appalachian trail hike

I only just got in to backpacking, but the whole general premise of it is pack as lightly as you possibly can. this is a great concept, but a bit tricky when your camera + go-to walkaround lens weigh in at 5+ pounds. Before my first big hike, I was agonizing on whether or not I wanted to lug that extra weight on top of 30-ish pounds of water, food, clothing, shelter, etc., but I am -so- glad I bit the bullet and brought along my Mark II. A carabiner clip kept it on the shoulder strap of my pack and ready for shooting, check out some of the photos I grabbed! 

appalachian trail hiking backpacking photography mary ella jourdak wedding family infant photography camping travelΒ 

the start of our hike : one car parked at the bottom of the trail, one at the top! Green Briar was our starting point.

Washington Monument was our first big landmark and a great place to grab lunch; a great view to the surrounding areas; you can see West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland from this vantage point!

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We got a little off the trail at one point, but getting lost proved to be a beautiful mistake with this great view (plus we didn't have to take on any extra mileage!). 

The designated camping point was about two miles off from where we'd originally planned, so we didn't make it there until nightfall. I was exhausted, but too entertained by the prospect of flip-flops to not wanna document this moment. And also not to catch frogs...

Twelve miles of hiking with about thirty pounds on your shoulders makes you sleep hard; we didn't rise until about 10 a.m. the next day, but we were back on it after a hearty bowl of oatmeal and some hot coffee.

We saw all sorts of critters besides toads and frogs, but the coolest was a freshly hatched cicada. I love how light and iridescent his wings are!

follow the white blazes!

sweaty, dirty, exhausted, and victorious. and also, very much so ready for a towering cheeseburger and a milkshake; one of the most satisfying meals I've had in a lonnnng time. such an intense weekend, but I can't wait to get back on the trail again! for some -really- awesome AT photography, check out my friend and fellow SCAD alumni over at the Thru Project - such a great inspiration!  -M