AT Thru Hike Announcement!


Ellie here. Pounding out 40 words per minute on mom’s laptop.

Ellie at the summit of her first solo expedition. Or maybe it’s her first backpacking trip with Ma and Pa.

For real though. As the title of our first blog post reveals, we’re about to head out on an incredible journey next Spring. Our family of 3 will be the first family to take baby on the entire Appalachian Trail- making Appalachian Trail history. We’ve been dreaming about this trip for almost 10 years. We’ve spent the last 5 months planning and preparing for this
adventure, and will continue to do so for the next 5 months until we step foot onto the trail.

In the mean time, we have some other big news. We’re moving from the beautiful state of South Carolina and going back to our roots in Roanoke, Virginia. That’s right- coming back to family dinners and cousin sleepovers! Our home in Greenville, SC is currently under contract and if all goes as planned, we’ll close on the house mid November. We’re giving the farm a break. (don’t worry, it’ll probably come back someday). It’s a bitter sweet time as we

Our sweet home in Greenville, SC for the last 20 months.

leave our dear community who have become like family, leave our college town, leave a beautiful area, leave our enjoyable jobs as outdoor guides, leave the place we raised a foster child for a year, and leave the home our daughter was born in- literally. It might sound like life is simply too perfect to move! While life is so sweet here, we’re looking forward to getting back home. Roanoke is a pretty awesome place- especially for adventurers like us.

This transition time of moving from one state to another and leaving one job to find the next has given us the perfect opportunity to fulfill our dream of thru-hiking the AT. And even better, we’re getting to take our 12 month old daughter with us.

Let the adventure begin!


21 thoughts on “AT Thru Hike Announcement!

  1. The Schraders love you and will be cheering for you all the way =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are so excited for you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Josh, Rachel, Deacon, Grace & Carson October 19, 2016 — 5:02 pm

    We love you & can’t wait to watch every step of your adventure!


  4. Raincloud and Happyfeet December 7, 2016 — 10:09 am

    Looking forward to following your adventure!


  5. Best wishes and more power to you: my parents took me and my younger sister and brother on all sorts of outdoor adventures beginning when we were very young and I am convinced this contributed to my parents’ kids’ overall success, ability to matter-of-factly accomplish incredible achievements, and appreciate the intangible important stuff in life (as well a hot shower).
    Although I work in NYC, I currently have a residence in the Albany area approx. <45-minute drive from where you will be crossing I-90 over a footbridge om your walk to get seafood in Maine and would really like to coordinate with you if you are interested in augmenting your plans and getting our respective schedules to mesh: I can carry it in it (bring you stuff), carry it out (take away stuff: no fear of dirty diapers here…kinda miss 'em actually…), give you a ride to get stuff, and if one-off needs occur for your child during approach up the Hudson Valley we can adapt on the fly.
    I am unsure how much the kindness of strangers will factor into your walk but I would love for you to consider and I can probably deliver some version of strange along with provisions.
    Best wishes in case I should not hear from you but I most sincerely encourage you to reply, consider my sentiment expressed above, and begin discussing how we can get schedule intersection and you and your kid some of my mom's home cookin'…


    1. Tom, Thank you so much for your kind words and offering to help us! We have been blown away by the amount of support and kindness from others. We are a ways out from being up your way, but we will certainly keep you in mind when we’re heading up there. We have had so many people offer that it is hard to keep track of everyone! It’s really an unbelievable blessing!


  6. Hello Bekah, Derrick, and Ellie, What an inspiration! We have a Hike It Baby Branch in Columbia County NY, and we would love to host a hike with you all (if all the stars align) when you are hiking through the Taconics/Berkshires. We would also be happy to be a resource for you (drop packages, ride into town, etc…) when you’re hiking through our backyards. You can find us here: Happy Trails! -Jill


    1. Hi Jill!

      We really want to connect with as many HiB branches as possible. So yes, let’s figure out how to coordinate this! It will be a while before we are up in NY, but I will make a note to let you know when we’re about a month out so you are able to plan a hike with us with your branch! I can’t wait 🙂


  7. Hi Bekah, Derrick, and Ellie,
    I just read about your adventure and am totally excited for you all.
    I started a company that manufactures a “TrailBlanket” comes with stuff sac&carabiner. I just prototyped a better design. It has shoulders with snaps to easily open to keep Ellie cool, and a snap on hood if the temp starts to drop.
    Please email me if you would like to give it a go while on the trail and just # cozey7, to help spread the word. (and let me know what size. I would love to give the TrailBlanket the ultimate test.
    Happy Trails,


    1. Hi Jill,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! I just looked at the Cozey 7 website and I absolutely love the outdoor products you make for little ones. We would be more than happy to take a trail blanket with us on the trail (it will probably be the summer before we start using it because we’ll need the down bunting during the cold months). The best way to contact me is through my direct e-mail:



  8. Best of luck to you. Have you thought about response to bears?


    1. Hi Dori,

      Thanks for the well wishes! Yes we have most definitely thought about our response to bears! In areas where they are abundant, we will take bear spray with us.


  9. Steven M. Newland April 24, 2017 — 4:18 pm

    I was thrilled when i read your story and still I have a big smile across my face. I wish the 3 of you the best of luck and hope all goes well for you. Looking forward to reading your updates in the future.


  10. It always makes me so incredibly happy to see people, especially families, stepping outside of everyday comfort and monotony to have real adventures. Have an incredible time! My dream is to one day go backpacking through the National Parks out West. I’m sure I’ll get lots of tips and inspiration by following your journey. Best wishes you guys.


  11. That’s Epic! Looks like I have some reading to catch up on.


  12. Hi Bekah, Derrick, and Ellie,
    I just had a read through your adventure and i am really excited for all of you!
    I wish you all good luck and have an amazing next adventure!


  13. Wow amazing, inspiring too! Looking forward to reading the rest of your posts!


  14. Richard Iorio May 12, 2017 — 7:27 pm

    Hey Guys!

    I was really excited to see this blog. A buddy of mine who did the AT last season brought it to my attention. I have a 10 month daughter and the plan is to take her on her first backpacking trip this summer. This is such a great resource. I can’t wait to read more. Best of luck to you! Happy Trails!



  15. Best of luck and enjoy every moment.

    Lonestar 1990 thru-hiker


  16. jonathan c morris August 27, 2017 — 3:31 am

    Hey, 2-time thru hiker (with my wife) here. I really admire what you’re doing, and by the way my daughter is named Elly (Elanor). Named after the daughter of Sam Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings triology… adventurer comes home, settles down and has a beautiful blond daughter he names after a flower in Lothlorien. I admired your early posts, but having been there I knew the detailed blogs couldn’t continue. The Trail just gets in the way. It’s like we said back in our day (1991 and 1994 – yes, we’re 2-time thru hikers): if you have the energy to build a fire you didn’t hike far enough today. Same kind of thing for blogging. Especially with a toddler! “Regular people” don’t understand how taxing a thru-hike is. I do. Keep on keeping on. I’m pulling for you! Signed…. Six Foot Hobbit and Evenstar, GA-Me 1991 & 1994, John Muir Trail 1995, Wonderland Trail 1995, Colorado Trail 1996, assorted other trails 1995-1996. Returned home to get fat and raise a family – 1996. Currently unable to maintain a squatting or kneeling position. But with a buttload of memories and pictures.


  17. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs…Congrats on finished the AT. I am also from Roanoke…Perhaps I’ll see you around. Welcome back.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close