Tell My Mom Not To Worry (Davenport Gap to Damuscus, VA)

I’ve been on the trail for over a month now and can’t believe how fast time is flying by. This is turning into one of the greatest experiences of my life and I only expect it to get better.

I was asked the other day what my favourite part of the trail has been so far. The answer was actually quite easy to come up with and it’s definitely Max Patch. I spent a couple of hours up there, cooked myself some dinner and watched the sun go down as a crazy storm circled. It never actually passed over the bald, so I was left dry and able to take some beautiful photographs. While I was sitting there eating my delicious Ramen noodles, I thought back to a funny video I had watched last year. The girls in the video are Wags and Gangsta, I followed both of their online journals as they did their own thru hikes. I learned a lot from both of them, but there’s definitely one strong message I took away at the end of their journey and that’s to have fun, no matter the situation. If you’re considering a thru hike I would recommend giving their journals a read.

You can find white blazes in the strangest places.

Snow White, Roaring Lion and Cowboy.

Headed to a warm bed after a cold week in the Smokies.

My temporary office at Standing Bear Farm.


Cedar Tree, inventor of the Packa.

Hikers leaving Max Patch.

Circling storm on Max Patch.

I decided to cook myself some dinner up on Max Patch, as I set up my stove a storm started to blow in but it circled fully around me, leaving me nice and dry.

The trail passes right through the town of Hot Springs, it’s strange walking on concrete!

A sign of spring? I’m not holding my breath.

Another hint of spring.

Cool Tool

Sometimes we even walk on roads.

Sweet Potatoes, Tin Man, Half Pint. Yes, those are croquet mallets.

Hiking up Big Bald.

Sweet Potatoes stuck in the snow. Not a good day to be wearing a skirt!

Recovering at Uncle Johnny’s Hostel.

A beautiful sight.

Drinking some beer and talking with DMax, my second trail angel.

Snow White enjoying her dinner.

Sunset, my favourite time to hike.

A rare, fully enclosed shelter. If I would have know how horrible the next day was going to be, I would have stayed in bed.

Roaring Lion performing blister surgery on Snow White.

Rocker and 40oz

The result, a piece of thread through the blister, so the puss will drain.

You sleep above the animals at Mountain Harbour Hostel.

Snow White at Mountain Harbour Hostel.

Start of a crazy night hiking.

Watauga Lake

Watauga Dam

Welcome to Damascus, home of Trail Days.

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9 responses

  1. Julia Wehkamp

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Thanks for letting us hike along and live vicariously through your photo blog! Can’t wait to hear about some of the stories behind these amazing images…

  2. Beer chilled in the snow really is the best.

  3. Tatjana Vonlanthen

    Awesome… I really love your pictures! All the details… great! :-)

  4. You are a fabulous photographer! Thanks for sharing. Is any of this HDR?

    White Mts. NH

    When do you expect to be passing through the Whites?

  5. You’re putting together a first class group of photos.
    If I were graced with one question, I’d ask what type of equipment you’re shooting with. But in the end you’re composition Rocks.
    A side note. I second the comment on the journals of Wags and Gangsta. Their story is top notch. I don’t know them personally as of yet, but have communicated with Gangsta and they have agreed to be interviewed by our local public radio station, WEHC, during Trail Days. I’ll post a link to the interview assuming it is made available.

    Have a great trip

  6. Hi. I am planning a thru-hike next year. I just wanted to say fantastic photos. I’m going to keep following the updates. I was wondering what equipment your shooting with and how you are protecting it. I would love to bring my camera, but I’m also scared of damaging it. And a pelican case would be quite heavy. Anyway, I was just curious. Thanks.

  7. Holy shit Ben these are killing it!!!

    You have a really strong series coming together. Love it.

  8. Everything about this is amazing! your photos are soooo good!

  9. These pics are unbelievable, I dream of one day hiking the AP, thanks for the inspiration!