Knoxville resident Gretchen Pardon is taking on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike with her hiking partner, Baby Yoda. 

We will be tracking her journey from Amicalola Falls, Georgia to Katahdin Mountain in Maine for the next 6 months with weekly video updates and check-ins on her Instagram @HikingWithBraids and her YouTube channel, Hiking With Braids.

If you want to see how Baby Yoda is doing, you can follow it at @BabyYodaontheAT.

HER STORY: Knoxville woman takes on Appalachian Trail solo hike

Monday, March 30:

Gretchen is back home in East Tennessee and opened up about her decision to end her thru-hike early amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the trail was hard, she said leaving it was the hardest thing she's ever had to do. She plans to return as soon as it is safe.

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For now, she is spending time with her family and wants to encourage others to live in the moment and not dwell on the things they cannot do.

Tuesday, March 24: 

Gretchen and Baby Yoda have decided to stop their thru-hike for now to take precautions against COVID-19.

"I’m not giving up on my dream, but I am putting it on hold for now and returning home - hopefully only temporarily, but only time will tell," she said in an Instagram post.

Monday, March 16:

Gretchen and Baby Yoda made it to a very foggy Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and were greeted by her husband, Jerry, family, friends and even a few of her YouTube subscribers all bearing food and supplies so she can restock (and treat herself). 

She is 26 days into her journey and officially over the 200-mile mark and taking a short rest before she gets back on the trail. She said she is getting stronger every day. According to the trailhead sign at Newfound Gap, she has 1,972 miles until her final destination in Katahdin, Maine.

Wednesday, March 11:

Gretchen and Baby Yoda have face snow, rain and sunshine on their trek through the North Carolina portion of the AT. She is looking forward to crossing into the Smokies soon.

Wednesday, March 4:

Gretchen and Baby Yoda crossed the 100-mile mark on their AT thru-hike.

Sunday, March 1: 

Gretchen and Baby Yoda have officially made it through Georgia. North Carolina is next.

Friday, Feb. 28:

Gretchen made it through her first week on the Appalachian Trail. She's already endured rain, sleet and snow, but she's still smiling! Baby Yoda appears to be doing well too!

Thursday, Feb. 20:

Gretchen set off from Amicalola Falls, Georgia to start her nearly 2,200-mile journey to Katahdin Mountain in Maine.

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