Key Skill | Massage Your Own Feet
Relieve aching dogs after one of the AT’s rockiest clips with these five soothing techniques.
1) Sweep and rub Rake skin from ankle to toes. Repeat, then gently rub feet to warm them up for deeper massage.
2) Thumb walk Visualize rows of tiny squares on your sole and walk your thumbs across each row, starting at your big toe and ending at the heel.
3) Kneading Make a fist and knead the heavily treaded ball of your foot to relieve tension built up along day one’s eight rocky miles.
4) Toe rotation Thread your fingers through your toes and pull up gently on each one. Twist softly. 5) Arch roll Rock your foot over a tennis ball back and forth to bring your arch back to its natural form. No ball? Substitute your water bottle–and finish with a hand sanitizer rub to clean your feet (and hands).
Earning a trail name is a thru-hiker tradition dating back to the mid-1970s. According to Roland Mueser, author of Long Distance Hiking, about 25 percent of hikers name themselves, while the majority are named by others, usually in the first few weeks of their thru-hike. Some famous names are "Trauma," "Wingfoot," "Barebutt," and "The Onion." Discuss: Is it okay to name yourself, or should you wait for others do it? And what would you name yourself or your hiking buddy anyway?
Chief Tammany Stopping at Council Rock (mile 14.9) gives you more than a breather–it’ll also put you face to face with Chief Tammany. Look across the Delaware River to the gnarly ridge of 1,650-foot Mt. Tammany. Follow the serrated limestone down from the summit: You’ll see a forehead, nose, and chin form. Local legend says that it perfectly resembles the 17th-century leader of the Lenni-Lenape tribe who peacefully negotiated land disputes between the Lenni-Lenape and William Penn. Fittingly, Tammany’s name means "easy to talk to."