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The Hiking Trucker: Iain Jones' Journey through the Appalachian Trail

Iain Jones, a 2022 Driver of the Year for Roehl, has taken on the Appalachian Trail, for the second time.



June 20, 2023
After having hiked 80+ miles of New Hampshires white mountains this past week, the mental/physical exhaustion hit and home was calling!

At the end of the day, the journey is the destination no matter what path someone may choose.
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 1
Ironically, the last mountain I claimed was called Mt. Success in New Hampshire, the last mountain before the AT crosses into Maine. This was also the scene of a 1954 plane crash near the summit as captured in the last photos in the attached link. Condolences to those involved with two fatalities in this accident.
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 2
So grateful for the experiences out here these past two months! Met so many neat folks and enjoyed some beautiful creation.
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 3
Just under 1,000 total miles of backpacking through Appalachian mountains since April. No shame involved, only fun memories. Even on rainy days.
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 4
Thank you for taking the time to blog about this experience! Hopefully this motivates others to achieve their physical health goals and enjoy more fresh air.
Now back to the open road?

​June 11, 2023
Just made it to Rockfish Gap/I-64 at AT mile marker 864, the start of the Shenandoah NP section.
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 5
I hiked 10 miles this morning and decided to call the end of a 875 mile long section hike.
This hike isn’t over yet though! 
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 6
I will be taking a bus up to New England this week to section hike the northernmost 450 miles of the AT through New Hampshire and Maine, with Mt. Katahdin (Maine’s highest mountain) as the finish line. This was the toughest yet favorite section of trail during my 2019 thru hike.

​June 3, 2023
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 7

It’s official - have hiked the first third of the AT in 40 days - 730 miles to Roanoke VA area! On track to finishing the hike in 4 months by the end of August.
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 8
The past few weeks since Damascus trail days have been gorgeous. Long ridgelines, rocky terrain, and majestic landscapes the entire way. Currently in Troutville VA this weekend for yet another trail festival. Good music, food, and camping in the town park. Heading north toward Waynesboro, hoping to hit ANOTHER hiker festival next weekend - 135 trail miles away. Will finally be switching out a new pair of shoes after 800+ miles by that point. 
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 9 
Happy trails,
Iain (Trail named Sonic the Hedgehog, blue shirt and often hike big days!)
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 10
May 22, 2023

What a gorgeous 200 miles it’s been on trail! Crossed into Virginia the other day. This is the longest state on trail with over 500 miles, 1/4 of the whole trail is here. 
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 11
Unfortunately my phone bit the dust after mile 270 and I was without a camera for roughly 4 days but the weather scenery and company on trail have been fantastic. Have only been rained on a couple times during this section.
Attended the annual Appalachian Trail Days festival in Damascus this weekend, largest hiker festival in the country, 10,000+ hikers attending. Music, abundant food, and a parade among many others. Great time reconnecting with current friends on trail and a few from my AT thru hike back in 2019.
Iain Jones Hiking Photo 12
The bear photos from the woods were not taken by me but I was nearby when the bear event occurred. Parts of the trail are currently closed to camping due to aggressive bear activity. Luckily these sections are easy to hike through within a day.
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 13
Spring is in the mountains and so is the kindness of trail magic (when previous hikers meet current thru hikers at road crossings and give food out of the kindness of their hearts!)
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 14
New trail name given to me was “Sonic the hedgehog” as I wear blue and hike fast, pulled off a 30 mile day after the smoky mountains and was aptly renamed by another hiker. Most of us go by nicknames out here.
 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 15
Looking forward to this next section of trail!

You can follow along with Iain on his Instagram Account.

May 9, 2023
As of yesterday I’ve completed the first 275 miles (over 10%) of the entire Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain GA to Hot Springs, NC. To this point I’ve climbed and descended more than 60,000 vertical feet hiking over mountains each day. More than the equivalent of twice climbing and descending Mt Everest (29,000 feet above sea level!)

 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 16

I’ve experienced weather ranging from 20 degree wind chills with snow flurries to 75 and sunny. Elevations have ranged from the highest point on the AT at 6600 feet, Clingmans Dome in the Smokies, to 1400 feet crossing under I40 in the Pigeon River gorge.

 Iain Jones Hiking Photo 17

Have met folks from all over the country and world while on this trip so far. Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, England just to name a few. As the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, trail enthusiasts from all walks of life try to complete the challenge of hiking all 2200 miles each year but only 20% succeed in the end.

Iain Jones Hiking Photo 18

April 28, 2023
Iain Jones, a 2022 Driver of the Year winner, has taken some time off to pursue one of his passions. He is hiking all 2,198.4 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Iain Jones Hiking Photo 19
He started this journey on Monday, April 24. He started in Dawsonville, GA and will end at Mount Ktahdin, Maine.

Iain Jones Hiking Photo 20
(Iain is in blue)

Iain will be sharing updates throughout his journey.

Iain Jones Hiking Photo 21

You can follow along with Iain on his Instagram Account.

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