Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 57
camp at night that don't impact other
hikers. The Quirins have stopped in
towns along the way, stayed in bed
and breakfasts during breaks and even
found a few trail angels that opened
their home to the trio.
"We are making this a standard of
normality for [Ellie]," Derrick Quirin
said before the hike started. "We hope
it continues and is easy for her and a
part of a life outside."
While the hike is a great family
adventure, the Quirins also hope to
use the experience to help others. They
found out that Ellie would be the first
baby to travel the A.T. while looking for
resources during the planning phase of
the hike. There weren't many available.
"We've gotten lots of emails asking
for advice," Bekah Quirin says. "We're
happy to help anyone who is seriously
considering an extended trip."
She might even compile that
information into a guidebook for
families once they return to Roanoke.
She's been documenting the journey
on Instagram (@ellieontheat) and the
response has been tremendous.
"We are trail focused," Bekah said
with 1,300 miles of the Appalachian
Trail behind them. "You certainly can't
turn off this lifestyle."
Above and Below: The family's optimism before
the hike has largely come true on the trail.
November/December 2017 57