Sunday, August 17, 2014


August 15th was always the date, and guess what? WE MADE IT! At 9am on Friday, August 15th, on our 144th day on trail, we completed 2,185.3 miles and summited Mt. Katahdin. We were joined by almost 2 dozen other northbound thru-hikers, many of them friends, but some we didn't know. Lots of champagne was popped, we enjoyed bagels n schmear, we witnessed a thru-hiker wedding proposal, and all in all we took in the perfect weather that the summit provided for us! 

Congrats to Coconut and Spice Kit (the happy engaged couple!), Mosey, SunBear, Windscreen, Brave, Jukebox, Soleil, JPEG, Monty & Alchemist, Tigger, Mambo #5, the Captain, Breakfast, Bones, Sparky, Ferris, and Iron Chef, along with a couple triumphant nameless folks who joined us for a clear day on top of the world!!!



With Mambo! We thought he was a week behind us, so we were excited to see him coming up that mountain.

With JPEG, for some Michigan pride!

Bones (aka Boat, Little Boat, Farts, Puke, Phones, Frogs, Bone, or Julie) and the Captain

They saved the date! 
Breakfast n Bones August 15th!

Bones, Sparky, and Iron Chef all started together in Amicalola on March 23rd, the day before us! Just goes to show some of the magic of the trail--community. 

First attempt. 

Better attempt. These guys made our trip, and it's been a pleasure to have come so far, to have said many goodbyes, to have lived and learned about each other, and to still end our adventure all together as the Likeable Crew. We sure liked Katahdin. 

Giggles and Chuckles, NOBO '14
We did it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Well, here we are, nearing the end of our journey. Before everyone jumps down our throats for our poor updating skills, we'll fill you in on where are heads are, as well as our feet. We've got less than 300 miles left, and at this point, we're a bit worn out, burned out, and tired. But again, just as we said in our last blog post, we're also trying to enjoy every moment. 


Since the beginning of the trip, everyone has been talking up the Whites--"just wait til you get to New Hampshire, it's gonna be harder than anything!," "you might not make it over those mountains," "they're the best and the worst and the toughest and the most beautiful," etc. It turns out that the hundreds upon hundreds of miles we've accrued had only spoiled us, and the Whites were indeed what everyone predicted them to be. We couldn't crank out our usual miles or pace because of the difficulty of terrain and elevation changes, but they were indeed gorgeous. And for the most part, we had great weather! 

Mt. Mousilauke 


Lonesome Lake

Cannon, from Franconia Ridge

And here is the famous Franconia Ridge trail! We had a clear, cool, tourist-filled day.

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) maintains the White Mountain National Forest part of the trail, including the fancy-schmancy high mountain huts, which are essentially alpine lodges. The huts provide an escape from technology in a sense. They have bunks, composting toilets, potable water, and delicious meals, provided by the "croo" of workers. Thru-hikers, if they arrive at the right time of day, can work for stay, doing chores in exchange for delicious leftover food and dry, warm places to sleep! Our buds Bones and Breakfast joined us on this lovely hike up the Presidential Range, all above tree line, on our way to try out work for stay at the Lakes of the Clouds hut. 

We spent most of this evening huddled in a corner so we wouldn't disturb the 96 guests with our stink. We waited until after they ate their meals to devour the leftovers, so we hid to keep ourselves from staring at their food. One woman we befriended the night before was so worried about our nourishment that she tried to sneak us some food. It was a nice gesture, but if you ever have the chance to stay in a hut, rest assured the thru hikers are well fed. 

We didn't actually take a summit picture on Mt. Washington as tradition usually prescribes because a crowd of Boy Scouts was overwhelming us, so here's Breakfast and Bones' modest photo instead: 

It was warm. Clearly. We had a really good view and could see all the way down into the valley, as you can see in this picture. 

(We dress smarter)

Anyway, we made it through the Whites, despite everyone's warnings, and now we're in Maine! Cold, wet, and triumphant, on the way to our final Katahdin summit on August 15th (hopefully)! 

We've been stumbling a lot thanks to slippery rocks, worn out shoes, and simply being tired. Considering Mt Washington was the highest peak til Katahdin, it only makes sense that we will continue to stumble downhill until we get there. We'll do our best to stay upright, but cannot make any promises. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mensches, mitzvahs, and Mishaps

So, we've made it to New Hampshire. A longer blog post is imminent which will adequately cover our adventures over the last month (whoops! We're bado at blogging), but in the meantime, we'd thought we'd share a couple trials, tribulations, and tasty treats that we've enjoyed recently. It's just to let all of you non-hikers out there on the many faces of trail life. 

Lots of funny things have happened as we've bopped from group to group through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, and we've encountered many obstacles as well. But overall, the mishaps and misadventures balance out with the mitzvahs and trail magic of which we've been the lucky recipients. 

For example, Chuckles stepped in dog poo while trying to capture Bones' attempt to "filter right from the source," but the result was super delicious drinking water. 

(Okay, bad example....)

It's also been a tough 1700 miles; we've been physically beat up (to be expected), which means constantly dealing with foot and shoe issues, especially Giggles' left foot, among other injuries. It's just a fact of trail life. 

Giggles is on shoe pair #5, and Chuckles is almost to #4. And that's not counting the hundreds of miles our Chacos have accumulated...

There are other obstacles we sometimes encounter on trail. The most common obstacle, misogyny, is less easy to capture on camera. Our quick wits, sassy comebacks, excellent willpower, and diligence have helped us combat this, however, and the only thing really sassing us petite women back in return are the trees blocking the trail. 

Also bug bites, bee stings, and spider attacks. Those are a thing. We call it preparation for black fly season as we head further north. 

Thankfully, these upsets have not affected our ability to laugh it all off, helped along by some excellent people.
We reunited with our friend Iron Chef in New York, after not seeing him since Tennessee! The mensch even brought us bagels, schmear, and OJ. A breakfast mitzvah! 

He also played with this goose:

Additionally, Chef offered his EMT advice and surgical skills to take a look at and attempt to help drain Giggles' scary spider bite (don't worry Mom/Uncle Keith). It was super professional. 

Obviously pink gloves aid in making any situation more professional. 

We've also recieved some excellent trail magic, such as this cooler full of s'mores, PB&J sandwiches, and snacks! 

Other surprises have been the surplus of wild mulberries, blueberries, and raspberries that we've feasted upon trail side (some trace!, yikes).

The point is that we've learned to roll with the punches the AT swings our way by taking advantages of nature's tasty treats, resting when we need to, laughing with friends, and enjoying our time. The countdown begins to August 15th, our targeted Katahdin summit day! 

More to come,
Giggles n Chuckles

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Checking off states: WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY!

Apologies, dear readers, for we have been SO out of touch. Our excuse for our failure to update the TinyTent is that we've been crushing mad miles in the mid-Atlantic states. So here follows an account of our recent misadventures, in as chronologically-accurate a manner as we can remember...

If you all read our last post, we had happily crossed the Virginia border into West Virginia at Harper's Ferry after Giggles' turn at suffering through the Noro virus...  just in time for her 21st birthday! Her mom, aka Mama Giggles (cuz, duh...) joined us for a week, keepin up with our mad miles, and even joining us on a marathon day. 

We also gladly made it out of the South, crossing the Mason-Dixon Line after ordering celebratory chicken and bacon sandwiches at Penn-Mar County Park. Rumors about how rocky the Pennsylvania section of the AT abounded at this point, with our fellow thru-hikers freaking out about the terrifying geologic obstacles to come. We found, though, that southern PA was actually pretty easy-going, especially when exciting things happened--like crossing the 2014 official halfway point!!!! 

Marked by this teeny sign (above), and this much larger, much less accurate, giant sign (below):

But then things got rough. Even with new shoes, the trail got so rocky and rough (rumors proved true) that our feet were torn up, our bodies were sore, and our spirits were dampened. The week of rain didn't help that much, either....

We enjoyed a nice 24-mile day into Hamburg, PA sloshing through this flooded trail. 

Then, we enjoyed some rocks. 

...and some more rocks. 

The only redeeming qualities of PA were some pretty sweet shelters, like the 501 Shelter, where we ordered pizza and expanded our knowledge of backyard poultry. 

We also got a pick-up for a night in Lancaster with the honorable William Michael Good, who treated us to a free place to stay, excellent company, beer, and homemade cinnamon rolls! But other than that, we were stoked to say "see ya never, bye forever" to Pennsylvania.

Despite our whining, there's always some beauty to be appreciated, and the trail (somewhat surprisingly) got extra lovely in New Jersey! 

NJ started off on a good foot in Delaware Water Gap, which was technically the end of our PA stretch. We snagged some $2.49 hot-dog-and-a-slice-of-pie specials, and ended up staying two nights at a free church hiker hostel for a surprise zero to take care of a shoulder injury Chuckles sustained somehow. With some prescription drugs in pocket, we set off into our 8th state (!!!!!). 

We were reminded of the Adirondacks when we hit Sunfish Pond in NJ, and it finally struck home that the northern terrain was here to stay--yay! 

Jersey also boasted nice, pretty wetlands and boardwalks, well-blazed trails, ice cream pit-stops, and plenty of wildlife sightings, including three bears and a teeny tiny Eastern newt! 

We covered Jersey in 3 days with Bones and the Captain, and then it was on to New York State! 

Unlike its predecessor, NY's trail has proved to be just as our guidebook's author AWOL promised: rocky, challenging, and full of abrupt ups and downs. Fortunately, the fates intervened in our usually difficult-to-nail-down trail schedule, and it turned out Chuckles dad and Bones' friend from Virginia would both be in New York City when we were passing by. So we spent a zero in the big city, enjoying some creature comforts and a definite change of pace. 

We even got in some American history, and of course, enjoyed some excellent New York food and company. It's onward and upward to Katahdin for us--about 800 miles left! We can hardly believe it, but it feels great to be going strong. 

Chuckles and Giggles