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Trail Addiction

Hello Mountain Shoppers!

My name is Jennifer Pharr Davis and I am stoked to start this blog.  I am a Southern girl, born and raised in Western North Carolina.  I currently live in Asheville (which is hardly your stereotypical southern city), and I would tell you how wonderful it is, but I don’t want everyone to move here… so suffice it to say – it’s okay.

The best part about the Southern Appalachian Region is that there are trails, lots of trails, which is good because I am ADDICTED to backpacking, hiking, and trail running.   And therein lies the premise of this blog.  We – you and me – are going to build a blogging relationship based on a love for the trails and spending as much time out in the wilderness as possible.

On the AT in Maine.

On the AT in Maine.

I have a lot of stories and lessons that I want to share from my time on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Colorado Trail, Long Trail, as well as hiking on six different continents.  However, as you read those stories you will want to keep in mind a few details.

1.  I am a girl.  And girls can sometimes be irrational and melodramatic, especially after a long day on the trail when their blood sugar is dropping.  I am currently 26, but I started hiking long-distance trails on my own when I was 21, and we all know 21-year old females are strange, nonsensical beings.  I guess what I’m trying to say, is that there will be times when it’s okay to laugh at me, not with me, but at me.

2.  Another important consideration is that when I started backpacking, I didn’t know squat about the wilderness or long distance trails.  Before I hiked my first long distance trail, the longest that I had ever been backpacking was ONE night.  There are a lot of technical and life-lessons that I learned on the trail.  So bear with me and don’t be too judgmental if I seem oblivious on my early expeditions, and in return I promise to try and relay some of the important and often humiliating lessons so that you can learn from my mistakes.

The Appalachians in NH

The Appalachians in NH

3.  Sometimes I go fast.  A lot of the times I go really slow, but sometimes I like to go fast.  I have completed most of my trails as traditional thru-hikes, but I do currently hold the unsupported record on the Long Trail and the Women’s supported record on the Appalachian Trail.

Now, don’t get all hussy, and think that I am some Type-A athlete that is trail bagging and doesn’t take time to enjoy the scenery…  “ERONEOUS!”  It’s just that I really like hiking all day, everyday, without breaks or interruptions.  And let’s be honest, someday my husband and I want a family, and there will be no speed hiking with babies on the hips… so if I want to repeatedly hike from dawn til dusk, now’s the time… right?  I figure I have the next 50 years to average 1-2 mph.

AT Blaze in the Southern Blue Ridge

AT Blaze in the Southern Blue Ridge

4.  It’s okay if you don’t like me or don’t agree with what I say.  Some of the material I write will be helpful for some folks and not others.  Hopefully, you will be able to pick up a few tips and hints for backcountry travel in this blog.  But regardless of what information you use and what opinions you form, know that I would lay my body in front of the wilderness to protect and preserve it.

All right, that’s the preface for this thing.  I’m looking forward to next week when I can dive into my first thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail as a 21-year old female and you can see for yourself just how inept I was back in the day.  So until then, remember: you are never too young to set goals and you are never too old to dream dreams – I made that up… catchy, corny, and totally TRUE!

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