During our year of waiting to come out and hike, I occupied myself by reading way too many AT thru-hike blogs and books. Once I had exhausted those, I read PCT and CDT ones. My favorite to read were Wired’s. She posts a recap of the day each night from her tent, so you really get the feeling you’re hiking along with her. I got a lot of good gear and systems ideas from her (pee rag, Dirty Girl gaiters) and her blog was one of the main things that kept me excited about the hike for the year of waiting. She’s done the PCT and CDT and planned to complete her triple crown this year on the AT.
Needless to say I was a little excited that I might actually get to meet her, that we’d be hiking the same trail. She started two weeks after us, but I was sure she’d catch us eventually and maybe I’d run into her. But I haven’t been actively thinking about it because I’m a little preoccupied with our own hike. Really I sort of forgot she’d be out here.
Then. Thursday we were hiking toward our last shelter before hitting Fontana Dam. It was a longer day for us, and hot. Late in the afternoon, I heard someone coming up the trail behind us and stopped to let them pass. I expected it to be a couple we’d passed not long ago pumping water. But all of a sudden, around the corner comes Wired!
I wanted to be cool, so I didn’t say what I was thinking, which was, “Oh my god you’re Wired that is so cool I can’t believe this!!”
She said hi and asked if we were bored with the trail that day. I wasn’t (I’d been listening to music), but we started talking and introduced ourselves. I confessed I’d read her blog (though not how avidly). She was moving quickly, but Eric and I were both determined to keep up with her and find out how the AT compared to the other trails. She appreciated having someone to talk to who could keep her pace since pretty much everyone else was much slower. It was her eighth day on the trail, our nineteenth, and we were in the same place. Just to give you an idea of how fast she was moving.
The last miles of the day flew by without me hardly noticing them. I kept feeling like a good book had suddenly come to life all around me. She even thought she had lost something (a frequent occurrence from the blog) and I had to keep from laughing because it was too perfect. She often talks about who she sees on trail, so Eric and I got to become one of those characters in her post for that day. So cool. She hiked on to Fontana when we stopped, but told us we made her day and hoped we’d overlap again. I seriously doubt we’ll ever catch her again, but I’m so glad we got to meet.
Check out her website: walkingwithwired.com and see her post from day eight ( http://www.walkingwithwired.com/2014/04/day-8-yup-definitely-not-flat.html?m=1). We’re in it, including a story about Learnin’ and a big snake.