On February 23, 2017, John and I finished the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail. That day the plan was to start at Blue Ridge Gap and hike at least to Bly Gap, just past the North Carolina border. We intended to take some photos of our hike and do a video or two to document our journey. It was a beautiful day for hiking, cool but not cold. If all went well, we knew this would be the day we made it to the border, so we were super excited about completing our goal.
When we arrived at Blue Ridge Gap we met a young female hiker there. We spoke briefly and then she continued on up the trail. We could tell she was a strong hiker because she quickly got out of our sight. We figured we wouldn’t be seeing her again. We were wrong. Just after passing the Georgia/North Carolina border, we saw her again. She had stopped to take a break to rehydrate and to eat a snack. We spoke again and told her we were heading to nearby Bly Gap to see the famous “Gnarly Tree.” She asked if she could join us and we welcomed her to do so. The conversation was flowing so we asked if we could interview her on video. She obligingly consented. You can see the video below.
We asked her if she had a trail name yet to which she replied, “Not yet.” She was wearing a hat with the Superman emblem on it, so we told her we would call her Supergirl. I hope that trail name stuck because it fit her well in my opinion. She started her thru hike on February 18, so this was day 6 of her journey. She was knocking out an impressive 15 miles per day with a pack on her back. She had been contemplating a thru hike for about 4 years, but made the final decision this past summer. I was curious to know why she decided to do the trail alone, so I asked her. She said she would have loved to have a friend or two with her, but they were unable (or unwilling) to take five months off to complete it with her. She decided to do it anyhow. I have to give it to her, she is a braver woman than I am! Kudos to her!
I am always pleased when I see women out hiking in general, but it really excites me to see women taking on the task of attempting to complete a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. I am confident that she will make it all the way to Mt. Katahdin. We pray that she will have a safe, fulfilling journey. Best wishes to you Supergirl!