It rained, it shined, it did every iteration of weather possible. There was even a hail warning on the last night. Once again, the weather at Appalachian Trail Days didn’t put a damper on the music, hiking, or partying. With the weekend starting on Thursday, we chugged through Appalachian Trail Days meeting new friendly faces, catching up with old, and celebrating the trail along the way.
We started the festivities with some Trail Magic on Thursday before the big weekend to catch hikers as they power through the last fifteen miles of trail to get to Damascus, Virginia. Set up on the Tennesse side right beyond the Virginia border, we were able to catch around eighty hikers and brighten their days. For those unfamiliar, “Trail Magic” is a term used for the activity of bringing food, beverages, or other valuable items to hikers along the trail while expecting nothing in return. This year, employees from Blue Ridge Outdoors donated money and the company matched those donations. With close to $300.00, we were able to buy a feast for the hikers along the trail. So many hikers were amazed to see they could make a huge sandwich or munch on fresh fruit. Snowing In Space was also nice enough to donate a bunch of delicious nitro cold brew coffee to help get hikers through the final 14 miles into Damascus. It was the perfect start to the weekend.
The next few days were filled with hundreds of conversations with thru-hikers, day hikers, and Appalachian Trail admirers about the trail, nature, and gear. We held two huge raffles and were able to give a bunch of lucky hikers new poles, new backpacks, new water bottles and so many other great prizes.
We attended the hiker parade to watch as hundreds of past thru-hikers marched alongside those that hiked the same year. Audience members were prepared with water guns and made sure the hikers didn’t get wet just from rain.
Storms rolled through, the sky opened up, and every few hours we got a refreshing rain shower. Luckily our friends at Mountain Sports Limited had an incredible tent set up and kept us safe through the bigger storms.
There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors like Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway!