Thru-Hiking: It Takes A Village


We’re currently sitting in Hot Springs, North Carolina – just shy of 300 miles in – and we can’t help but feel that we are sitting here because of all of you

When we started this thing, we knew that we would be needing help from the people around us, but we truly had no idea how much help we would be needing! It’s hard to describe, honestly, but every person has helped us in some way; even just through reading our blogs or liking our Instagram photos. 

•••

Our families have been lifesavers so far. I mean, the list of things they have done for us so far is so stinking long that I don’t know how to even acknowledge everything! There’s Janine and Ash opening their home up to us spontaneously and graciously, my parents committing to sending out all of our food boxes, Karol organizing a family trip to see us in Gatlinburg, the Greenhaw’s doing absolutely any and everything they can to come see us and take care of us… Even things like the coordination behind getting a new phone sent and the old phone returned. These people we share blood with are just freaking saints. We literally could not be out here without them! 

They keep us informed, encouraged, honest, and they are quick to pass on the messages left with them from all of you! 

•••

The night we were camping close to Wesser Bald, there was a group of six people also camping around the shelter that night. As we walked up, one of the ladies stopped in her tracks and starting gushing over Pneuma. Come to find out, she and her husband, past thru-hikers themselves, used to have a husky that had passed a few years prior. They loved on Pneuma all night long and eventually asked us if they could watch her for us while we were in the Smokies. We were totally taken back and weren’t sure what to make of the offer since we had just met them, but once we were able to spend a good bit of time with them that evening and next morning, we realized what genuine and kind-hearted people they really were. 
There’s something to be said about handing off your “baby” to complete strangers, but as soon as Ron and Diane said they would watch her for us as Trail Magic, we knew we could trust them with just about anything. They drove all the way from Asheville to meet us at Fontana Dam and Pneuma went crazy as soon as they drove up and got out of their car. It was so comforting for us to know that she would be loved on fiercely the entire week instead of being confined in a kennel. She has been such a great gal out here so far and we knew she deserved a good vacation. 

Ron and Diane sent us text updates and a few pictures throughout the week which helped with our missing her, but we could tell how happy they were to have her and how happy she was to be with them. We knew these people had a unique kindness that most people don’t possess, but let me tell you just how amazing they are – they not only took Pneuma to a farm and dog parks, they bathed her AND washed all of her gear for us. We were completely floored when we saw her clean backpack and bowls, it was a small gesture that truly meant the world to us. 


For a while we were uneasy with handing Pneuma off to really anyone because we are the definition of overprotective dog parents, but we are so glad we took a chance. Ron and Diane are true Trail Angels and we are so glad our paths crossed because they are now lifelong friends as well. 

•••

A little bit before we were planning on starting the Smokies, my mom sent us a screenshot of a message that one of her friends had sent her. Her friend, Stacie Mickler, reached out wanting to provide a way for us to stay in a cabin at Fontana Village before we started the National Park. We were completely, COMPLETELY overcome with joy in the thought of a cozy cabin, but even more overwhelmed by the kindness extended to us from this sweet couple (who has never even met Log!). 


Above is the precious cabin we stayed in for the night, but guys. Not only did they provide us with this, they also paid the pet deposit so Pneuma could be with us AND provided us with a credit for dinner in the Lodge restaurant. 

Are you kidding?! Our socks were blown off and our hearts were so full of gratitude. I can’t explain how encouraging it is to be able to stay in an actual room with a shower and a working toilet, but it is even more encouraging when people following your journey choose to reach out and provide an act of kindness to keep you going – it is a level of kindness we have never experienced before and have a hard time processing without sobbing! 

We were just hit with another wave of this as we picked up our food resupply boxes in Hot Springs. There was a sweet card with some cash from a family friend of Logan’s that is currently living in California. Serena had reached out to us a while ago asking how she could help us out, but receiving a handwritten note from someone dear just does something for the heart. She reminded us that this journey isn’t just us – there are so many people cheering us on and being moved to help us in many ways. We are so thankful for the gift, but even more grateful for the tangible example of others’ thoughtfulness.

•••

Here’s something that has impacted and encouraged us so much more than we ever expected: social media interactions. It seems so trivial, but I swoon over things like comments on our Instagram posts or people sending us messages on social media! There have been moments when one of us gets discouraged and we’ll just scroll through old posts rereading y’all’s sweet words of encouragement. I mean, you guys are FAITHFUL cheerleaders!!! I eat it up – so keep it coming 😉 

All of this to say, we love our community – we love Y O U! We carry your words and thoughts with us daily, and we love sharing our progress with you all! There are days we pick out a few of your names and say “remember, we’re doing this thing for _________” just for fun! 

A lot of things in life take a village to complete, and this is one of them (for us). Please know we appreciate you all and wish we could handwrite thank you notes for every single one of you!! 

7 thoughts on “Thru-Hiking: It Takes A Village

  1. Reid Christenberry Reply

    Just a reminder: Karen and I would like to sponsor a hotel room (and food services) for you guys sometime in the future. We don’t have to be there ourselves, but will gladly share our credit card with a hotel rep along the way. Let us know. Reid and Karen

  2. linda montgomery Reply

    you two are amazing. what an adventure! you have been blessed by so many! people are genuinely good. praying for your every step.

  3. Stephanie Reply

    Love this post! It truly takes a village. I have fond memories of our son stopping for a nero in Hot Springs, where someone gifted him an overnight stay. The Trail provides:) Take care of yourselves and keep plugging.. you’ve got this!!

  4. Laure Reply

    I have so enjoyed following y’all. My brother and I do alot of backpacking all though N.C area. We were born near Ashvlle but now live in S.C. I so wish we could hook up with y’all. Never know maybe in the future. Fontana Dam is one of my favorite places. We went there many times a children. I look forward to reading about more adventures with y’all. Take care of yourselves and who knows maybe will see each other on the trail! Sincerely, Laura.

  5. Bethene Middleton Reply

    Life lessons learned while you’re young – priceless! Many times we’ve experienced the kindness and generosity of others. Often times it has been the kind you’re experiencing- the ones where words are not enough (and you know God has given you a good and perfect gift through someone). I recently heard someone say, “It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a really big village to raise a child with special needs.” It started my gears turning, and I realized not everyone has that kind of support in life. I find it especially sweet to read how you appreciate your really large and generous village of support on your amazing journey. Thanks for sharing it with us. Happy trails!

  6. Joanna Reply

    A great adventure that we all are living through you two!

  7. Stacie Mickler Reply

    We’re glad we could help!! Love y’all!! Keep trailing. 🙂

Leave a Reply