Hiking with kids- Pearisburg to Daleville

From Pearisburg to Daleville we began to pick up the pace. We passed some of the most photographed and beautiful views in Virginia within a few days. This section also brought me back to some of my favorite spots from my 1999 thru-hike.

We woke before sunrise to hike to McAfee Knob. We arrived just after sunrise and spent the day enjoying views.

McAfee Knob

Centipedes and Millipedes – one of our questions of the day… Why are there more millipedes on the trail now? Do they come out in the spring with warmer weather? For the past few weeks we had only seen centipedes.


Monkeying around over the creek

The innate curiosity of the child is amazing! And it’s always so fun to jump into their world. The two keywords I’ve come to tell those interested in taking their children on the trail are: patience and flexibility. (Yes, these are probably the keywords in all parenting but they especially ring true on the trail)

Very seldom does any noise, centipede, millipede, salamander, newt, slug, butterfly, you name it goes unnoticed. It’s important to take the time to stop and investigate these creatures and wonders of nature. Also every fallen log needs to be a balance beam and sometimes we even stop to calculate the angles of trees to see in what direction they may fall. This takes patience and means a slower pace and often changing the schedule. However, It’s important to us to take the time to honor these curiosities and fun exciting moments. We constantly evaluate the schedule, miles, and timing we have set out to accomplish, as we want to finish in time for the girls to start back to school with their classes.

In Daleville we were so fortunate to meet up and be treated to lunch by a family who hopes to thru- hike with their five-year-old in a couple years. They are advance planning as we did and we know they will accomplish their goal. Way to go families on a mission who are committed to “putting the time in!” On that same note I know we never would have been able to accomplish this if we hadn’t been planning for so many years.

We passed the 700 mile marker! When adding the Shenandoah miles we have made 800+!!

We stopped to get a maildrop in Catawba, and had to hit the all you can eat “Homeplace” restaurant. Everyone loved it and hiked back into the woods with full bellies. Thanks for the hospitality and ride back to the trail.

Tinker cliffs – one of my favorite places in 1999 provided for a great snack and resting spot as we moved along the ridges and views.

Taking time to climb.- Of course it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to take packs off and climb around a bit. These stops are so important and make the girls’days!

We did have our first big fall … Sister Bunny was carrying her stick over her head and looking up at the clouds. So glad we were headed to town and it cleared up within a couple days. Falls happen all the time, and everyone is good at getting back up but we get nervous when they are bigger falls. We were so happy that family back home reminded us of all our childhood falls.

Here we go with many more memories, curiosities, and adventures to come!!!

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!

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