Dormouse (R) and Dirt Stew (L) at the end of their first Long Distance hike, the Appalachian Trail


A blog about two hikers: Dormouse and Dirt Stew

Where are we now?

Update: December 2017

We just finished hiking the 300 mile Benton MacKaye Trail!

Dormouse and Dirt Stew hiked the Appalachian Trail northbound from Georgia to Maine in 2010.  Then in 2014 we hiked the Pacific Crest Trail southbound from Canada to Mexico.  In 2015 and 2016, Dormouse had major hip surgeries due to Hip Dysplasia on each hip (PAO surgery, which she blogged about here).  In 2017, we’re going to hike the Benton Mackaye Trail, and in 2018 we plan on hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand!

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 32 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 34 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.

During our 2014 hike of the PCT, Dormouse had severe hip pain, which did not go away after the hike.  She soon found out that she was born with Hip Dysplasia, a condition where the hip sockets are too shallow.  In 2015 and 2016 Dormouse went through extensive hip surgeries called “PAO” (periacetabular osteotomy), and in 2017 she finally had the last hardware (screws) removed in order to be a fully functional once again.  You can read about her recovery from the second PAO surgery in Dormouse’s other blog:  Screwed up hips

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.






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10 thoughts on “About

  1. 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!


  2. 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!


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