We’ve been on the trail for 2 months! and Bland to Pearisburg

Two Months on the Appalachian Trail- wow it’s hard to believe we have been out on the trail for 2 months. The girls are doing amazing. I (Sunshine) am definitely the slowest hiker now. Everyone is fit and seems prepared to handle whatever challenge, terrain or weather, the trail sends our way. The girls are happy and loving all the experiences. Whenever we offer them an “out” they respond like we must be crazy as they are “headed to Maine” (Although Baby Bunny often asks if Maine is just another few weeks away).

It is amazing to me how observant they have become. There is not a centipede, millipede, toad, heart shaped leaf, letter shaped stick, sprouting moss, mushroom, and so so much more left unnoticed.

I’ll give you some of their comments from the month and lessons learned….

I have learned I really only need what’s on my back and how to adjust my pack. I have learned to go into things with a positive mindset or it’s going to be harder. I have learned to not carry things I don’t need. I’ve learned it’s easy to meditate and daydream. Life is easier when you use things to your advantage. I have learned if you’re hungry you should drink water first because sometimes you’re just bored. I have learned that if you think about something good you can keep hiking. If your feet hurt you can still push yourself. I have learned that sometimes it’s better to think of the big picture and sometimes it’s better to think of the small picture. Things we miss range from family and friends to flushing toilets and bathrooms. So many life lessons and more to come ….

Remember the blown out boots we spoke of a post or two ago. Well the van that traveled with Fairy Godmother and G-Bear also brought the girls second pair of boots and warmer weather clothes. (We have 2-3 pairs of boots for each girl in the van prepared for when they wear out of the ones they are wearing.) The new gear was a welcome change.

We returned back south to Bland,VA to start hiking back north in the rain (typical to us leaving town). It will take us 2 1/2 to 3 weeks to hike back north to the Shenandoah. So hard to leave family after such a great visit but also a great excitement to get back on the trail and work our way north.

We made a side trip to Dismal Creek Falls We enjoyed the falls and it was fun to sit by and play in the river. We also got a ride down the road to Trent’s Grocery where we were able to eat a warm meal and return to our tent. (At this point any extra food is always welcome😊)

Hiking along. Singing a song. Spring has finally sprung!

All the girls took the plunge into the pond! The sun has arrived and the water is so welcoming, that the girls took a lunchtime dip in the water before hiking on for the day. These spontaneous moments make us feel so alive.

Yay!! The 600 mile marker (we are close to 700 miles with the miles we completed in the Shenandoah National Park). These have become welcome trail markers now that we are moving a little faster.

Baby Bunny turned 6! This is with great excitement on many levels. First she has now changed her name from “Baby Bunny” to “Sister Bunny” and second this means she is now old enough to summit Katahdin (the final mountain on the AT in Maine). They have an age limit of 6 to complete the climb to the summit.

We woke up, had a birthday breakfast and hiked over Angels Rest lookout and down into the town of Pearisburg. We had prearranged a stay at the Angels Rest Hikers Haven and were more than surprised by the amazing birthday they put together for Sister Bunny. We arrived to balloons, gifts, and the best slip and slide the girls could ask for!!! What a treat. So grateful to all the staff and the hikers that passed before us leaving birthday wishes for Bunny!

Hiking northward …

Happy Trails

Author: Jamie “Sunshine”

To awaken to a beautiful dream one day become reality is the day millions of us wait and hope for. Setting goals and pushing ourselves to the limit, we have all challenged ourselves and our systems of life to see our goals in action. In March of 2019, waking a long envisioned dream, our family of 6 will set out on the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail (AT). The trail covers 14 states and will take 6 months to complete. This dream began over 20 years ago, in 1999 when I set up the Awaking Dreams Fund with the National Brain Injury Association in my brother, Kyle’s name. I raised over $10,000 and set out and completed a thru-hike of the AT. Five years after that my husband, sister and I set out on a thru-paddle of the Connecticut River and raised money for Casa Colinas, a rehabilitation hospital that facilitated outdoor adventures for their patients. My brother, Kyle fought his battle for 20 years and passed away in February of 2017. We will continue to hike in his honor and his name attempting to complete the trail on his birthday. However, this adventure will be of a different caliber, as Chris and I will set out with our four daughters ages 5, 7, 10 &12. I have envisioned this hike since my thru-hike in 1999 when I traveled with a father and his two sons for a few days. The boys were ages 9 & 11. They were adventurous, excited, connected to nature and so curious and educated about the natural world around us. I have long hoped for such an amazing experience for my girls. We have done a great deal of planning, preparing, and talking . . Now is the Time!

2 thoughts on “We’ve been on the trail for 2 months! and Bland to Pearisburg”

    1. Amazing Malone’s! We are all so inspired and proud of you all! Keep sharing all of these life lessons…we are learning along with you. Love all the posts!


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