Day One

Day One
March 24, 2018 Heather Starbuck

Today marks the first day of our Appalachian Trail hike. Arriving at Amicalola Falls at 11 AM we hiked 8.1 miles (extra with our dog detour to protect Theo’s feet from some rough stairs) arriving at Black Gap Shelter around 3:30 PM. For those of you who don’t know, my little sister has joined in in the fun for my first 9 days, pretty sure she won’t regret watching me laugh and flail around these first few days.

I’d say the Starbuck sisters definitely started out with a bang. Theo was beyond excited to launch into the trail, so much so that he had his leash fully extended behind us while we tried to take a brief, chaotic photo at the trail head. The photo that marks the beginning of this journey is probably fitting… me, Rachel, and Theo’s butt staring shamelessly at the camera all decked out in our purple bandanas.

Hiking itself was actually not as painful as I predicted it’d be… so far. There were definitely some booty blasters that took me back to Matt and my days climbing the endless staircase that is Sanitas in Boulder. But they always leveled out to a nice flat or down hill to catch a break, which I am incredibly grateful for. We did however discover Theo has a striking aversion to orange… letting out a couple barks whenever he saw someone wearing orange clothes, backpack, pack cover etc. Somehow Matt and I hadn’t thought to socialize our dog to orange I guess. Operation orange ensues. Overall, Starbuck sisters hiking success, check.

Cooking on the other hand… needs some work. First, after putting the lid on the pot, we discovered we couldn’t get it off while the stove was firing and the pot had already heated up to a nice smoldering temp. Trying to figure out how to remove the pot and pry the lid, we reached for a couple objects we thought were heat insensitive. We were wrong. There now may or may not be two nice little holes in the thermos cover. I then almost poisoned us and Theo with packaged chicken that had somehow turned into soup. I’ve never eaten packaged chicken like that so I looked in at the liquidy contents and figured, yea Rachel is damn crazy for liking this stuff, but ok I’ll pour it in to our rice. Praise Jesus she stopped me for I don’t know what happened to that poor chicken in there, perhaps this weird shelf chicken sat too long and turned into murky water, perhaps it was a factory mix up… it will always be a mystery.

Somehow, we survived dinner. And are now all cuddled up in this lil tent. Theo is still rejecting his sleeping bag but I hold out hope. Either way, no one can say I didn’t try to keep him as cozy as possible. Ray and him are currently sleeping like angel babies as we sleep.

Matt would have been having a blast already, I like to think he is with us and probably laughing a bit. Looking forward to where this path takes me, but I wanted to check in to say, yes guys, I survived. One day in the bag, 180 more to go!

Get a Purple Bandana to Support Opioid Recovery