Practice Hike 1: Swain’s Lock


This was my first night on the trail. I planned a short training hike in preparation for the main trip in October. I came in 5 miles to the South by bus, and hiked to this camp site called “Swain’s Lock”. After a night trying to get some sleep amongst partying car campers, dogs, and sweltering heat, I would walk south into DC, a 16.5 mile trip, and then take the subway home.

No problem. Except the nasty blisters.

A week earlier as part of my preparation, I had walked into DC.  I put on my old sneakers.  Big mistake.  Blisters on the balls of both my feet within 3 miles.  I followed the advice I see everywhere online:  Don’t pop them!

I put moleskin over them for the 5+16.5 hike above, and they grew.  They branched out.  Owww.