Peggy Davenport and her husband, John, were joined by another couple, the Trimborns, and recently hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

When Peggy Davenport’s husband came up with an idea for a COVID-19-free vacation, she wasn’t expecting his suggestion.

“It all started early this summer when my husband said to me, ‘I know what we can do for vacation, literally COVID-free. We can hike the Appalachian Trail’,” Davenport said. “I’m sure he expected me to say ‘Heck no,’ but I was like, ‘Why not.’ I haven’t challenged myself really big in a few years, so let’s do it.”

Davenport is the owner of Davenport’s Daily Delights in Lithia, and with a thriving local business, she could most certainly use a vacation.

“It was great getting out of the Florida heat,” Davenport said. “We zigzagged between the borders of Tennessee and North Carolina and it was absolutely gorgeous with perfect weather. We saw a family of bears in Beech Mountain at a friend’s house we stayed at the night before we started out. We had a deer grazing 3 feet from our tent, just watching us watch her. The quiet was great and it’s nice to unplug from the news from time to time. Not thinking about the pandemic was amazing, plus hiking 52 miles on the trail in six days helped. Exercise helps everything.”

Davenport and her husband got the inspiration for their trip from David ‘AWOL’ Miller’s book, The A.T. Guide.

“Miller updates it every year and it gives you a detailed guide on elevation, where there is good camping, water sources and scenic views.” Davenport said. “It was our hiking bible. We also want to mention to be flexible. Our trip didn’t pan out exactly as we wanted due to weather, so we stayed in hostels more than we planned to, but we just went with the flow and it was all worth it.”

The trip gave Davenport some time to recharge and be stress-free.

“Of course, hiking gives people plenty of time to think, so naturally ways to improve my business was one of the topics,” Davenport said. “When I returned on Labor Day, we jumped right back in. A day back and I had to jump on my Facebook page to tell my customers how much I love and appreciate them. I’m so lucky to do what I love, and it’s all because of them.”

To learn more about Davenport’s Daily Delights, visit www.davenportsdailydelights.com or call 810-8513.