Stu Watson
April 14, 2015 | Stu Watson

Long days on Appalachian Trail stimulate nearly insatiable appetites

As Portland hikers Gleb Velikanov and Barb Prescott forge their way northward along the Appalachian Trail, they took a break day near the town of Hiawassee, George.

That gave them a chance to share photos and trail notes -- and have a pizza delivered.

Seriously. Gleb says they met "a southern-drawl-speaking gentleman who let us (and a couple of other hikers) use his cell phone to order a pizza to Woody Gap."

Hard to believe, out in the wild, getting pizza, but Gleb says it's true.

"A local man ferries pizza from the closest gas station to Woody Gap for hikers," Gleb says.

Which is good, because Gleb and Barb have been burning through the calories. Gleb says the terrain is less like what he experienced, hiking the Pacific Crest  Trail, which features gradual, switchbacking ascents and descents.

The AT, by contrast, takes hikers more straight up -- and straight down. "The miles here come harder: the pitch is steeper,"

As a result, he says, "We are yet to hike over 20 miles in a day, with the longest distance covered in one stretch being 19 miles. The weather is starting to get warm and humid,"

"Getting enough calories has proven to be the toughest thing for me so far," Barb reports.

"I'm shoving an ungodly amount of food down my throat every two hours. Eating past the 'I'm full' feeling to keep hiking is not very natural for me. I'll have to get used to it pretty quickly to keep my energy up, so we're able to keep moving north."

Gleb says they use no stove, in keeping with their ultra-light approach. "It also saves time and energy, not worrying about meal prep and cleanup."

So, what do they eat? Trail mix?

"In addition to Portland-based Fish People entrée-in-a-bag seafood pouches that we brought from home, we subsist on a steady diet of crackers, tortillas, cheese, cured meats, tuna pouches, dried fruit, nut butter and cold brew tea -- 3-4 teabags left in a liter of water for a few hours make a great pick-me-up beverage," he says.

"Of course, it's great to wash dinner down with some Outdoor Vino red or white."

As we would expect, having provided the two with regular shipments of Rambling Red and Wanderlust White for all their provisioning stops along the trail. 




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