Welcome. You're about to hop on the Appalachian Trail and become part of the 2009 thru-hike of Chris Hennig, whose trail name was "Feed Bag." While Feed Bag took in all the personal benefits of spending hours alone in the woods (getting in better shape, crying, pondering the meaning of life), there is a purpose greater than that for which he hiked: to make the world a better place for children. And you can be a part of this journey starting now...and help make a difference!

Start Date: 3/29/09 End Date: 9/5/09

If I have Athlete’s Foot, does that mean I’m an athlete now?

Filed under: Blog Posts — chrishennig @ 4:26 pm May 5, 2009

All those years of pressing piano pedals and I never once had peeling, cracking feet. Who knew all it took to become an athlete was hiking 470 miles. Luckily, I still haven’t had a blister. And my feet aren’t really bothering me. They just look like…well, I’ll spare you. I did go to the local RX and buy some cream. YIKES. Who knew being an athlete was so expensive? :) Still loving the new shoes. Montrails!

Sitting in Damascus, VA now. That’s right, 3 states down! No more GA, NC, or TN. The bad news is I’ll be in VA for the next 550 miles. There’s a phenomenon called the “Virginia Blues” because being in the same state for so long can be hard. You miss the sense of accomplishment that comes from so quickly checking off 3 of the 14 states you hike through. Thankfully, the opposite happens after VA; you check off WV and MD within 43 miles. Some people actually attempt a 44 mile/four state/24 hour challenge and hike from VA to PA without stopping. The bad news is you miss Harper’s Ferry, WV, one of the coolest trail towns on the AT.

In other news, it’s now official. I now have a Trail Name: Feed Bag.

I got this name because I carry the top compartment of my pack strapped across my chest instead. I like to carry breakfast, lunch, and snacks therein so that I don’t have to stop and eat. If I do want to stop and eat, I don’t have to dig into my actual pack and find my food. It’s…well…in the Feed Bag. I like the hidden meaning as well; I also feed off of my MP3 player while listening to Scripture, sermons, music, and yes, Jim Gaffigan, all day.

Beard update: it’s coming back wonderfully. Thanks for your concern. I really hated the first week of being clean shaven and bald faced. It didn’t feel like me. I’ve told some of you this, but I’m taking the same picture (almost) everyday of the growth. At the end of the trail, I’ll have 4-5 months of pictures and string them together into a fast time-lapse so we can celebrate its growth together. The only bad thing about it will be you have to look at my ugly mug for a few minutes. Thankfully the beard has become the centerpiece again. :) I imagine the video will be 2-3 minutes long. Let’s think of a song that would be fitting to play in the background while watching the progression. Suggestions?

I’m leaving Damascus bright and early tomorrow. Maybe even this evening if I get all my chores/shopping done. However, I’ll be returning here in 1.5 weeks for the biggest festival related to the AT: Trail Days May 15-17. The TV producer will also be here catching up with each of the hikers participating in the show. And so my next full blog will be from the same town. Don’t think I’ve moved here permanently. There’s no Starbucks here; I’d never move here. :) Actually, In the defense of Damascus, I’m sitting at Mojoe’s coffee house, wonderful iced coffee, great music (bluegrass yesterday, Madeline Peyroux today).

Y’all already know a lot about the AT/World Vision. But I was happy to update the FAQ with your Q’s. Any more?

Here’s the trail report. Thanks again for reading! Exciting news in the weeks ahead; some possible newspaper articles about my hike coming up! More on that…later.

Trail Report:
4/27 4.2 miles, left Erwin, as usual had to leave town. I’m the only one not smoking pot at tonights shelter :)

4/28 17.2 miles, only planned 12.8, took a 2 hr break, then pressed on. Today marks the end of one month = 370.1 miles total. First time sleeping away from a shelter.

4/29 18.4 miles, saw 2 deer! Sleeping in a barn that’s used as a shelter, beautiful view!

4/30 18 miles, windiest morning, left NC for good! Very different after mid-day. More trees with leaves, great smells, amazing Jones Waterfall, staying at a 3-level shelter.

5/1 15.6 miles, staying at Kincora hostel tonight. Good pace today, easier ups/downs. Ate a whole pizza from Little Ceasars.

5/2 17.5 miles, tough day, light rain. Tried double inserts in shoes, heels hurt a bit, but pretty comfortable overall.

5/3 32.9 miles, so tired. Happy to be here in Damascus.

5/4 0 miles!!! Blueberry pancakes @ Cowboy’s, coffee @ Mojoe’s, lunch @ Subway, dinner @ Quincy’s pizza. Staying at “The Place.”

5/5 0 miles!!! Working on blog, considering gear exchange for summer weather.

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