About the Author, Amy Banuelos: “Hi friends! I’m Amy…an outdoorsy, yet prissy, ice cream addicted, fitness obsessed, adventure seeker. This April, my boyfriend John and I will be attempting a NOBO thru hike on the AT. We are documenting everything from start to finish on our YouTube channel and we’d love for you to tag along!”

We are finally on the Appalachian Trail. Not just for a brief backpacking trip…this is different. This time we are attempting to thru hike the 2,192 miles to Maine. Wow! What a feeling.

It’s been almost a week since we began our adventure. There have been some highs and quite a few lows as well. I’ve been missing my parents and dog a lot. A couple of nights I’ve cried myself to sleep wondering why I am spending so much time away from them. It’s been one heck of an adjustment.

Not only am I dealing with homesickness, my IT Band issue has flared up big time. On our second day, we pushed way too hard and made 16 miles. I was in agony. The third day we had to summit Blood Mountain and to say that descent (and the weather) was brutal would be an understatement. I cried that day too. Thankfully, I decided not to pack my travel size mascara or I’d still have black streaks down my face. 

We decided to stay at the Blood Mountain Cabins after reaching Neels Gap. I needed a break. I rested for 24 hours and bought a brace. The rest was heavenly and the brace has been working amazingly well. In fact, I’m going to purchase another one soon just in case the other leg gives me problems. Although I’ve had some issues, the pain and sadness has been worth it.

To wake up every day in a new place with no agenda or deadlines has been so liberating. Plus I’m experiencing this wild ride with the love of my life and we will continue to head north.