Dormouse (L) and Dirt Stew (R) 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: August 2019

We are currently residing in Asheville, NC and we are guiding hikes for Blue Ridge Hiking Company.  Earlier this year, Dirt Stew ran the Mount Mitchell Challenge (40-mile race), and Dormouse ran the “fun run” of the same race called the Black Mountain Marathon (26 miles).  Since then, Dirt Stew has decided to run a marathon or more in each month of 2019.

Some of what we’ve done:

2010 Appalachian Trail thru-hike Georgia to Maine  (2179 miles)

2014 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike Canada to Mexico (2650 miles)

2017 Benton MacKaye Trail thru-hike (300 miles)

2018 Te Araroa Trail, New Zealand (plus several Great Walks, minus some roads) (more than 1000 miles?)

2018 GR20 in Corsica, France (We did more than half ~75 miles?)

2019 Foothills trail and Bartram Trail, NC 2019 (200 miles)

Click here to read some articles that we’ve been featured in or have written for other organizations.

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 33 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 35 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.  During that time we learned a lot about California’s wild lands from our friends at San Bruno Mountain Watch. Shortly after the Appalachian Trail and moving to California, 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 continue to hike both short and long trails.  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

In winter of 2014 we moved to Asheville NC, and started working for Blue Ridge Hiking Company as hiking guides.  In 2018 we left to hike in New Zealand for 4 months, and then got an awesome job working for Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics working in Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali before spending the fall traveling and hiking around Europe on a shoe-string budget.

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 follow our instagram page @just2hikers and send us a private message there.  You’re also welcome leave a comment here on our blog.



17 thoughts on “About

  1. PCTA lists completion year as 2019, rather then 2014-is that a typo? You were #’s 1111 and 1110/ Oct 22, 2014 at Whitewater Trail House. “Ziggy and the Bear” (nice pic with “Dormouse” and them) have since moved to Coarsegold, near Yosemite. They are at PO Box 678 there and would love to hear from. They enlisted me to help with the records in 2014, but I go back to 1999 at their Hikers Oasis in Anza. Thanks!!! for sharing your adventures with all of us. The Southern Terminus with that broken down monument and has since been replaced and rotated so pictures avoid the obnoxious looking border wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI! Thanks for reaching out. We hiked SOBO in 2014, but we finished with 100 miles left in Northern California due to Wild Fire Closures that did not allow us to complete the entire trail that year. So, this year, in 2019 we finished that 100 mile section, and with that, we went ahead and registered our 2014 thru-hike. Hence the confusion. I thought the PCTA would mark our completion as 2014, but it seems like they must have listed us under 2019 instead. We definitely hiked 96% of the trail in 2014! What’s the Zip Code of their PO box?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s