Sunshine and Balls Countdown to the AT Thru-Hike

Winter flew by at warp speed. It seems like only last week that we were coming home from our epic PCT journey. We will begin our new journey on the Appalachian Trail in only days now.

Sunshine emearced herself in school and violin. She earned a 4.0 GPA this winter, so no one at her school objected to her leaving early to hike again. Her Math teacher is sending worksheets to work on while on the trail. I was offered my most recent job back upon our return from the PCT. I have been working hard including weekends to save up for our AT hike.

Sunshine with some favorite "trail food"

Teresa is finishing up her Masters Degree so she has been working as an intern teacher by day and goes to class in the evenings. Most of her weekends are consumed by homework. Sunshine and Butterfly have been helping with the house work.

We have begun training, but because of our schedules, we have not trained nearly as much as we intended. We are both physically fit so really the only thing we need to condition is our feet.

OPB aired our Oregon Field Guide episode on Thursday March 22nd. It is all about our 2011 PCT hike. If you missed it or are not in Oregon, you can see it at: http://www.opb.org/programs/ofg/

We have all our resupply boxes packed and are beginning to put our gear together. I laundered all our hiking clothes last night and I was excited to see our Darn Tough socks again.  Sunshine has already worn them for 2 weeks of training and school. She has very sensitive skin (you know red heads) and we are pleased to know that they performed better than any other sock in the past with no skin reactions. They really are beautiful works of art, especially the Women’s socks.

Sunshine's new tent by Six Moon Designs doubles as a poncho.

We fly out of Portland on the 31st of March. We have a great friend picking us up at the airport and driving us to the trail. Others already on the trail are reporting warm weather with lots of bugs!

We plan to blog here periodically, but will be journaling daily on: www.trailjournals.com/sunshine2012at

Also, we are helping the non-profit ActiveWater raise money for clean drinking water in Zambia, Africa. We committed to raising $2 per mile we hike, for a total of $4334.  This will provide one clean drinking-water well and several home water filters. So far, we aren’t doing very well with achieving this goal. Please go to: www.active.com/donate/activewaterupick/sunshine2012at
and consider what you can do to help us change/save lives. We want our hike to be about something greater than ourselves this year.

Thank you,

-Balls and Sunshine

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