Practice Hike 2: Williamsport

On my 2nd overnight trail hike, I was joined by my coworkers.  We arrived at Williamsport, MD, at roughly mile marker 100.  We hiked north to mile 110 to camp, and back the next day.  We learned that backpacks are heavy, and Summer is hot.

I also learned that blisters heal faster if you remove the skin and bandage them.  By this time my feet were healing nicely.

Except…  Now I got 3 new blisters on the inside of my pinky toes.  My toes were rubbing together inside the sock liners, inside the socks, and inside the well-broken-in hiking shoes.

My solution was to drain the suckers, remove the skin, apply liquid bandage, and buy toe sock liners to replace my mitten sock liners.  As I write this 2 weeks later, my toes are healed almost fully.  Ready to go out again!

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.