Wednesday, March 12, 2008

When the going gets cold...

...the cold keep going.

There's nothing like waking up in a tent with a bursting bladder only to discover your boots are freezing, the rain is falling, and the wind won't let it touch the ground. Pretty much the only option is to stomp around in your boots, do some jumping jacks and just keep hiking.

This is the thing about hiking in winter months. Maybe you don't think of March as being winter any more than you'd imagine feet of snow in Georgia. But on the AT, weather is crazy. It changes quickly and it precipitates constantly. Those who begin their thru-hike any earlier than March 1st are guaranteed some snow. This is one of the reason's we are very content with our new start date of March 24th.

Back in January, Dustan and his pal Justin Honaker decided to take a little joy-hike up to Mount Rogers. They literally picked the coldest night of the year. Without getting in to their reasoning (or lack thereof) they didn't take a tent. They opted instead for a shelter that didn't keep out the snow, and ended up sleeping halfway inside their backpacks.

I love these frozen-faced smiles...

I think we have most all of our gear. There are a few things that we need for the summer months that we'll probably pick up along the way, closer to Damascus. Like a long, broomstick skirt for me. I've read they are really convenient for women on the trail because they're lightweight, great for going into towns, and quick-drying. We also need insect repellant (like heavy-duty cancer-causing DEET for mosquito and black fly epidemics) and some sunscreen. When it comes to sharing toiletries, the only brand Dust and I can agree on is Burt's Bees, so I'm on the lookout. We're getting ready for our AT night on Monday and Dustan is going to give a little sleeping bag demo. I think he was inspired by his January travels!

Ok, more to come...

Happy Trails!


Anonymous said...

Hey Guys, We are so excited about your big adventure! Bets we are throwing in "Swift Fox" for your trail name. These critters love open spaces and are highly curious. When they shorten your trail name it would be "Hey Fox". How cool is that! Love ya..... JJ&Don

Toni Jill said...

Betsy and Dustan, Good luck on your Trail talk tonight at the church! Wish I could be there! I will be praying for you! Love, Toni Jill

Anonymous said...

Dustin and Betsy, We are so sorry to about your dad, but thank you for sharing your heart about what a great earthly father you had. Your insights have opened our eyes more.(1Tim 4:12) Also Betsy, after reading your complete blog, we can see how uniquely God has equipped you and Justin to be soulmates.
Love from NC
Larry and Sandra

Monica Flores said...

you two are in my prayers. i think you're crazy (the BEST kind of crazy!)

monica flores

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