HikeFor

Past year Sponsor? Please click here for instructions on how to complete your donation(s).


Jefferson Hill hiked the Appalachian Trail for WWP

Shadowfax

Jefferson Hill

Trail: Appalachian Trail     Goal: 2185 Miles
Dates: Mar 001 2015 - Sep 002 2015
My name is Jeff Hill from York, SC and I've been planning a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail since April 2014. I was still active duty in the United States Marine Corps at this time and decided after my enlistment there would be no better time to ... more
Total
Pledges
Total
per Mile
Total
Pledged
Miles
Hiked
Dollars
Hiked
Total
Donated

32

$1.23

$2687.55

2185

$2687.55

$1489.55

Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families. On that date, America watched in horror ... more
Journal
< prev - entry list - next >

Home Sweet Home

Rock Hill, SC - Mile 2185 - Nov 1st, 2015

First things first, I'd like to thank my sponsors for bearing with the blog and the lack of entries. I learned first hand that blogging and hiking becomes very difficult and is rarely accomplished on a daily basis. I also found out that majority of hikers were having trouble updating their blogs just once a week, let alone taking account for every day. Discovering this made me feel not so bad, but I still have full intention of spilling out every single detail I can recall of the trip for your enjoyment and mine. Sometime in the next 5 years, I picture myself stuck in a work-aholic mindset and instead of becoming absorbed by a videogame or Netflix to relax, I'd like to read through this same blog and reminisce the adventure. If there was one lesson I'd learned in the Marines, it was to try to document the good times for reflection later and I regret having to rely only on pictures and nearly faded memories. I will still write up full entries on my last few months on the trail, but just to keep my sponsors informed while I try to work on the upcoming entries, I would like to provide a summary of my last few weeks on trail. I was able to climb the final summit of Mt. Katahdin in Maine with a great group of hikers that I had hiked the majority of the AT with and can't even begin to describe all the emotions that brought on. We referred to ourselves as the FU or FU-Tang Clan (Family Unit) and grew very close as we all had the one goal of finishing the hike. It was hard to believe that a few months ago we had been complete strangers and now we are all about to accomplish a life-altering achievement. I had the opportunity to road trip it down south with them in a vehicle named Black Betty to Kent, CT where I would fill in the part of the trail I had missed while attending Emma's wedding. From Kent, CT to Boonsboro, MD at approximately 400 miles and a completely different experience than I thought it would be. Having completed about 3/4 of the AT, I thought I could see what the trail would provide but came to find out there was more 'trail magic' and insight within those last 400 miles that I really had no idea what was going to happen each day. I began hiking southbound and with 11 bears and 397 miles later, I came off trail. What about those last 3? While in PA, I had either drank very bad water or had ingested contaminated food. The last 100 miles, my hammock had ripped open and was destroyed. This left me with no option but to sleep in the shelters and having missed the hundreds of Northbounder's that just passed through them, its a safe assumption that these shelters were carrying bad viruses. With 60 miles left on the AT, I was having diarrhea constantly (between 8-10 times a day) and wasn't able to hold fold or water down. My last day I hiked 20 miles with zero food or water in my stomach and greatly paid for it. I made it to the last shelter I would be staying in with only 3 miles to the end of my AT that I would easily stroll through the next morning. That was until I passed out of dehydration on the way to the privvy and had a section hiker pick me up and sit me in the shelter. When I came to, the section hiker had already notified the ridge runner in that area and told me to drink fluids. I contacted my buddy Alfaro who was supposed to pick me up the next morning and asked if he would pick me up that night instead. I was able to make my way to the nearest road and luckily he was able to find me and drive me to the nearest family clinic. I filled out the necessary paperwork needed and puked several times while waiting to be seen. I'm not sure why, but my vomit came out as solid black and I still have no idea what it could be since I hadn't eaten or drank anything all day. They said I would need to head to the hospital for an IV because they didn't have the equipment. Alfaro drove me to the hospital where I received 2 liters through my IV and then had to give a urine sample. I then passed my first ever kidney stone in the urine sample and instantly the stomach pain subsided. I left the hospital at about 1am and decided I would have to let the last 3 miles of the trail go. I'm perfectly fine leaving it at that and just remind myself of the times I had gone off-trail and hiked more than need. Such as the time in Virginia where I'd hiked 6 miles off trail and had to hike 6 miles to get back on. That was all the justification I needed. The next day I was able to fly home back to SC where I was warmly greeted by family and friends. It all seemed to surreal, from going from the AT and then an airport the next day. It was much more overwhelming than I thought it'd be and even the transition back to a normal citizen has been a work in progress. I'd be lying if I said I don't think about returning to the trail every single day, some days I think to myself 'Was it all a long dream?". I also learned that the thru-hiker culture is also hard for many people to grasp. Disappearing in the woods for 6 months? With strangers? And giving each other nick names that only other thru-hikers will know you by? In the moment, it all made perfect sense to me and couldn't understand why some one wouldn't want to do something like this. How could someone ever decline the opportunity to do something like this? And then when describing my trail experience to your average person, it became apparent that not everyone has the same level of interest as I would think. I would begin describing my favorite parts of the AT to people and would see they're looking at their phone while trying to hold a conversation with me. Umm...hello? you asked me a question, remember? That's when I discovered I would now have to 'gauge' people on how much info of the AT experience they're willing to hear. Isn't that crazy? You would never arrive to a shelter and meet a new thru-hiker and wait for them to get off their phone to hold an actually intellectual conversation. Like I said, the transition to being another citizen among many is still a work in progress and more work than I thought. But all in all, it's with out a doubt worth it in every single aspect. I've ended my "Miles Hiked" in anticipation of collecting the money raised for the WWP but am going to continue in trying to get the journal entries posted. Thank you all for bearing with me and your'e support for my charity, if anyone has any questions please contact me directly at jeffhill2010@yahoo.com

Shadowfax

Rock Hill, SC - Mile 2185 - Nov 1st, 2015

Guestbook
You need to sign in or register for an
account to leave a message in Jefferson's guestbook.

Jeff, Sorry it has taken so long for me to get online and pay my pledge. I went in and paid mine to Wounded Warriors website. I am so proud of you for what you did... you are a remarkable man!

Kaye Smith

Mar 003 2016 07:07AM

Jeff, congratulations on completion of your goal and for supporting Woundsd Warriors. I've paid my pledge, although I'm listed as both Mike and William, we are one in the same.

William Hemlepp

Nov 15 2015 08:50AM

Happy you are safe and proud to have made good on my pledge--$100 to WWP today.

Dana Kay

Aug 14 2015 08:36AM

Thinking of you a lot and hoping the weather is getting better so you'll have no more frozen socks & boots. Praying for safety for you, Jon, and the many other hikers on the trail. Know that when you're tired and worn down, we've got your back. We're all pulling for you in reaching your goal! HUGS

Martha Simpson

Apr 20 2015 05:21AM

Thought of you, Jeff...as I read the following verse. The reference to the "tent" brought your face to my mind... got me thinking that as you hike and see God's creation each day...what a marvelous time in your life. I pray you relish, absorb it and give God the glory for All that He has done in your life and at this time of your life as you take each step in your journey---I pray that you recognize HIs voice as you personally witness the wind through the trees, the birds sing their praises to the One who created them and provides for them each day. I pray you see God through His works on the trails and mountains you will climb today, tomorrow and the next day---for that is why we are all here, to give honor, praise and glory to the Alpha/Omega, the beginning/the end, the all knowing, all seeing, ever present God who craves our attention and our relationship with Him....so much so that He came as a man. xoxoxox--Aunt Missy

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1-14‬ ESV)

Melissa Porter

Apr 10 2015 04:11AM

Keeping up with your progress on here and with Ashlyn. Keep charging forward. We are enjoying the updated photos and journal entries.

Ray Barnwell

Apr 002 2015 02:57AM

Loving the updates. You're a month in today and we all are behind you in spirit! :)

Martha Simpson

Apr 001 2015 07:03AM

Keep em comin!

Fletcher Partridge

Apr 001 2015 05:01AM

Wow! Such an impressive goal, and raising awareness for others to boot! Proud of you. Ashlyn keeps us updated and you are missed and always on our minds and in our hearts.

Martha Simpson

Mar 31 2015 05:31AM

Praying and Thinking of you!! If you through KY, I can bring you socks!!! ;0)

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭3-11‬ ESV)

Melissa Porter

Mar 21 2015 1:23PM

Thinking of you while you are on the trail and love getting your updates... Praying for safe journey, new friends, plenty of provisions, your health, and an experience of a lifetime. You and Jon watch out for each other and we shall see you soon. Proud of you! Love Mom

Holly Hill

Mar 15 2015 5:18PM

Thinking of you while you are on the trail and love getting your updates... Praying for safe journey, new friends, plenty of provisions, your health, and an experience of a lifetime. You and Jon watch out for each other and we shall see you soon. Proud of you! Love Mom

Holly Hill

Mar 009 2015 02:17AM

Jeff, wishing you the very best of luck on your upcoming journey. As much as this trip is an adventure that will test your strength and personal will, I have to say I'm impressed with your selfless desire to help others in the process. Congrats to you for making this a reality as I know you've worked hard for a long time and have been patient in the process. You've earned this opportunity to explore our lands and reflect on this great nation you helped protect. Remember, wave to the cars when walking over I-70 in MAryland and call upon me at anytime!

Fletcher Partridge

Feb 27 2015 06:54AM

Sponsor this hike

You need to sign in or register for an
account to become a sponsor.

Sponsors

William Hemlepp
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 paid!

Tim Malone
Fantastic job, Jeff! Honored to join the WWP!
$0.10 per mile
up to $218.50

$218.50 paid!

Patty Daugherty
Bless you for doing this for our Wounded Warriors.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$109.25 paid!

sydney waring
Good luck. Glad you r supporting WW. TY for yr service
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$109.25 paid!

Barnwell Farms
I am proud of you and what you are doing.
$0.07 per mile
up to $152.95

$152.95 due

Tina McCully Davis
Stay strong and safe... Thank you for your service!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$109.25 due

Martha Simpson
Prayers for Safety, Provisions, and Good Weather! MS
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$109.25 due

Pella DQ
Semper Fi Marines! Proud of you!
$0.01 per mile
up to $21.85

$50.00 paid!

Paul Tate
Semper Fi
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

James and Marjory Blankenship
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$50.00 paid!

Kaye Smith
OOHRAH!!!! Enjoy but be safe!
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Dana Kay
God is my strong refuge he makes my pathway safe.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$100.00 paid!

Beth Martinez
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 paid!

Harry Miller
This is awesome man, have fun!
$0.01 per mile
up to $21.85

$21.85 due

Anonymous
If you ain't TAP!
$0.10 per mile
up to $218.50

$218.50 due

Tim Harris
Good luck Jeff and Jon
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Anonymous
$0.10 per mile
up to $218.50

$218.50 paid!

Emma Hill
I am so incredibly proud of you!
$0.04 per mile
up to $87.40

$87.40 due

Laura dostert
Good luck Jeff!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$109.25 due

John Wentling
Awesome adventure Jeff, we will keep you in our prayers.
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$50.00 paid!

Mike Hemlepp
Proud of you Jeff. Saddle up.
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Jim Wheeler
Bless you Jeff
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$100.00 paid!

Jan Oliver
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Tommy Ayers
Semper Fi
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Wayne Broach
Semper Fi! Glad to help.
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Greg Linn
"Not all who wander are lost..." - J.R.R. Tolkien
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Colleen Linn
Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

Fletcher Partridge
Get r done
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.70

$43.70 due

sandy alford
Good luck!
$0.04 per mile
up to $87.40

$87.40 paid!

Anonymous
Great cause! Best of luck on the hike.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$150.00 paid!

Anonymous
So proud of you for doing this!!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.25

$109.25 paid!

Melissa Porter
What an adventure!!! Many blessings to you!!!
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.55

$50.00 paid!