February 14, 2015

2014 Highlights

A hiking friend recently encouraged me to share some thoughts on hiking 923 miles in 2014.  Most of these miles were day hikes. I hope in some small way my 2014 adventures will inspire and motivate other women to get outdoors and become physically fit through hiking.  

Instead of establishing a mileage goal for 2014, my goal was to concentrate on quality rather than quantity hiking. It's amazing what can be achieved when you focus on the journey rather than the destination. Most of my hikes were in the states of Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, but I was fortunate enough to hike in Utah and Wyoming, too. 

A couple of thoughts before sharing photographs:
  1.  Never hike alone. 
  2.  Keep track of your mileage.  Compose a spreadsheet including the date, trail, etc., or handwritten notes in a notebook or pad will work. 
  3. If you suffer an injury like I did (sprained ankle June 19, 2014), listen to your body and give yourself ample time to heal. Don't rush things.
  4. Learn to backpack--one of my greatest achievements in 2014.  
  5. Surround yourself with others who enjoy hiking. It also helps to hike with others who have more experience and knowledge than you. 
  6. Invest in quality gear: boots, clothes that wick, trekking poles, etc. 
  7. Hiking is my passion; it makes me happy, helps me stay physically fit, and is the best hobby I've ever discovered. 
  8. It helps to have a supportive spouse and family. 
  9. Network and connect with other hikers since this provides more hiking opportunities.
  10. Lastly, enjoy every second on the trail. You never know when an injury or illness will change your life forever. 

January 25, 2014 snow in the Smokies on the Miegs Mountain trail.  

February 27, 2014 at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain, Georgia. 

March 19, 2014  crossing Rock Creek in bare feet, Cherokee National Forest, near Ocoee, Tennessee.  

April 30, 2014 on the Appalachian Trail at Grayson Highlands State Park near Damascus, Virginia. 

May 21, 2014 Rocky Top, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

May 29, 2014  Sundance Resort near Provo, Utah with Mount Timpanogos in the background. 

June 16, 2014 at Carver's Gap in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. 

July 16, 2014  at Chickamauga Battlefield near Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

August 16, 2014  at Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park prior to a Charlie's Bunion and Jumpoff hike. 

September 11, 2014 on the way to Hidden Falls in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. 

September 24, 2014  Clifftops at Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Chattanooga Hiking Club.  

October 4, 2014 on a backpack in Shining Rock Wilderness near Waynesville, North Carolina. 

November 5, 2014  Cumberland Island National Recreation Area near St. Mary's, Georgia. 

December 6, 2014 Pine Mountain Trail near Callaway Gardens, Georgia. 

Here's to a great 2015 

January 1, 2015 backpacking along the Foothills Trail near Whitewater Falls, North Carolina.  



  1. Great suggestions Barbara - I enjoy hiking with you and Reggie. Hope I can be a part of the next 900 miles in 2015. :) Dr Brighteyes

    1. Looking forward to more AT section hiking with you!