Getting Trail Legs in the Appalachian Mountains - #AvoidPollen 2016

April 05, 2016  •  4 Comments

Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60948Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60948Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford

 

"Patch," a farmer from Indiana and thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail, looks out towards the Peaks of Otter from the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of Virginia - devouring a few bagels slathered with peanut butter. “Dinners are ramen and instant potatoes - mix them together. Or mac and cheese and throw in some pepperoni,” explaining his typical sustenance on the trail, “Lots of Clif Bars, dried fruits and Pop Tarts for breakfast. I just snack constantly."

 

Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61086Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61086Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford

 

Yesterday, Patch was 41 days and 740 miles into a 2,190 mile adventure on the Appalachian Trail, the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, ranging from Maine to Georgia. He’s lost 12 pounds since February 23 and is ahead of schedule, now hoping to finish in early June. He is happy to be in Virginia. “You get your trail legs,” he explains, “And Virginia is the state you can do the most miles. I’m doing about 30 a day now. The terrain is not as rough - there are mountains obviously but they’re not as steep. The trails are nicer. In North Carolina they send you straight up and down, over and over."

On my final day of my return leg on the 2016 #AvoidPollen tour of the East Coast, totaling 2588 miles, I ran into Patch just north of Roanoke, VA. The midday sun had warmed the ridge to the low 70's and I had to remove my hoodie, jacket and cap that I began the day with. And even though it looks like the pollen levels would still be atrocious in Columbia, I've got two photo gigs tomorrow - a corporate event and a corporate portrait session. Back to the grind. Photos from this collection were captured in or near the Appalachians from Waynesboro, VA to northern North Carolina. There was little traffic and the driving was amazing.

 

Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60774Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60774Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61105Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61105Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60797Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60797Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61016Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61016Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60817Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60817Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61092Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61092Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61001Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61001Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61117Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61117Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60955Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60955Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61018Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61018Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60767Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60767Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60764Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60764Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60966Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60966Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60778Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60778Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  61037Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 61037Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016  60925Avoid Pollen Travel blog Blue Ridge Parkway April 4 2016 60925Avoid Pollen Travel blog East Coast 2016 - Rhode Island photos 2016
Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford

 


Comments

4.Donna(non-registered)
"Patch" is taking a trip the rest of us can only dream of taking. Glad he can do this while still young and able. Beautiful photography!
3.Grandma Koppenhaver(non-registered)
Thanks for the story and terrific pictures. The scenery could not be better. What a great trip "Patch" is taking!
2.Mark Reed(non-registered)
Thanks, Sean, for the great story and pics about Patches, my son. He's living the dream!
1.Betsy Jagels(non-registered)
I enjoyed your photos and story about Patch. Thanks for sharing these views of the open road....
I enjoyed the early spring photos and story.
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