First, I have a bit of news: my super-awesome boyfriend is hiking the Appalachian Trail next summer. For food, he’s going to buy a used Excalibur dehydrator (the best there is!) to dehydrate his own homemade backpacking meals. There’s a lot of recipes online for meals that dehydrate well, but few of those recipes are vegan. So…. the two of us are starting a vegan lightweight backpacking food blog! I’m not sure when we’ll start posting, but I’ll be sure to share it on this blog when we do!

On Ahimsa, however, I’d like to start sharing pictures and stories of some of our (non-long distance backpacking) hikes. The first is our most recent hike, a ~6-mile hike at Max Patch, North Carolina. It’s right on the NC-TN border, and it’s a beautiful patch of land that was once used for grazing.

The very first part of the trail was probably the hardest (and this would depend on where you start). It was straight up to the top of Max Patch.

At the Top

This is definitely not a place you’d want to be in a thunderstorm, and in fact, last year someone died by a lightning strike. Once at the top, you’re literally the tallest thing in the sky.

After climbing down, we started hiking to a shelter on the Appalachian Trail. My favorite part of the whole hike was through a tunnel made of rhododendron.

Rhodo-tunnel

Along the trail there were so many mushrooms, which we stopped to admire (my boyfriend, Dave, is a biology student with a love for mycology). Here’s just a few that we saw:

Once we reached the shelter, we had a very light lunch, because I didn’t have a chance to make anything to take with us. However, I discovered that raw corn on the cob makes a delicious hiking treat.

Next time I’ll shuck it at home and put the cobs in a gallon freezer bag to reduce waste. This was local bi-color corn, and was really sweet and juicy. We also had maple candied pecans and split a pink lady apple.

We then headed back to the truck, going around Max Patch rather than up to the top a second time. It was a pretty sweet hike with great views, and I’m glad the weather stayed sunny and nice. Here are just a few more pictures from the hike.

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