Hiking With The Ellis's 2017

User: StevenEllis
Dates: 17 Mar 2017 - 19 Aug 2017
Duration: 5 months
URL: http://TrackMyTour.com/md14D

Appalachian Trail hike 2017 GA to MA

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 11:36

Mile 1024---we had quite a surprise at breakfast today in our hotel---all of a sudden my wife says "Cricket"---yes, Cricket the lady who was airlifted out on 4/7/2017 with hypothermia from the Smoky Mts. was in the same motel with us---she was planning her finish to the trail up to Harpers Ferry---Nancy was crying as she was our friend that we hiked with for a while---nice to catch up with her and share memories---it was like the perfect finish to our trip ---(picture) you will see these two strangers in a few days so beware---we will take the Amtrak train home tomorrow night from Harpers Ferry---pray for a safe trip home---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 19, 2017, 3:36 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 19:22

Mile 1024---we made it to Harpers Ferry about noon---we had rocks almost the whole way ---Nancy fell once again ---the trip is just too tough on Nancy and our phone stopped working so I think it is time to come home--we have completed the southern half of the hike and I won't have to worry about our health from falling on slippery rocks ---the Amtrak train goes right to Chicago from Harpers Ferry so it is a good fit for us---we will take a couple of days off then come home---the picture is of the two men who helped Nancy yesterday--thanks for all your prayers for us ----OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 11:22 p.m.

Thursday 17 Aug 2017 12:16

Mile 1013---today we finished up the Roller Coaster---very tough and rocky ---the picture shows Nancy's displeasure of the morning---at one point Nancy was stressed out at going down one steep descent and two pilots had to use their charm and psychology to help her out---Nancy misses Jenny as she wouldn't listen just to me ;)!!!---when we got to our shelter it was very cool and we had the whole shelter to ourselves---the only bad part was that the water was a .25 mile down the hill---keep praying for good future decisions---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 17, 2017, 4:16 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 19:56

Mile 1,000---we made it to mile one thousand and we had to work for it as we hiked 15 miles today and the last 7 miles were the first half of what they call the Roller Coaster on the AT---it was very rocky and treacherous according to Nancy's words---she had a few scary moments going down some steep descents---we both fell once today again but no injuries---it was so bad a one point that Nancy wanted me to find a road and go home---now that she is safe in her sleeping bag, she once again is ready to hike another day---keep praying for our safety and courage to walk the steep hills as we are older and sometimes the footings are scary---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 11:56 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017 19:38

Mile 984---it was tough to start today after a day off ---especially as we were starting by climbing and it was also drizzling ---we had a couple of tough climbs and only met 4 other people all day until we got to the shelter---the picture is of our snack time after sweating like pigs going up the last hill before the shelter---we had our Snickers bars---when we got to our shelter it was a four man octagon shape and kind of dirty---one of the hikers there didn't want to stay in the shelter and went to find a camp site---he found more than a camp site ---he found a brand new shelter we did not know about ---so needless to say we are all enjoying the new shelter free of little animals and holes in the walls---keep praying for our safety as I fell flat on my face today and would you believe it was on a part of the trail where there were no rocks---so, no owies for me---praise the Lord!!!---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 11:38 p.m.

Monday 14 Aug 2017 17:33

Mile 969---zero day ---ate a lot of junk---watched tv---went shopping---ate out---nice to relax ---thanks for your prayers---back on trail early tomorrow morning ---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 14, 2017, 9:33 p.m.

Sunday 13 Aug 2017 22:04

Mile 969---we finished the Shenandoah NP today by getting lost---it was only about a quarter of a Mile but it was all downhill and that irritated us ---(the picture is of an overlook on one of the last times we crossed Skyline Drive that goes through the park)---then at the north end of the park there was a horrible decent that locals called stairway to heaven---so the end of the day was not too happy---we got a ride into Front Royal, VA and are staying at a Quality Inn---we did our shopping and our laundry and pigged out at a Chinese restaurant---we will take a zero tomorrow as Nancy did 108 miles in the past 7 days---almost halfway :)!!!--keep praying that we make good decisions ---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 14, 2017, 2:04 a.m.

Saturday 12 Aug 2017 18:08

Mile 956---we had a great hike today---hamburgers and blackberry milkshakes by 10:30 am after 7.5 miles---Nancy was having a great day today when we got to the shelter for tonight as we were the first ones there---within a half an hour there were 10 hikers there and 8 of us were through hikers ( picture)---6 of them were south bounders--- only us two were north bounders ---can't wait to hear all the snoring tonight---I hope, I am not one of them :)---keep us in your prayers---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 12, 2017, 10:08 p.m.

Friday 11 Aug 2017 18:44

Mile 943 ---today we must have walked on rocks all day---the worst was coming down the 1.5 miles from Mary's Rock---worst down hill ever for sore feet---we saw another bear today but he ran the opposite way down the trail when he Nancy---the picture is of Nancy on top of Little Stonyman Cliffs ---beautiful views but stony---we saw two 10 point bucks ---must have been twins---I tried to take Nancy out for breakfast this morning to this fancy restaurant ---she refused---found out later they had an all you can each buffet for $12 each:(---Nancy also got stung twice today but is doing fine now ---keep praying for our safety---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017, 10:44 p.m.

Thursday 10 Aug 2017 18:15

Mile 927---the picture is Nancy overlooking the Shenandoah Valley---we had a short day today with a lot of rocks and were able to have hamburgers and shakes at a wayside a half mile off the trail and get an extra day of food so we can finish the Shenandoah National Park by Sunday---we saw a mama bear and two Cubs today ---mama didn't want to move so we had to wait her out ---then just before we got to the shelter we saw another cub---we are in bed by 6pm so we are getting some rest---thanks for reading our blog and praying for us----OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 10, 2017, 10:15 p.m.

Wednesday 9 Aug 2017 21:25

Mile 916---today was a beautiful day for a walk---low humidity and cooler---last night we were snug in our sleeping bags as the temperature dropped---we reached the 900 mile mark today (picture)---we found water just before we ran out and our shelter which was listed as unreliable had water---can't survive without it---Nancy did fantastic on our second 21 mile day---she got tired on the last climb but we made it to our shelter by 7:15 pm---almost a 12 hour hiking day---thanks for your prayers for our safety----OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 10, 2017, 1:25 a.m.

Tuesday 8 Aug 2017 18:57

Mile 895---After a big hiking day yesterday the legs were a little tired for climbing---no rain, so every thing was able to dry out---we are in bed by 6 pm so you know it was a good day for us---the picture is on the top of Black Rock Mt ---hard to see just how much rock is really on top---there are copper heads living under the Hut ( shelter word in Shenandoah) ---so we are tenting again tonight---Nancy is missing Jenny's motivational techniques, so I guess I will need to think more like a girl ;)---we saw a cute bear cub today but no mama---a man who was a little ahead of us and coming back toward us had to deal with an aggressive bear 5 minutes before we arrived---praise the Lord we didn't meet up with that bear---keep praying for our safety and the ability to make wise choices---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 8, 2017, 10:57 p.m.

Monday 7 Aug 2017 21:24

Mile 882---well Jenny went home so Nancy took over the navigation job---since there was no water after 8 miles, she decided to push to the next source bringing our mileage for the day to 21 miles---Nancy pushes harder than Jenny ;)---we paid for it though as I am writing this blog after 9 pm---let me tell you about the day---we were on the trail before 8 am---it started pouring at 8 am until about 11 am--needless to say we were soaked---then it drizzled until about 2 pm---as long as we kept moving we were warm---when we finally got to our shelter, we found out it had rats and snakes so we had to put up the tent for Nancy's sake ---the only place to put up a tent was on some rocks ---so thankful for air mattresses ---Nancy got the chills so I went to get her winter coat---it was soaked ,so I gave her mine---I had put the coats in the wrong place in the backpack , so it was my fault---keep praying for our sanity at times when we need to think more clearly----OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 8, 2017, 1:24 a.m.

Sunday 6 Aug 2017 19:34

Mile 861---we said good-bye to Jenny this morning---she made it home safely--we thank the Lord for her safe flight---we are taking a zero day today---Nancy is now in charge of the daily schedule so we will see what happens---Jenny will be missed---she motivated mom more than I can ---I am too soft on her :) ---we are going out to an all you can eat Chinese restaurant tonight---Nancy's favorite---keep praying for our safe travel---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 6, 2017, 11:34 p.m.

Saturday 5 Aug 2017 17:37

Mile 861---today we had a nice day ---we finished by 3:00 pm---got a shuttle to Waynesboro---in a Quality Inn by 4:00 pm---we got to watch the Cubs---Jenny got her plane ticket and a shuttle set up to take her to the airport---we will struggle a little without Jenny as she liked to plan the day for us and brought a lot of energy to the trip ---Nancy will take that job over ;)!!---we will be taking another zero tomorrow as we get ready to hike the Shenandoah -National Park---the picture today is of ruins of old stone houses along the trail---keep praying for us as we continue without Jenny---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 5, 2017, 9:37 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 19:55

Mile 848---the picture is from our campsite just before the rains came----we only did 14 miles today but it took us 12 hours ---we had steep Climbs with rocks and then the rest of the way also had so many rocks it was hard to do more than a mile an hour---water was scarce today too, but a couple celebrating their 43rd anniversary gave us water and some probiotic juice ---then another lady saw us trying to get water from a spring that Jenny was trying to open up and gave us her last two cups in her bottle as she was headed home---Jenny got to interact with a Timber Rattler today and was able to get by it and take a picture ---both mom and Jenny fell again on the rocky path, but are ok--our feet are very sore tonight---we are stealth camping near Humpback Mt and it is raining---we will go to a Motel tomorrow in Waynesboro VA and work at getting Jenny to the airport to come home--thanks for your prayers as God supplies all of our needs each day ---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 11:55 p.m.

Thursday 3 Aug 2017 20:29

Mile 834---we hiked up "The Priest" today (picture) and went down a 4 mile hill afterward---"The Priest" is a shelter at the top of a mountain where hikers write in a journal and confess things they have done on the trail---Nancy was pretty tired to start with so it was a long day for her as we had to end with a two mile climb up to our shelter---we had a nice encounter last night from a young man named " string bean" (Trail name)---he came in at 8:30 pm and we asked him how far he had walked that day---his answer was 47 miles---what---turns out he is attempting to break the record of 45 days or so for unassisted hiking of the Appalachian Trail ---just to put it in perspective ---he has been on the trail for 18 days and we doing the same route have taken 73 days---wow---he also has the record for doing the Pacific Coast Trail assisted---getting back to the family Jenny had a bad fall today and we had enough bandaids to take care of her---keep praying for our safety as we have a tough and rocky climb over a mountain they call "Three Ridges" where it is easy to fall ---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 12:29 a.m.

Wednesday 2 Aug 2017 19:23

Mile 820---today we had to catch a shuttle 9 miles back to the trail from the hotel at 7 am ---we all almost threw up as the young man sped around the curves up the mountain road and up above the clouds to the sunshine ---he got us up to the trail in about 20 minutes even with all the logging trucks---we started with a steep 3 mile climb with Jenny leading (picture)---when we had walked about a quarter mile, I had the funny feeling a bear was near---so I verbalized this to Nancy and she stops and turns around and there was a bear cub---we look for the mother bear but she was no where to be found---so we just scared the bear off and continued hiking--- later on that day we met a Cubs Fan that was hiking our way, a 33 yr old young man :)---he is staying at our shelter with us tonight---we are having nice weather so the nights are cooling down---pray that we are able to work out the details for Jenny getting off the trail to come home for work when we get to Waynesboro , VA this week end---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 2, 2017, 11:23 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Aug 2017 17:22

Mile 806---we broke the 800 mark and are taking a Nero Day (close to zero)---we got a 9 mile shuttle ride into a Budget Inn in Buena Vista, VA---after we got settled Nancy and Jenny both got a Foot Long Sub for lunch and I got two Whoppers and each of us had a milkshake too---took showers then hopped a city bus to a Food Store---then packing our resupply and Laundry before supper---seems like we work all day no matter if we are hiking or not---(picture) we also walked along a river where freed slaves were share croppers and some of the settlement can still be seen---big climbs tomorrow so pray for a good night sleep for us so we are ready to climb---OPWAM

Posted: Aug. 1, 2017, 9:22 p.m.

Monday 31 Jul 2017 19:28

Mile 799---we had three long climbs early this morning and the cooler weather has been a blessing the past two days---Nancy seems to do very well on climbs but still is a little nervous on the rocky downhills---Jenny fell today and hurt her arm but seems to be ok now as she is laying down to rest for the night ---we had beautiful views on our climbs today too---the picture is of a monument that is on top of Bluff Mt----a young 4 yr old boy wandered away from school in 1890 and they found his body 7 miles away on top of the mountain where the monument is located---we also met a snake on top of the mountain---so we decided to eat lunch further down the hill---Jenny also visited a haunted shelter today and signed the registration book and then ran back to the trail as she spotted a sleeping bag laid out for the ghost as no one was there---we are stealth camping by a foot bridge and stream for the night---it is a warm night so no fly on the tent tonight ----tomorrow is a short day as we resupply in Buena Vista VA , pig out and sleep in a motel ----keep us in your prayers for safety and to get us ready for Jenny leaving us soon---OPWAM

Posted: July 31, 2017, 11:28 p.m.

Sunday 30 Jul 2017 8:11

Mile 786---the picture today is by the Blue Ridge Park Way and as you can see we are above the clouds----we went from 4500 ft down to1000 ft ---"I hate rocks" is a fairly heard statement these days---boy do they get in the way of a nice walk---last night was a cold night---we are glad we still have our sleeping bags as we were cold and wet---the man next to Nancy snored all night and she did not have a good night sleep ----she was tired most of the day but still put in 16 miles---what a trooper---while Jenny was waiting for us a big black snake decided to pay her a visit ---she ran and some how lost her dirty clothes bag---she lost her favorite socks---oh well---everyone is in bed now (7:00pm) and we have the shelter to ourselves---which is good---keep praying for our safety and health---OPWAM

Posted: July 30, 2017, 12:11 p.m.

Saturday 29 Jul 2017 10:05

Mile 770---today some men tried to change Nancy's Trail name to Rocky or Stone Crusher or Bruiser but she would have nothing to do with it ( picture) ---remember she fell and hit a boulder yesterday----but she wanted to keep ---Shake-A-Nanny---this morning before we left I told Nancy and Jenny that we were going home as we can't keep putting mom in danger---mom would have nothing to do with it---total mind change from night before---so we left at 7:30 am for a mostly uphill 14 mile hike---then the cold rains came ---so we were wet and cold the rest of the day---Nancy never complained and we made it to our shelter by 5:00 pm---keep praying for our safety and health---OPWAM

Posted: July 29, 2017, 2:05 p.m.

Friday 28 Jul 2017 11:48

Mile 755---we were having a nice cool hike this morning up to the Blue Ridge Parkway---then all of a sudden Nancy slipped on a rock and buried her left eye cheek bone on a small boulder as the momentum of her pack knocked her down---I rushed to help her fearing the worst---no cut, but she has a nice shiner to show for it---(when we got to the campsite we had a nurse look at it to see if she needed some more medical attention ---but the nurse said just ice it) ---so we walked in the rain the rest of the day ---Nancy's new shoes began to bother her so we taped up her foot---she wasn't having a good day---we only had 3.2 miles to go to the campsite with a promise of cheese burgers and milkshakes---we gave Nancy a few minutes head start for motivation and she beat me to the road to the camp---I was sweating like a pig but could not catch up---she wanted some food!!!---keep praying for our safety and decisions about how long to keep going---OPWAM

Posted: July 28, 2017, 3:48 p.m.

Thursday 27 Jul 2017 17:44

Mile 739---we finally got our phone to work again and got it updated at a store---Jenny worked tirelessly on the phone and discovered we had to clear the trash to make more room for pictures etc. ---when we left the motel the old people were still tired---so as you can see from the picture everyone was asleep in the shelter by 2:30pm---it was just what we needed ---extra rest---the water sources are getting more spread out so we found a source over a half mile before the shelter and filtered 8 liters and carried 4 more unfiltered liters to the shelter---I as the man was going to carry the extra 8 litters but a woman (Jenny) swooped in and picked up the 8 liters and carried them all up hill to the shelter as the temperature dropped and a storm moved in---Jenny has never liked storms so even with the extra 16 lbs of water, she beat us to the shelter---the nap was great---Nancy is now on her second nap at 5 pm---keep praying for our health and strength---OPWAM

Posted: July 27, 2017, 9:44 p.m.

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 - 19 Aug 2017
Duration: 5 months
URL: http://TrackMyTour.com/md14D

Appalachian Trail hike 2017 GA to MA

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Wow what a trip you two (and sometimes 3) went on!!! I loved reading about it. You 2 are great adventurers! So glad you made it safely home!

We're proud to know you two brave and adventurous souls!!! We're also glad you are coming home. Will look forward to hearing some stories!!!

Wow - over 1,000 miles. Can't wait to hear your stories in person. So thankful that God has been protecting you. It will be great to have you home again.

It's been so exciting to watch your travels on the AT. Impressive trip and so inspiring, We continue to pray for a safe journey home. Looking forward to seeing you in person and hearing more about your adventures.

I have really enjoyed living vicariously through you--I'm exhausted, haha! What an adventure. Continuing to pray for your safety. <3

It has been fun following your impressive journey. Congratulations on your accomplishments. I especially was fond of the time you spent hiking with Jenny. What special memories! God has truly blessed you with agility and stamina to participate in such an adventure! Great job!

Amazing trip. Your perseverance is beyond belief.

You are sure astounding in your persistance!!
Good job, keep it up. I hope you are able to go a long
way!! Hope the new shoes fit good.

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