Patrick McVeety-Mill:

Loud & Abrasive

Musings, essays, updates, and trail logs.

  • AT Day 102: Definitely The Last Update From Virginia

    The past month-so since my last update has included some of my best days on trail, as well as most challenging. The canoe trip was a great success, despite some setbacks, and well worth being set back a week of hiking. The following days, hiking alone and atrophied, were frustrating and chore-like, but by the time I exited Shenandoah I felt renewed, with a peace and understanding that I lacked before the endeavor.

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  • AT Day 77: More Virginia, But Not The Same

    The past few weeks have been “fluid,” to put it kindly, but more fairly have been the most by-the-seat-of-my-pants yet. I write this from mile 740, just past the 1/3 mark of the length of the trail, in Daleville, VA. While it may seem like good progress, in the grand scheme I’ve slowed down a bit, but all for good reason.

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  • AT Day 49: Welcome to Virginia

    At first when I realized this was day 49 I thought, “Dang, I should’ve waited another day to send an update for a nice round number,” but day 49 is better than I thought. Back when I first resolved I’d hike the AT, a more experienced outdoorsman friend of mine took me out on what I consider my first “shake down” trip and the first of several wake-up calls. Out at Lake Georgetown, on the first freeze of the year, my hands cold and jeans soaked through, he assured me - as if I couldn’t tell - I had a lot to do still before I’d be ready. Later, after I’d done some growing, he also told me “If you can last six weeks, you can last six months” Well, we’re through week 7 and showing no signs of stopping.

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  • AT Day 27: Exiting The Great Smoky Mountains


    Many of you know this already, but the Smoky mountains are a major part of my inspiration to take on the Appalachian Trail. My family and I visited in the summer of 2009, a transitive time for me (the year of the hole dig, for those in the know), and the first I heard of the AT. Beyond amazing views, crisp waterfalls that broke summer heat, and my first bear encounter, I could feel a magic in the place which I’ve found has not disappeared in the passing years.

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