 24, 2017, 6:25 p.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 8:14

Mile 315---picture from Butt MT----long hard day today ---long steep up hills---still made it in by 6:00 pm---then water sources over half mile away ;(---very tired today ---met Lady and Tramp with two dogs ---camping with us tonight good for bear protection ---very windy tonight ---they say tropical storm is on the way---keep praying for our safety---OPWAM

Posted: June 23, 2017, 12:14 p.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 20:11

Mile 300 (picture) ---Well today started off with more "summer solstice " activities---after we left camp we had a pretty nice walk for a couple of miles then it started raining and it is still raining as we go to sleep in the shelter---today was our first 15 mile day---mom was hurting pretty good by the time we finished but seemed to perk up when 5 other campers came into our shelter---already had a mouse run in tonight---we are warm in our sleeping bags---keep praying for us---Happy birthday John Travers

Posted: June 23, 2017, 12:11 a.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 20:56

Mile 285---it's a bird, it's a plane---sorry wrong story---it's a bear, it's naked bear, no Jenny yell's "there is a naked man up there"----mom was leading looking down and stoped immediately---I jumped up to the front and the man ran off---welcome to the "summer solstice" ---people are free to walk the trail naked on the June 21st---we were taking a break a while later and a man asked to pass---he yells out " it's a tradition"---so we put our heads down and let him pass and saw that he was wearing nice sandals ---today was a tough day with climbs, sweating profusely, and nets on our heads to keep the bugs away---but the day still wasn't over---when we got to the shelter for the night a man was naked and had a pet cat ---a girl was toppless collecting wood---we had to walk by them to get water ----after supper they brought out their instruments and played into the night ---needless to say, we took our tent up to the top of a hill to sleep for the night near other normal people ---keep praying for our safety and that these nightmares soon would be over---the picture is on top of lovers leap near Hot Springs NC

Posted: June 22, 2017, 12:56 a.m.

Tuesday 20 Jun 2017 16:32

Mile 270---we made it to Hot Spring NC about 2:30 ---did laundry---ate supper at Spring Green Tavern---stayed in a Victorian House built in 1860 ---beautiful two bedroom Suite ---awesome bathroom ---what a shower after being on the road a week---this place was cheaper than the hotels here---we did 13 miles in less than 7 hours including breaks ---Nancy is a machine---keep praying for our safety

Posted: June 20, 2017, 8:32 p.m.

Monday 19 Jun 2017 18:50

Posted: June 19, 2017, 10:50 p.m.

Monday 19 Jun 2017 11:05

Today was our 1st 13 mile day---two tough climbs---Nancy and Jenny were even running down many slopes with there full packs---beautiful scenery at Max Patch Bald ( picture) and Walnut Mt where we are staying---the shelter was probably 50 years old--no door on privy---dirty water---so we are camping in our tent---we sang a lot today to keep the bears at bay---the girls are getting hungry---so big meal at Hot Springs NC tomorrow in a hotel hopefully---laundry too as we stink bad---keep praying for us

Posted: June 19, 2017, 3:05 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 16:33

Today was pretty much straight up for 4.5 miles but we all handled it well---lot of bear warning signs all the way up---had a nice 360' view on top of Snowbird Bald---made it to Ground Hog Creek Shelter at about 1pm ---short day as we are 26 miles from Hot Springs NC---we hope to make it there in two days---will be nice to take a real shower and do laundry ---as we smell like the small animals house at the zoo---we are all alone in this shelter and a little nervous about the bear activity---we also wanted to show you our privy accommodation for the night---keep us in your prayers

Posted: June 18, 2017, 8:33 p.m.

Saturday 17 Jun 2017 9:25

Today John Travers left us to go back home---so we had to plan our first day---we planned to do 8 miles so we did a little sight seeing---we took a side trail to see Mt Cramerers forest tower---beautiful scenery (picture)---then we planned to stop at Davenport Shelter----when we got there it was caged in so bears could not get in---then ---Jenny read the log book and discovered that aggressive bear activity was common---big black snakes were in the walls--no one was allowed to eat at the shelter ---Nancy was tired but we all were too scared to sleep there ---so we left to go to a hostel 4 miles further down the trail---well it was not very clean and everything was right out of a hill billy movie---so we decided to camp in the yard instead of using their bunk house---of course it rained--- but we are snuggled safely in our tent ---thanks for your prayers--we are meeting a lot of interesting people

Posted: June 17, 2017, 1:25 p.m.

Friday 16 Jun 2017 13:10

We had a very nice evening with 7 other people last night---one of them was an ultra through hiker named Sara---she runs a video blog " tough girl challenges"---she plans to finish the trail in 100 days---she also interviewed Nancy and Jenny and then Jenny hiked the next 8 miles with her for a challenge---another visitor last evening was Karen from tv show "good bones"---she did not tell us who she was but Nancy, of all people, recognized her from a show she had seen at the doctors office waiting for me---we had a very scenic hike today---no snakes yet but tons of gnats in the shelter---keep praying for us---John Traverse goes home tomorrow :(

Posted: June 16, 2017, 5:10 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 14:05

We are at Tricorner Shelter today ---last night a mouse ran up my arm from my hand to my elbow while I was sleeping---by the time he reached my elbow he was flying through the air off my arm from the top sleeping rack onto recuse the ground---I said "crap" and the whole shelter woke up, except for a couple of snoring hikers,---we all had a good giggle as mostly girls and John Traverse woke up---today was a real nice walk---we are drinking, washing cloths and drinking from the cold water mountain sources---very cool---Nancy is napping already---Jenny is doing Trail running to get more exercise :)---keep praying for our safety as a few timber rattlers have been reported on tomorrow's hike

Posted: June 15, 2017, 6:05 p.m.

Tuesday 13 Jun 2017 16:33

After two months off---we are finally back in the saddle---today is our 42nd anniversary ---we r celebrating by hiking with heavy packs :(----we went to Charlie's Bunion---Fearless (Jenny's trail name) was a little fearful on the heights but she survived---rained all night last night, but stopped by morning light ---John Travers is having fun with us and we are playing games in the shelters ---we cleaned up a little today so feeling a little bit refreshed---keep us in your prayers

Posted: June 13, 2017, 8:33 p.m.

Monday 12 Jun 2017 13:16

We had a nice short day, 3 miles, to make sure everything is adjusted and we are not killing ourselves the first few days---lost my wallet last night ---panic set in ---as it had all our ids and charge cards inside it---finally found it in our friend John's truck, he gave us the ride to Gatlinburg from Chicago and walking with us for a few days---it was stuck between the front seat and the console---Jenny got to meet a lot of runners today and seems to be having a fun time too---lots of rain to night, but we are safe in Ice Water Shelter---Pray for our safety and conversations with those we meet---we are OPWAM ---figure that one out texters---Steve and Nancy and Jenny

Posted: June 12, 2017, 5:16 p.m.

Friday 7 Apr 2017 18:43

Today we had a death defying experience---decision to stay in shelter or hike 10 miles through the deep powdered snow ---no path visible--we chose to hike out as we were tired of being cold and hungry---two 70 year old ladies stayed---our friend Cricket one shelter back---decided she wasn't going to move---they had to call in a rescue---three little girls were freezing as they didn't have proper gear---dying was very real---we made it to Clingmans Dome and the Ranger wanted us off the trail for safety---so we had hike the 7 mile road to New Found Gap---we hitched a ride to Gatlinburg--- Nancy is tired of death defying adventures---so after 200 miles we are coming home---thanks for praying for us

Posted: April 7, 2017, 10:43 p.m.

Friday 7 Apr 2017 11:50

What a day ---blowing snow---6 inch deep mud on the path---we made it safely to a shelter 3 miles from Clingmans Dome---we are at about 6000 ft and the temperature is dropping into the single digits---there is about 3 tents outside in 8 inches of snow---the roads are shut down ----we are going to get to a town for warmth and safety ---we have 17 people squeezed into a 12 person shelter ---pray no one gets Hypothermia

Posted: April 7, 2017, 3:50 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 19:55

Today started off with a beautiful morning a quick 6 miles---then the heavens opened up with rain, cold wind, and lighting as we crossed Rocky Top Mt---we prayed every time we had to cross an open space ---then the rain turned the paths into mud ---sliding down and trying to get a good foot hold to climb was in every thought ---very tiring day ---got into Derrick Knob at about 4:30---had to tent as shelter was full---cold and rainy evening with snow predicted for tomorrow ---keep praying for us

Posted: April 5, 2017, 11:55 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Apr 2017 16:19

We made it to Mollies Shelter today ---we are at mile 177---hard climb into Smokies---Nancy was tired so we didn't go on with the rest of the Trail Family to the next shelter---hope for a good night sleep ---supposed to snow Thursday---keep praying for us---the Fontana Dam area was beautiful---picture is of our shelter and the characters living here

Posted: April 4, 2017, 8:19 p.m.

Monday 3 Apr 2017 13:13

We only did 1.5 mikes today --- severe weather coming in---hiding out in shelter with about 12 or more other people--tight fitting---tomorrow we climb into the Smokies---keep praying for our safety---you can see how dark it is in the shelter and it is only 2 pm---but it is safe

Posted: April 3, 2017, 5:13 p.m.

Sunday 2 Apr 2017 10:54

We had a short 5.5 mile hike to Fontana Dam today---we got here at noon and are staying at the Fontana Lodge---for lunch we had a lot of chocolate and fruit ---we are doing laundry and resting watching basketball---tough climb into the Smokies tomorrow morning---keep praying for us ---if Nancy can get through the climb tomorrow we should be ok---we are mile 165---wow

Posted: April 2, 2017, 2:54 p.m.

Saturday 1 Apr 2017 17:21

We climbed Jacobs ladder today---up 600 ft with 2000ft hypotenuse---very steep---that was yesterday's photo with Nancy going up---today was rough on Nancy---but Trail angel Mapel Leaf had chocolate, pop, cookies---Nancy pigged out ---felt much better ---she was tired so we are staying in the shelter to save work ---that what the picture is ---we are at mile 158.8---keep praying

Posted: April 1, 2017, 9:21 p.m.

Friday 31 Mar 2017 17:09

We climbed and climbed and climbed out of Nantahala Outdoor Center---luckily we had a huge hamburger for supper and a good nite sleep in the hotel---we stopped climbing at 1:30 pm and what a view---the people we meet are probably the neatest part of the trip---so many different stories and backgrounds from all over the world---Nancy and I aren't fighting as much anymore as we settle into our roles on the trip and take one day at a time---keep praying for us as each step is dangerous if we are not careful as old people---things just don't work as good as when you were young

Posted: March 31, 2017, 9:09 p.m.

Thursday 30 Mar 2017 16:18

We came down from 5000 ft to 1800 today ---tough on knees--we walked a ridge at 4000 ft with 500 ft plus drops on both sides---it ended with a jump off point and then the path went straight down ---we had to go down backwards to not fall ---scary hike---we are staying on a nice cabin tonight for shower, laundry, and real food---hard day ---tomorrow we go back to 5000ft ---sounds fun after resupplying---keep us in your prayers--- as I think our girls would have been afraid for there mom today ---she is a tough cookie---the picture is out side our tent at sunrise at 5000 ft

Posted: March 30, 2017, 8:18 p.m.

Wednesday 29 Mar 2017 12:45

Today was a nice sunshiny day and a beautiful walk---we had a safe night on the mountain--- no visitors ---but the sunset and stars were awesome ---we climbed Wayah MT ---it was totally burned---you could see for miles---we really have been staying around the 5000 ft level---even our tent tonite is overlooking the valley below---keep praying for us

Posted: March 29, 2017, 4:45 p.m.

Tuesday 28 Mar 2017 7:25

Well we could have stay with a friend in the shelter last nite---but Nancy's fear of mice cause us to camp down lower on a sloping pad of dirt---needless to say a major storm rolled through ---yes we got soaked and had to carry wet gear all day ---major climb---we are camping at Silas Bald at 5000 ft all alone---the shelter was a half mile down a steep slope ---so we found a place protected with trees ---put up an extra tarp ----we pray no storm comes through---aches and pains are real ---keep praying for us

Posted: March 28, 2017, 11:25 a.m.

Monday 27 Mar 2017 14:49

Nice 12 mile hike---we hit the 100 mile mark---after a straight up climb---sort of like climbing the rocks at Devils Lake---then we climbed the fire tower at the top of Albert Mt---must be 20 people in a 14 person shelter---we are in our tent---keep praying for us

Posted: March 27, 2017, 6:49 p.m.

Sunday 26 Mar 2017 19:52

We had rain most of the night---no bad storms---we walked through a large area of where the fires were last fall---very sad---we had some long slow climbs in the rain today---walked with a new retired lady today---she had her own Snap On tool store---loves basketball and came just when Nancy needed a distraction from her tiredness---got to share Tammy's back story with her---made it 12.1 miles then had to walk .3 of a mile farther to get water---lots of aches and pains but we still "love each other" :)---keep praying

Posted: March 26, 2017, 11:52 p.m.

Saturday 25 Mar 2017 20:03

We hitched hiked out of Hiawasee GA the 11miles back to Dicks Creek Gap---a nice elderly Trail Angel picked us up---we left about noon on the trail to go 5 miles to a shelter ---then when we got there someone told Nancy that North Carolina was only 5 miles after that but all up hill---you guess it ---mom was crying when we crossed the state line---big storm coming tonite---so pray for our saftey

Posted: March 26, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

Friday 24 Mar 2017 21:31

We had another 13 mile day with the promise of a hotel and good food---we had to climb Trey Mt plus a bunch of other little ones---we hitch hiked 11 miles into Hiawasee GA ---a nice man picked us up and took us to three different hotels before we could find one with Vacancies---we have a beautiful room over looking the lake---did laundry after wearing the same clothes for seven days---had a BBQ supper---we will stay until 11am --- then hitch hike back up into the mountains ---pray we get a ride ---keep praying for us

Posted: March 25, 2017, 1:31 a.m.

Thursday 23 Mar 2017 18:04

We camped in a gully last nite so had to watch for any rain---left at 7:30 this morning---freezing cold and windy but beautiful sunrise ---first 6 miles awesome views---then we climbed 2.5 MTS the rest of the day---lost our friend from S Africa today due to sore knees--still hiking with Dave ---did over 13 miles today---notice Nancy in picture at 5:30 ---snoring ---thanks for praying for us---Day 6

Posted: March 23, 2017, 10:04 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Mar 2017 17:43

Lightning, hail, terrible wind, torrential rain, soaking wet, cold, wet tent sounds like fun on top of a mountain doesn't it!!!We dried out at Hog Gap ---had supper for breakfast in a cave we found going up a steep climb as it was still cold and windy---warmed up this afternoon---camping along a brook tonite at Low Gap---keep us old people in your prayers--Steve and Nancy

Posted: March 22, 2017, 9:43 p.m.

Monday 20 Mar 2017 17:34

We are having just a little trouble figuring out the spot tracker as GPS isn't always available----climbed Blood MT beautiful site almost a 360 view---camping about a mile passed Neels Gap tonite ---made it through bad bear country---keep praying for us as showers out the door tonite ---Steve

Posted: March 20, 2017, 9:34 p.m.

Sunday 19 Mar 2017 18:39

Beautiful day---we walk along many scenic mountain ridges ---one hard climb on Cedar MT---we are camping at Lance Creek with many other tenters---making a lot of new friends ---everyone is on a eight mile pace to not get hurt---there are some 18 milers but they are crazy---no privy today---Neels Gap tomorrow for resupply ---shower---laundry---maybe a bed---Nancy is holding her own---not smiling all the time but at least most of the time--keep praying for us---Steve

Posted: March 19, 2017, 10:39 p.m.

Saturday 18 Mar 2017 19:36

We are at Gooch Mt Shelter---very crowded ---last night at Hawk Mt shelter the woman from S Africa that we are walking with had a fight with a huge rat---needless to say she like we are In our tents tonight ---beautiful day ---very tired--- gone 17 miles in two days--starting slow so we don't get hurt--- Nancy even soaked her feet in a stream ---got rejuvenated ---love Steve and Nancy

Posted: March 18, 2017, 11:36 p.m.

Friday 17 Mar 2017 12:28

We made it safely to Ellijay GA---Jenny and Katie drove us down here---we are in a motel about 20 miles from Springer MT where we will start hiking---we arevwatching March Madness with Pizza---my new wife from the picture is still nervous but all will be well once we start---keep praying for our safety---Steve

Posted: March 17, 2017, 4:28 p.m.

Hiking With The Ellis's 2017

User: StevenEllis
Dates: 17 Mar 2017 - 26 Jul 2017
Duration: 4 months, 1 week
URL: http://TrackMyTour.com/md14D

Appalachian Trail hike 2017 GA to MA

Okay, since no one else has asked, what is OPWAM? It's driving me crazy. I re-read all your posts in case I missed it but couldn't find it. By the way, I almost died laughing at your 6/21 post. Aren't you glad summer solstice is only once a year? We are praying for you. So glad that Jenny is with you - seems like the hike is more enjoyable with the three of you. Tell Nancy she is my hero. Love you all.
-- Julie

Sounds exhausting & exciting....and makes me hungry!

It looks like you are having a great hike and meeting lots of people. Thinking and praying, stay safe!

I thought I should comment since Roger had to in order to prove he is reading :) We love you!

Yea for a Mt Rogers! Did it have a beard too?

Wow it's great reading your adventures so glad Jenny can join you it looks like Nancy is having more fun this time. Keeping you all in prayer. Be safe.

Many blessings and we are praying and thinking about you! Tell Jenny please, Kai is done my super awesome at cross country camp and we have been having some awesome God conversations. He said you have told him "use what you have to glorify God" and back at you sister. Hoping your hotel stop will be super awesome and refreshing. No bears!

Sorry you have had to cut your hike short, but it sounds like you did have some good experiences as well. On the plus side maybe we will see you end if May. Sounds like you may have to stick to bike trips.

You made it 200 miles further than I could. Be safe in whatever direction you go. Prayers continue!

WOW! It's an adventure just following YOUR adventure, haha! I'm praying for you--along with many others! Be safe, and enjoy God's beautiful creation!

Hiking the Appalachian trail is like calculus: it may be painful at times, but if you relax and take deep breaths you will be okay. :)

Your views look amazing! Praying for you both. Sounds like food and neat people are great blessings!

Fun to hear that you spent a night at Fontana Lodge. We spent a few nights there on our honeymoon almost 38 years ago. Ha. We thought it was dangerous enough driving the roads around there - can't imagine hiking. Be safe - praying for you.

My hat goes off to you both!! Amazing!! I told Dr. Walsh also when I
saw him last week. He smiled a big grin and shook his head, he thought it
was great also.


Thanks for keeping us up to date. Following along and praying for you both.

Nice hair cut Nancy. Praying for safety and God's presence