View Full Version : Holiday experiences on the Appalachian Trail

11-08-2012, 13:37
I've never been on the AT during a holiday, but would like to hear the experiences of those who have; specifically - were you on trail or invited into a home or other venue? What was your Thanksgiving Day like? Christmas? even New Year's Eve! I'm collecting stories for future blog posts and welcome contributions. By the way - may all your holidays bring special experiences and meaning!

All the best,
Wendigo the Windwalker

11-08-2012, 13:55
I've been on various trails during the 4th of July. You can usually hear fireworks and, if you are lucky, you can see them from afar. However, I spent a night alone at the Thistle Hill Shelter, in VT. I must say that it was a lonely and quiet night as I could not see nor hear any fireworks :(

Feral Bill
11-08-2012, 14:24
Very long ago, two friends and I aborted a Presidential Range traverse on Christmas Eve. The owners of the motel we landed at insisted on sharing their Christmas dinner. They were very kind.

11-08-2012, 15:01
Last Spring my wife and I took our 3 kids on a section hike over Easter Sunday. This is one of our family's most important holidays of the year and the kids enjoy the candy too! I was in a bit of hot water with the kids for "taking away their Easter." End quote. For the complete details read the three journal entries beginning here (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=383184).

Long story short, we set out on a 10 day hike that took us over Easter on our second to last day. We started just south of Waynesboro and were hiking all the way down to Blacksburg (Sinking Creek). At our resupply point at the I81 interchange, we picked up a package we mailed down earlier. It was full of the usual resupply goodies but we had secretly packed in some Easter treats and fixins for a special on the trail Easter dinner. The morning after our nero, we pulled out and climbed to the ridge around Carvin's Cove Reservoir and on to Tinker Cliffs and then McAfee Knob. It was a long day but we had planned to stop at the shelter on the North side of the summit approach. But it was already packed with weekenders ready to see the sunrise in the morning. So up and over we went, passing the next shelter and finishing out a 20 mile day at John's Spring Shelter. I was glad for this since I wanted the kids to be good and tired and sleep in the next morning.

The next morning, my wife and I got up extra early before the kids awoke to prepare the kids' Easter "baskets." She had hiked in 3 small solid chocolate bunnies, Cadbury eggs, Peeps and Mike and Ikes as well as very small Easter eggs in which we hid more small candies and money. It wasn't much compared to their usual haul but we figured it would do. We carefully (and quietly) tromped around hiding each child's 6 eggs in hard to find but easy to remember places. Then I set about to making pancakes and cocoa for our morning breakfast. As the kids rose from their bags in the shelter the first thing they saw were their "baskets" on the table. The squeals of delight brought a swelling of joy as we knew our secret hadn't been spoiled. The kids (except for my 12 year old) leapt from the shelter, pulled on their shoes and immediately set to examining their goodies. Once all were gathered, we sent them out for their egg hunt and then all gathered for breakfast. But their Easter magic wasn't done yet.

Later that evening as we approached VA620 we met Moose (not sure which one in case you're here on WB) who, when my son offered him some of his Easter peeps, was compelled to then give him (and his sisters) each a whole bottle of diet Coke. After consuming them, they proceeded to bound up the next climb where we made camp a little ways from the summit and I prepared Chicken Pot Pie for dinner and Cheesecake with Cherry topping for dessert. Heavy, yes but sooooo worth it. With a time for reflection and the admiration of the sunset, we crawled into our bags for a game of Yachtzee and called it a night.

Our next hike is over this Thanksgiving and I've got the kids thinking I'm cooking them Thanksgiving dinner on the trail :p My wife and I have told them I'm dehydrating the turkey and the cranberry sauce and, well, you get the idea. Except that, unbeknownst to them a good friend and his son (whom they all know well) will be driving down to meet us and driving us to get our meal at the Cracker Barrel. Then his son will continue down the trail with us to the end of our hike. My daughter has wanted to challenge the 17 year old son to a long hike to see who could outlast who. This will be one of our best surprises ever.

Lone Wolf
11-08-2012, 15:17
in 2000 we were in Warwick, NY on thanksgiving and went to the Warwick Inn for dinner