We’ve had an update from Ellie and her parents – the family who is hiking on the Appalachian Trail (AT)! Read about their story here:

Where are you now?

We are about to be in Grayson Highland State Park, where the tallest peak in Virginia resides right along the AT! It’s about 150 miles into our journey.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day looks like this: We wake up about 7 a.m. to Ellie crawling all over us in the tent. She lets us know it’s time to go! Then Ellie hangs out with Bekah in the tent and helps pack up everything into our backpacks while Derrick gets the food from the critter hang and makes breakfast.

After we eat, we load up and hit the trail by 9 a.m., right at Ellie’s nap time! We hike as fast as possible while she sleeps so we can cover miles. Then every hour we stop for a 30-minute break to play and eat a snack.

At lunchtime, we take an hour break and sometimes cook a hearty meal. We continue this pattern all day until we reach our campsite, usually by 5 p.m. We set up our tent and the rest of our gear, make dinner and let Ellie play more until the sun goes down.

After cleaning up, we all go to bed together by about 8:30 p.m. After Ellie falls asleep, Derrick and I plan the next day’s route and fall asleep shortly after.

How have your expectations changed since starting the hike?

Our expectations have stayed about the same – staying flexible is always the best way to go!

What has your favorite part been so far?

Our favorite part of the experience has been meeting people along the way. While we are tent camping a lot of nights, we also stay in hostels and with other families some nights, too. We have made many new friends already!

What has Ellie enjoyed?

Ellie enjoys it all! Really, that’s a true answer! By the time she’s tired and done playing, we’re loading back in the pack for her to take a nap. And by the time she’s awake and ready to play, we’re stopping for a break to explore! It’s been a fantastic rhythm so far!

What has been challenging?

The biggest challenge has been keeping a flexible schedule. Between the weather, Ellie’s mood, blisters and crowds, we are changing our plans multiple times a day!

Do you have trail names yet?

Our trail names are Kanga, Roo and Sherpa. I’m sure you can figure out who is who!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask? Let us know in the comments below.

Photos are courtesy of @ellieontheat


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