2,175 miles in 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes
A talk with Jennifer Pharr Davis
Appalachain Trail Women’s Record Holder
(Speaker, Writer, Professional Hiker)
Rock/Creek StumpJump Featured Speaker
Friday, October 1, 2010 at 7:00pm
Coolidge Park (Open to the Public)- Chattanooga, TN
Jennifer Pharr Davis is a professional hiker, coach, speaker, author and the Women’s Appalachian Trail record holder.
Jennifer grew up in the North Carolina Mountains, where she developed a love for hiking at a young age. At age twenty-one, Jennifer hiked the entire Appalachian Trail as a solo female and fell in love with long- distance backpacking.
At the age of 27, Jennifer has hiked more than 8,000 miles of trails in North America, including the 2,700 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Vermont’s Long Trail, and the Colorado Trail, and completed two thru-hikes on the Appalachian Trail. She has hiked and traveled on six continents; some of the highlights include Mount Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and the 600-mile Bibbulmun Track in Australia. Jennifer holds endurance records on three long-distance trails. In 2008 she became the fastest woman to hike the Appalachian Trail, averaging 38 miles a day and completing the trail in 57 days.
Jennifer has written for Trail Runner magazine, Away.com, and is a frequent contributor to Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. She has written two North Carolina guidebooks for Falcon Press and Menasha Ridge. Her adventure memoir “Becoming Odyssa”, published by Beaufort Books, is due out November 2010. [View the publisher's book description].
Jennifer lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, and is the owner and founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Co. They will both be competing in this year’s StumpJump 50K.
Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail
by Jennifer Pharr Davis
After graduating from college, Jennifer isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life. She is drawn to the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Though her friends and family think she’s crazy, she sets out alone to hike the trail, hoping it will give her time to think about what she wants to do next.
The next four months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life. She quickly discovers that thru-hiking is harder than she had imagined: coping with blisters and aching shoulders from the 30-pound pack she carries; sleeping on the hard wooden floors of trail shelters; hiking through endless torrents of rain and even a blizzard.
With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail, braving situations she never imagined before her thru-hike. The trail is full of unexpected kindness, generosity, and humor. And when tragedy strikes, she learns that she can depend on other people to help her in times of need.