AT Happiness: Answering 2nd Graders
Before I left for my hike I went into two elementary school classrooms and talked to them about hiking the Appalachian Trail. The students were great and asked really good questions. They got a kick out of my rain skirt, how I would do laundry and of course the idea of pooping in the forest was hugely entertaining for them.
I’ve kept in touch with them via postcards and today I received a pack of letters they sent me. The letters were wonderful and they once again asked a ton of questions. So here are their questions and my answers.
When will you visit again?
I will hopefully be hiking into the next school year so it will have to be then.
Where are you?
I’m currently in Damascus, VA 468 miles from where I started.
What animals have you seen?
Lots of birds, several snakes, a deer, a fox, a turkey, mice and a mole.
Are you having a great adventure?
Yes I am it has been amazing.
Is anyone being mean or laughing at you?
Everyone has been really nice and friendly.
Have you made any friends?
Yes, I have made several really good friends.
Do you know people in the towns you go to?
Most of the time I don’t, but people are usually very nice to hikers.
How has the weather been?
The weather has changed a lot. We have had nice days, sunny and hot days, I’ve gotten sunburned. Other times it has been cold and we’ve seen sleet and snow. It has rained a lot.
How much money have you spent, are you running out of money?
I have spent about $2000, and I still have enough money for the trip.
Is it noisy when you go into towns?
Yes, a little bit, it is a lot noisier than in the forest.
Can you still walk or are you pooped?
I’m not pooped and am still walking, even though I have hurt my knee. I get tired but I rest up when I go into town.
What is the best thing you have done?
I really loved climbing and being on top of Mount Unaka.
Are your feet hurting you?
At the end of the day after walking 10 or 15 miles my feet definitely hurt.
Do you look funny doing laundry in your rain skirt?
Yes I do.
Are you having a good time?
Yes the trip has been wonderful.
Have you taken a shower?
Yes, I have been getting at least one shower a week.
Is your hammock comfortable?
Yes it has been warm, dry and comfy.
How is the food?
The food has been great both on the trail and in town.
What do you do for entertainment?
I talk with other hikers and sometimes I listen to music in my hammock.
Have you been in any storms?
Yes I have been in a couple of scary thunderstorms and in a rain storm with 40 mile an hour winds.
How many towns have been in?
I’ve been in about 12 towns so far.
When are you coming back?
I will be back in Hudson briefly in July and then will continue walking north to Maine.
Have you seen any boats?
The trail hasn’t been close to any big lakes or rivers so far so I haven’t seen any boats yet.
Did a bear or any other animals steal your food?
No so far I’m the only one eating my food.
Do you hike when it is dark out?
I don’t, but some people do occasionally hike at night.
Have you seen pretty things?
Yes, almost every day I see beautiful things like great sunrises, wildflowers, and neautiful views off mountains.
Is your bag still heavy?
Yes about 35 pounds but it was 42 when I started so it is much lighter now.
Are you homesick?
I miss my family but am having a good time and am not homesick.
What are the mountains like?
They are beautiful and big, some are really rocky and most are peaceful and quiet.
How long is your beard?
Long enough to blow around in the wind and here’s my most recent picture with my friend Might Mouse.
Thank you for your questions and kind words you guys are great!