Dirt Stew

Dirt Stew





A blog about two hikers: Dormouse and Dirt Stew

Dormouse and Dirt Stew hiked the Appalachian Trail northbound from Georgia to Maine in 2010, and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail southbound from Canada to Mexico in 2014.  We like to chronicle many of our hiking adventures in our blog, so we welcome you to join along!

Read our latest Blog Posts here!

A little more about us:

Dormouse and Dirt Stew met in 2008 at a juggling festival at Rochester Institute of Technology.  Dormouse had been planning since high school to hike the Appalachian Trail, and was hesitant to start a relationship with a handsome sweet juggler, who would certainly break her heart when it was time to leave.  But after Dormouse laid the cards on the table, Dirt Stew without hesitation agreed to hike the Appalachian Trail with her.  This begins the love story between Dormouse, Dirt Stew, and long distance backpacking.

Dormouse is 30 years old, grew up in Charlottesville, VA and went to school for Chemical Engineering at Bucknell.  She likes to hike, juggle, scuba dive and travel to awesome places that let her do more of those things.

Dirt Stew is 32 years old, grew up in Merrick, NY and went to school for Environmental and Forest Biology at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University.  He likes to hike, juggle, play Ultimate Frisbee, and travel places that allow him to learn about the natural world.

After we hiked the Appalachian Trail together in 2010, we moved from the East Coast to the San Francisco Bay Area, where we lived for a few years.  Shortly after the Appalachian Trail, we knew we wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as well.  We were infected with the hiking-bug!  We were married in 2012, and after Dirt Stew’s father passed away in 2013, we realized that life is short, and decided the time to hike was not later, but NOW.  We started preparing for a 2014 hike of the PCT.  After completing our hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, we decided to move back east to be closer to family.  We now live in Asheville, North Carolina and work part time guiding hikes for Blue Ridge Hiking Company.

Feel free to check out our BLOG where we discuss hiking and other trail related stuff.

We’d love to hear from you, either your questions and comments or simply your words of encouragement as we go along!

If you would like to contact us, please feel free to “like” our facebook page and send us a private message, or leave a comment here on our blog.

Dirt Stew and Halfmile with their custom GPS rigs.

Dirt Stew and Halfmile with their custom GPS rigs.


12 thoughts on “About

  1. Revoranger here who met you at kennedy. Did not realize there was a fellow SUNY Syracuse alum… mine was class of 82 MS Forest Management and Policy.

    Back out on the trail at Tehachapi I hope in another 2 days. Hope to beat the snows but we will see..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, great information! I’m in the early stages of planning a fast 2016 SoBo. My goal is to go under 90 days, and mitigate as much snow as possible. Francis Tapon has suggested that an Aug 1 start date (well, July 31 to account for the up and back from Hart’s Pass) gets rid of the snow in WA. From your experiences, do you think this is true? And where would you start to look / ask / educate about snow at that time of year. Thank you much in advance.
    — WaterFall


    • Hey Waterfall! Wow, a 90 day thru-hike is a challenging goal! I assume you have a lot of experience setting out on such a fast thru-hike. One of our friends did a SOBO thru-hike last year in around 100 days, and I didn’t envy his 40+ mile days. By August 1, most of the snow should be melted, although you may still hit some patches (there are some spots that barely melt), but really, you should be mostly snow-free. By then the first NOBO’s will be hitting northern WA, and you may be able to ask people on either Facebook or PCT-L or WhiteBlaze who have recently been through. Every year is different. The year Francis hiked was an exceptionally high snow year, the year I hiked was fairly average, and this year seems to be a fairly low snow year. I would aim to be at KM south by Oct 1, which I think fits your 90-day plan. In any case, good luck, and let me know how it goes! 🙂


  3. I’m so excited to have found this resource! Thanks for documenting all of this; it’s very helpful!

    I am planning a SOBO hike but after research about the snow, I began to get weary. I don’t have backpacking experience in snowy areas. I planned to start my SOBO hike late June or early July. Do you have any suggestions or warnings?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would say start as late as you feel comfortable. Honestly, you’ll be able to make the miles up later- and I personally think it’s more dangerous to go out there early in a high snow year than it is to get stuck in the sierras for the first snow fall. I could be wrong about that since I didn’t experience a snow storm in the Sierra. Good luck!


  4. I’m going SOBO this summer (2016) and can’ t figure out if I need separate permits for the Sierras if I’m staying on the PCT trail, or if I just need the long distance PCT permit? Wondering if you could send me your contact info in case I have any other questions.


    • For the most part you only need the long distance PCT permit. The only exception would be if you are exiting from Whitney Portal in the Sierras. At least two years ago, you needed a separate permit to exit on that trail, and I”m not sure if that has changed since then. Feel free to find Dormouse and Dirt Stew on Facebook if you would like to ask questions privately, you can message us there. Thanks!


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