So 20 mile days have become the norm. Occasionally I'll do short days but it seems lazy, but I enjoy getting into camp and actually bring tired and hungry. Yesterday I hiked 20 miles and when I got to camp it was full of about 7 guys around my age. Some I knew some I didn't, but we all got along great, built a huge fire, told stories, and stayed up late talking about the trail magic of burgers and beer we are all desperately looking forward to today. I felt like one of Peter Pans lost boys, and it was great. A few days ago we hiked a ridge and the top was all rocky stairs, it felt like King Louis ruins from the jungle book. I also saw a snake, bear poop and tracks, and invented a Snarf snack, it is graham crackers with peanut butter on either side of a 500 calorie iced honey bun :-)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So I just walked through hot springs, nc and am now sitting on the bank of the French broad, with my tent behind me watching the sun set... and I never wanna leave. So as of right now, with my feet in the river, I think I'm just going to keep going until I run out of money! I'm sure it will happen sooner rather than later but being out here I am never without a smile, and have no worries. So I see no reason to go back to a job that frustrates me even when I'm not there. I'm not saying I will complete the trip; but I am going to continue until I'm either unhappy, out of money, or 1909.9 miles away standing on Mt Katahdin, in Maine.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Smokey Mountains are 76 miles from Fontana Dam to Davenport and I had hardly no service. Today I completed my 3rd 20+ mile day on my trip and exited the Smokeys completing 45 miles in the last 2 days. I was in the Smokeys 4 days and 3 nights, doing 100+ miles in 6 days with my friends Brian and Bean... and I am sore! We woke up one morning at 6am so we could be at clingmans dome for sunrise. I led the 3 of us into the darkness and fog with headlights. When we got to clingmans dome at what would have been sunrise it was so foggy and windy we couldn't see a thing but the observation tower was very cool any way. The Smokeys were absolutely beautiful, the days there wasn't so much fog you could only see 5 feet in front of you. The terrain changed from oak and maple hardwood forests, to luscious green moss covered hills and almost swamp like dense woods, to amazing little waterfalls. It seemed like one huge uphill to start, climaxing at clingmans dome 6600 feet up and the highest point on the A.T. Now I am through the Smokeys sitting at an awesome hostile right outside Knoxville listening to some great classic rock drinking whiskey with the locals. The bunk house sleeps 16 all in home made bunk beds, and there is a field out back with people pitching their tents. There are 4 guys here who are regulars they kinda look after the place when the family that runs it are not here, which is the case now. I took what I would consider to be one of the best showers of my life and then washed my clothes old school style with a wash board and wringer, check out the pictures below. I can not begin to tell you how great this place is though, it is all trust based open door you take what you want and write it down then pay when you leave. So far I have had 1 large 3 meat pizza, 1 can of Pringles, a few beers, a little whiskey, and some good laughs with the people here.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
<p>So yesterday we crushed the trail something like 16 miles in 5 hours, and got trail magic, a nice person left 2 gallons of water for us. Today we did 12 miles before noon and made it to Fontana Dam before it got hot... it's 81 now. But I just got out of the lake and I'm now drying off in the sun which feels amazing. The shelter here is known on the trail as the Hilton with showers and pic a nic tables I wouldn't be surprised to see yogi bear. I was also informed today that Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco! YAHOO, I can finally cheer for Denver and I don't have to listen to any more tebow talk. What a great day!!! Update... so today and tonight have been awesome! Went swimming, built a big fire, and just hung out with cool people. With the place we are it really feels like camping when I was little, right on the lake. However, the food is not nearly as good, no one has burned themselves, and I don't get to go out on a boat tomorrow.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
So yesterday we rolled into the Nantahala Outdoor Center got a cabin for 7 of us, grabbed a few cases of beer and sat by the river until the rain drove us inside. After a shower we went to the restaurant where I had another one pound burger, and decided we would catch a ride with one of the guys at the general store to the brewery at 5 when he got off. So we all piled into his truck which had tons of A.T. stickers on it and got out 13 miles later at the brewery. ALL of their beers were named for the trail, trail magic, atx, dirty blonde girl, and they were all amazing! The brew master Greg, whose trail name when he hiked was yazee, gave me a glass of his newest IPA Springer Sunrise which was great. Around 10 we all started to crash so I walked up to a good looking blonde who recently walked in and started talking to her, turns out she was the Lt. Detective of Bryson City and was more than happy to give us ALL a ride back so we piled into her little car and made it back! Today is St. Patties day so back to the brewery!ride