Great Success!

Sorry for such a late post everyone! We have most definitely finished our thru hike, and on October 10th the weather was really in agreement with our spirits as we finished our 2012 thru hike! Thank you so so much to everyone who has supported us throughout our endeavor. Both at home and throughout the trek.


Summit Day – October 10th, 2012


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Final Blog Post: Monson, ME

We are finally in Maine! Specifically, Monson, ME. The last real town hikers have a chance to pass through before the 100 mile wilderness and finally Baxter State Park. We have about a week left for the entire trip, and are super stoked to finish and be home. Here are a few pictures from the Whites of New Hampshire and the first week and a half of Maine. We’ll be sure to post a summit picture and might have a follow up video soon. See you back in GA!

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Updates from Vermont and New Hampshire


A porcupine Harrison spotted somewhere in VT. These guys are everywhere on the trail, even though you almost never see’em. They’re known for stealing old shoes during the night, and chewing on the fronts of shelters, due to the salt build-up from hikers in both. They’re also a real trouble for dogs, whose curiousity gets them more than they bargain for.



sunset from atop Mt. Greylock, which could actually be Massachussets, I think.


Cooking at the base of Stratton Mtn. with a pretty sweet view.

New shoes, and new gaiters (COD Camoflauge: Siberian)

Hanover, NH is without a doubt one of the greatest towns to spend time in on the entire AT. (above) Many of the establishments give free treats to hikers, including bagels, doughnuts, a snickers bar, and…pizza! (below) A small but devoted group of trail angels and former hikers have teamed up to give current thru hikers a place to stay, shower, and do laundry, completely free. Here we are with John “Bear” Everett, who put us up for a night, and helped us out with anything we needed. Also, a big shout out to Greg Cook, another trail angel who took great care of us (not pictured).

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Sorry for the delay in updates, everyone! It’s been difficult getting access to a computer that can handle uploading pictures, but here in Pawling, NY, we found a great little library. So, to catch everyone up, we are currently heading into Connecticut, which will take about three days to go through, after which is Massachusetts, and then we’ll only have four states to go: Massachusetts, Vermont,  New Hampshire, and Maine. We just got back from a full day in New York City, NY, and can’t believe that we only have about forty days to go before we’ll be back home.












Harrison tackling the “Half Gallon Challenge.” Afterwards, we both had a sandwich and coke.

Spending the night in Palmerton, PA. The town has an old community center, which has bunks in the basement for hikers. For Free (Also, free showers. Excellent.). The group we’ve been hiking with lately includes (Top picture, from left to right) Kim “Loopy,” Patrick “MAC,” and Kari “Snickers”. (Bottom picture) Josh “Chatterbox,” and Harrison “Steel Toe”.

Climbing through the “Lemon Squeeze” in the Northern Section of New York.

Waiting out the rain at one of New York’s many Delis.

Pictures of getting into New York! And, our last bit of time spent at the Pony Bar. Lots of exciting things happened in between, but I think Harrison has most of those, and wordpress is a bit difficult with the uploading process, so we’ll add more later! Thanks everyone for the encouragement and support, we’ll be back before you know it!



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Break from the trail: Washington D.C.

We took a couple days off the trail after breaking the 1,000 mile mark to explore the D.C. area. Here are some pictures from the trip!

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Catch-Up Photo Gallery

Sorry for the delay. Both getting internet and the time to upload photos can be hard to come by out here. We’re just going to throw a bunch of pictures up without descriptions in order to catch up to where we are currently.

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500 mile marker!

Just enough time to give a quick update: 500 miles down! Technically this was a hundred or so miles ago, but we’ve only now had the internet to post it. We’ll be taking some time in Pearisburg, where we’ll post some more pictures. Thanks again to all the support from family and friends!


-Grady and Harrison

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Trail Days festival in Damascus, VA!

Trail Days, the biggest celebration of hiking in the world, was this past weekend, and we hiked right into Damascus for it! This past week and a half have been so fast paced, that we can only mention some of the highlights. Feel free to e-mail us or facebook and keep in touch. We super dig it.

-Grady and Harrison

The Roan Mountain Wilderness, and Carver’s Gap, TN.

Hiking through sunset.

We stayed at this fantastic place in town called “Between the Trails.” The owners Kyle and Pam basically rent this house out throughout the year and come to Damascus once a year, where hikers can tent in their yard for a donation. It was right in town, so not having to walk all the way out to “tent city” was unbeatable. The Damascus First Baptist Church was an incredible resource to hikers during the festival, giving out food, supplies, and providing services such as a foot washing, showers, medical attention, and a home cooked meal (almost as good as back home in GA). Pictured sitting down in the above picture is George “5:30” Mudge.

Osprey showed up supporting their awesome “no questions asked” guarantee. Like most of the companies who showed up, they also repaired gear belonging to other companies, which was super awesome. Nolan Davis of Osprey Packs looked over and fine-tuned the Argon 85 I’m using for our trek. My third Osprey pack, and it’s turned out great so far!

Gregory packs’ founder Wayne Gregory was the nicest guy. While sizing me up with a special pack sizer, he talked to me about the work behind starting a company, the science behind a great-fitting pack, and his love for meeting new people. His crew (pictured below) was friendly and definitely made Gregory look good at the festival.

left to right: Kevin Penley, Grady Garner, George McCloskey, Wayne Gregory (founder), and someone we’ll call “Bright Shirt Man.”

Justin Kline repping my headlamp brand Princeton Tec.

The company I wanted most to be at Trail Days was Big Agnes. A company based out of Steamboat Springs, CO, Big Agnes is a really great and reputable outdoor products company and sells an impressive selection of sleeping bags, pads, and tents (Check out their website here, here, or here). I’m currently using their Lost Ranger down bag, with an insulated air core pad, and can’t say enough good things. Not only did they set up a tent for equipment repair, but they were some of the coolest people to hang out with. Kellie Nelson and Allie aren’t pictured, so they get special mention for being friendly and awesome to hang out with. Be sure to check out their site (especially since I’ve linked everything like crazy). (left to right: “Fix it Man” Allyn Morton, Grady Garner, Glenn Davis (gray), and Chris Daniels (black).

Finishing off the weekend’s festivities was a bluegrass jam on the porch of the house whose yard we tented in. A group of locals, these guys played both traditional songs and some cool sounding originals. And, they let me grab my guitar and join in. All the hikers tented in the area, as well as people who drove in to the festival, spent the last three or four hours of the festival listening to good music, and hanging out with friends, both old trail friends, and newly made friends from Trail Days. A great ending to a great festival in Damascus.

George “5:30” Mudge has all the pictures of us from the two day trail building weekend “HardCore,” which we both did (2500 ft. of trail built in 2 days!), so we’ll have to meet up with him in the next town before we can post anything. Thanks to everyone for their continued support. It’s so incredible to have such loving friends and family, and believe us, the feeling is mutual!

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(Dinner at The Diner with some really cool people (left to right: Harrison, John, “Autopilot”, (Autopilot’s dad), Kyle, Don “Chicken Feathers,” George “5:30,” “Blue Sky,” and Grady).

Today is May 1st, and We’re about to head out of Hot Springs, NC, a very small town famous to hikers as a really hiker-friendly and remote place (in addition to the natural hot springs heated from the Earth’s core.). Now that we’re about 270 miles North of Springer Mtn, we wanted to post a few pictures and explain some parts of the trip. We’ve been making good time so far, and hope to reach Damascus, VA in time for the “trail days” festival (the biggest hiking festival in the world). I think Harrison has lost about 22 pounds so far, and we haven’t quite reached the maximum weight loss phase yet during the trip. Feel free to ask questions to us through either facebook or our e-mail. We love hearing from everyone more than you realize!

(Hutch snapped a pic of us at one of the big sights just out of Franklin, NC) (On top of Wesser Bald with our good buddy Hutch, a woodworking teacher and former wrestling coach (You can hear him talking in the “Wesser Bald” video.).)

(My backpack broke five miles before Bryson City, but luckily I had some great friends who let us spend more time than we originally planned without overstaying our welcome.) Natalie picked us up from the Nantahala Outdoor Center and let us stay with her for a few days, and after introducing her to Thomas, we had a cookout at his place, after which we spent a few days with Thomas and after a backpack repair at the NOC (courtesy of Thomas), we hit the trail again! (left: Natalie and I at Thomas’ after an awesome cookout. right: Thomas dropping us off at the NOC in Bryson City.)

On our way into the Smoky Mountain National Park, we crossed Fontana Dam, a huge government project with an intense law enforcement service and even more intense life rings.

(Harrison found a treepee (get it? like, teepee? nevermind…).)

This is a turkey.

Hitching out of Gatlinburg after a zero day waiting out the snowstorm (John and Grady. Harrison is the photographer.).

1) Hiking in snow in the Smokies = fun!

2) Harrison showing the size of some of the fallen trees and the root systems right on the trail…craziness!

3) John holding up some of the hail we hiked through on our last full day in the Smokies (painful).

While waiting for the backpack part in Bryson City, we decided to switch to a hammock system rather than tenting. Once out of the Smokies we weren’t limited to just shelters.

The first day out of the Smokies, we ran into some awesome trail magic. Former hikers “Ox” and “Rat” hold this annual weekend of trail magic, giving out amazing food to hikers for an entire weekend! This was their 21st year of hospitality on Brown Gap.

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Day 1

After two days of weather-sitting, we’re up at 4:00 to double check our gear and head out.We’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on our whereabouts, and would love to hear from folks about life in civilization (check out the “contact us” section).

Keep in mind that this will be a pretty much “static” website, which means that we won’t be wasting this experience on facebook, twitter, etc. But we will absolutely be checking our trip e-mail (, as well as occasionally (perhaps monthly, maybe less) leaving a message letting everyone know how we’re doing and where we are. We love you all very much and are very thankful for your thoughts and prayers.

-Grady and Harrison

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