Now that we are past the initial budgeting stage, we are trying to see how to logistically do the thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. Our idea, after many interactions on different social media forums, is to drive Jake’s SUV to Georgia and leave it in the long term parking lot at Amicalola Falls State Park. The annual pass is only $50 and with it, we can leave our vehicle there for the duration of our thru hike. We know the potential issues with and possible solutions are:
Tire rot – we will risk it for the 6 months
Mice – steel wool in the tail pipe
Storm damage – liability insurance
Dead battery when we get back – add road side assistance to our insurance plan
Break-ins – we will risk it, it is an old vehicle and nothing of value will be left in it.
Our BIG challenge is how to get from Baxter State Park in Maine back to Jake’s vehicle in GA. We don’t want to take public transportation because of our dog Sammy. One idea that was suggested to us was to see if any south bound (SOBO) thru hikers will want to drive the vehicle up to Maine when they are done. This would be the best option because we could just pay for their gas and then they would have a free ride back up to Maine. The issues with this option is:
Timeline for when most SOBO finish (October/November)
Who would actually need to go back to ME unless they are from there
Insurance issues with them driving our vehicle over 1,400 miles
Where to park the vehicle once it is in ME
I am in conversation with a couple guys who are from Maine who may be able to help us make this work. So I am very intrigued to see how this could happen!
If this doesn’t pan out we will just rent a vehicle and drive down to GA. We just need to figure out how to get from Baxter State Park to the rental car place!
Another big issue is the best way to take care of Sammy on the thru hike. My parents have already volunteered to take care of Pippe (our four year old Labrador) so she will be well loved and cared for while we are gone! We spoke with the vet the other day in regards to health, injuries and any vaccines before we go. We will get Sammy snake venom vaccine/booster and he will have tick care as well. We will use Frontline (topical) or Nexguard (oral), and we plan to purchase very high protein dog food for him and some snack bars. He will also need booties, a down jacket and rain jacket. He has no fur so hiking all day with no rain jacket would be miserable for this little guy if it was storming days on end! He will also have his own pack but he can only carry about 11-15% of his body weight so that won’t be much, but it will lighten our load some.
The above challenges have really been keeping us busy this week doing research and speaking with people that have thru hiked with a dog before. We are getting the detailed dialed in and can’t believe we are actually doing this! So exciting!
Still no trail names chosen!
Blog post written by:
Amy and Jacob Karras
For the love of travel and new adventures, we live our lives for the next dream fulfilled!