Craving Dole Whip

Disney & museum obsessed, homeschooling mom of 3, parenting to focus on experiences, not possessions. Sharing Disney tips, educational adventures and a few reviews. Constantly craving Dole Whip.


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4.2 Mile Hike On The Appalachian Trail–Experience Adventure 23 of 100

 

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Discovering the Appalachian Trail meandered right through the “home base” of our 6 month sabbatical immediately drove me into an obsessive search to learn as much as I could about the famous hiking path.  Several months before we moved to Carlisle, I joined a few Facebook hiking and/or trail groups, read several books on the subject and like always, conducted hours and hours worth of online research.

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I don’t know what it is, but the trail calls to me.

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When the first day with temps in the 60’s finally arrived, my family and I experienced our 23rd of 100 adventures–a 4.2 mile hike on the magnificent Appalachian Trail, the longest, hiking-only trail in the world. (It will not be our last!)

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The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) welcomes an astonishing 2-3 million visitors a year.  First proposed in 1921 by a regional planner named Benton MacKaye, the famous route began with volunteers linking existing trails to create one, long continuous footpath.

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In 1925, a group of 24 supporters created the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) to protect and maintain the path. 

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Completed in August of 1937, the 2,190 mile long Appalachian Trail winds through 14 states, 8 national forests and 6 national parks.  The trail begins in Springer Mountain, Georgia and concludes in Mount Katahdin, Maine.  It is marvelously beautiful, even on a rare warm day in the middle of winter.

**Fun Fact:  Earl Shaffer, a WWII veteran from Pennsylvania, was the first reported person to hike the entire trail in a single journey.  He completed his first hike in 1948, as a way to cope with returning home from the war.  Mr. Shaffer also finished continuous hikes in 1965 and in 1998, at the age of 79.

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Hiking experiences are divided into three main descriptive categories:

  1. Day hikes
  2. Multi-day hikes
  3. Thru-hiking (walking the entire trail within one calendar year)

Our quick 4.2 mile hike obviously represents a very small “day hike”.   🙂

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**Fun Fact:  Thru-hikers make up nicknames called “trail names” and rarely use their real names when meeting other hikers on the trail.

2″ x 6″ white rectangles called “blazes” found on trees, posts and rocks mark the sometimes treacherous path of the Appalachian Trail.

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Blue rectangles mark trails to shelters built and maintained by volunteers to give multi-day and thru-hikers respite from extreme weather and exhaustion.

**Fun Fact:  In 1968, the National Trails System Act became law, making the Appalachian Trail the first national scenic trail in the United States.

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Most thru-hikers finish the A.T. in 6 to 9 month, but the quickest was completed in just 46 days.  Anyone who completes the trail, in any combination or manner, earns the title of “2,000 miler”.   The oldest 2,000 miler was 82 years old–the youngest, just 5 years.

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Between the years 1936 and 1969, 59 recorded completions were documented and only ten people finished the trail in 1970.  7,418 hikers reported completions between 2010 and 2017.

**Fun Fact:  About 29% of A.T. hikers are women.

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Access to the trail varies, but we drove to an area that provides parking.  We left our car behind, wore comfortable shoes, carried lightweight jackets and water and began our first exploration of the peaceful, mostly undisturbed, natural and historical Appalachian Trail.

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail fueled my spirit with a complete and calming submersion in the wonder of raw nature, a tranquil experience that planted an essential seed of eager desire to return for more.

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I am currently researching the 14 state challenge and thinking about adding it to my bucket list.  🙂

For more information, visit The Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Recommended books:

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods on DVD

 

Why are we attempting 100 adventures?  Read this!

Looking for fun things to do in Virginia?

Check out:

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Maymont

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow Sledding–Experience Adventure 10 of 100

Friends, it is COLDDDDDDD outside!

BRRRRRRRRR…

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Most of the country’s temperatures reached record lows this week and ironically, we experienced a snow day in Pennsylvania on the same day our hometown in Texas shut down due to ice/sleet/slurry/snow.  CRAZY!  CRAZY!  CRAZY!!!

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Do you like my new cozy Darth Vader snow boots?

 

My daughters and I only call Texas home.  It is all we know.  Relocating to PA for 6 months–during the winter–is a super big adventure (and adjustment) for all of us.  We continue to learn new things every single day!

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Obviously, the Gulf-Coast region of Texas misses out on all of the winter fun celebrated by children in the northern states.  My kids know about humidity and heat strokes, sunburns and sunscreen, hurricanes and flooding, mosquitoes and butterflies, and we often swim on Christmas day and wear shorts in February.

Snow???  Well…we are learning…

 

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So, for our 10th experience adventure, we did something the girls have never, ever done!  We went sledding!

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My husband was born in Ohio, moved to Texas, and then relocated back to Ohio for high school.  He attended college in New York and has lived in all kinds of snowy-wintery places (including Germany!)

He likes adventure and he knows his sledding stuff.

 

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We left for the snowy hills of a fairground parking lot as soon as he got home from class.

 

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Snowwwwwwww much fun!  (See what I did there?!?)  HA!

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This counts as homeschool PE, right?  LOL

But, seriously, I had NO IDEA how challenging it would be to walk up that hill over and over and over again!  The struggle was real, people.

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YIKES!  We counted it as our exercise for the day.  I mean, come on…we were SWEATING!

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SUPER FUN–So much fun, in fact, the girls went sledding two days in a row!  I think it is our new favorite sport!

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To warm up, we visited Denim Coffee for a yummy hot chocolate and a DELICIOUS, LIFE CHANGING corn cookie.  Yep, you read that right!  CORN COOKIE.  

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Made with grainy, yellow corn meal, the cookie was salty and sweet and savory and delicious and everything I hoped it would be!  I plan to return for another one very soon.

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We also found two of those Pennsylvania Historical Markers that we first learned about at the Farm Show.  Click here to read all about that experience!

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Denim Coffee is located at 1 S. Hanover Street, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 17013.

For more information, visit their website by clicking here. 

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Historical Marker program, click here.

Why are we doing 100 adventures?  Read all about it here!

Traveling to Houston soon?  Read this!