Remember the Quirins? The couple setting out on a six-month adventure, hiking the Appalachian Trail with their one-year-old daughter, Ellie? Well, today is the day Bekah, Derrick and Ellie embark on the journey of a lifetime and take their first steps on a 2,185-mile trek through the Appalachians. We caught up the family — who has since been interviewed by Outside Magazine, Mother Nature Network and several other media outlets — just days before taking off for their big adventure. Were they excited? Nervous? Anxious? Continue reading to find out!


It’s here! It’s really here! Our packs are full, clothes laid out, supply drops packed and awaiting shipment, and the weather has returned to Spring. Boy, are we ready to begin one of the biggest endeavors we have ever sought to achieve. Truthfully, in our haste to make sure we completed all of the tasks in preparation to leave, we finished too soon. Days before our departure, we found ourselves with no more packing to do, no more logistics to coordinate, looking at one another with bug eyes wondering, “What do we do now?” Chomping at the bit does partial justice to depicting our state of mind in that moment.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRmiZ1dlbpC/?taken-by=ellieontheat

However, after the jitters receded, we were very thankful for a few days to breathe deeply, decompress, and spend precious time with friends and family. Despite the looming countdown in the backs of our eyelids, we are surprisingly content and grateful for the opportunity to prepare emotionally and spiritually, two essential elements that had otherwise been neglected in the shadow of the physical and mental preparations we have been working on for 10 months now.

We are so thankful for the flood of support in the last week before our departure. So many of you have written encouraging notes to us, offered advice, and even reached out to physically provide support for us on our trek, and it truly is fuel for us! Knowing that we have such a terrific network of supporters cheering us on is motivating us now, and will surely motivate us during challenges on the trail. So for that, we say “THANK YOU!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRo7s-1lL3t/?taken-by=ellieontheat

From Wild Planet:

    For the next six months, we will be posting monthly updates from the Quirin family who will share everything from their diet on the trail to how baby Ellie is adjusting to her new environment. Bon voyage, Bekah, Derrick and Ellie — we’re rooting for you!

    P.S. How adorable is this throwback photo of Bekah, Ellie’s mother, posing on the Appalachian Trail 20 years ago?
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BRwFTTalKWL/?taken-by=ellieontheat

    ~ Your friends at Wild Planet Foods

Bekah Quirin
Written by Bekah Quirin
In March 2017, the Quirin family (Ellie, Derrick and Bekah) will begin their 2,185 mile hike through the Appalachian Trail. At the conclusion of their six month journey Ellie, being only one year old, will become the youngest person on record to accomplish this feat. You can follow the family’s journey on their blog, Ellie on the AT, or on Instagram where they will post pre-trip preparations and updated stories and pictures once they hit the trail.