At Mile 254.8 of the AT on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (8:28 PM).
Google Maps link to my location:http://maps.google.com/maps?z=
n the past 3 days I have knocked out 48.6 miles. I am staying the night on Max’s Bald. I have a perfect view of the mountain top I was on two nights ago. This area of the country is amazing! I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in the time with all of the different leave colors. Yesterday I did 18.2 miles plus another 1.2 miles so I could go out to Mt. Cammerer Lookout. Brigid and Joe (from Michigan) told me it was a view worth the extra mileage. Boy were they right! They were out for a day hike and we were on the same pace and got to talk for a while as well as enjoy a incredible view together. Thanks for telling me it was worth it otherwise I probably would have skipped it. The lookout was built in 1937 and is still in pretty good shape. I can’t even imagine the amount work it took to get the blocks to that peak back then.
At Mile 222.9 of the AT on Sunday, April 26, 2015 (7:19 PM). Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=35.69376,+-83.25667 Kevin and Mark are back in AZ and looking forward to all of the missed emails while they were out. Edwina (hope I spelled that right) and Luann thanks for letting the guys come out for some fun and taking care of your kids by yourself for a week! Both Kevin and Mark ended up with new trail names. Hat Trick and 1.5 (respectively) . If you know either of them I will let them explain the names if they wish. I hitched a ride back to New Found Gap in the Smokies with a couple of other thru hikers this morning. An awesome couple from Georgia who aspire to thru hike some day and spend a lot of time day hiking picked us up and took us up the mountain saving us a 15 Mile up hill hike! Thanks so much!!! (Sorry I forgot to ask your names and to get a pic with you I was excited to get back in the trail). Back on the mountain was a mostly up hill day which seems to be the norm. I missed the turn off for the shelter at the 10 Mile mark and didn’t realize it until a couple miles passed. I am not one for turning around so I hiked another 3.5 miles to the next shelter making the day a 15.8 Mile day. It started raining/snowing when I got close to the 6000′ mark :/. Visibility was pretty limited today but there was a small break with a beautiful view! You can see why they call them the Smokies. The rest of the day was a wet cold drizzle and putting warm cloths on in my tent was the only thing on my mind after cooking a quick dinner and making some hot chocolate. I am spending the rest of the evening in my sleeping bag keeping warm. I have my wet cloths from today in here so I can dry them with my body warmth and make them somewhat tolerable to put on in the morning. I also have my water filter in here so it doesn’t freeze and crack. If that happened it would be useless and potentially expose me to viruses in the water. For those of you that may have caught it I have two pairs of cloths. One for hiking and one for at camp/sleeping. This ensures I am always dry while sleeping and keeps my pack weight to a minimum. As you can guess I smell like a dozen roses by the end of a week on the trail. The last picture is of a tree that blew over at some point. Some of the trees up here are in excess of 300 years old. Due to how rocky the mountains are the root systems grow out instead of down. When it gets windy enough it topples the ones that don’t have a strong enough or damaged root structure. This root structure is about 15′ – 20′ across. I have seen some trees that have huge rocks (some upwards of 1000 lbs or more) caught in the roots and are being held in the air just waiting for the roots to rot so they can fall back to the ground.
Near Mile 205.7 of the AT (7.9 miles from the trail) on Friday, April 24, 2015 (4:53 PM). Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=35.70839,+-83.52123 After 5 miles and showing up at the place where Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Smokies for the people of the US we headed into Gatlinburg. First off I would like to thank Mark and Kevin for an awesome week in the Smokies and getting me 42 Mile through my journey! Just remember it’s only 1.5 miles to the next shelter 🙂 when we made it to the gap where we hitched a ride to Gatlinburg there was trail magic! Sandwiches, pop, chips, and most importantly chairs with a back! If any of you join me you will understand the simple beauty of a chair with a back!
Near Mile 199.5 of the AT (0.4 miles from the trail) on Thursday, April 23, 2015 (11:48 AM). Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=35.55733,+-83.49604 We hit Pines on the way up the mountain yesterday and stayed at about 5500′ @ Double Spring Gap Shelter. In a half mile I will hit 200 miles completed along the trail. So far Kevin and Mark have got me up the longest up section, to less than 2000 miles to go, to the highest mountain on the entire trail, and now 200 miles. We are currently at Clingmans Dome. The tallest point on the trail. Then one more night and into Gatlinburg, TN to resupply and send them on their way back to AZ.
At Mile 193.6 of the AT on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 (11:42 AM). Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=35.56338,+-83.58542 Last night we stayed at Derrick Knob Shelter at Mile marker 189.0. When we got .2 miles out of camp I officially had less than 2000 miles to go! Yesterday’s hike was a bit rough. I didn’t get much sleep and the terrain was up and down all day with a couple of near vertical areas. We summitted Rocky Top (5527′) and Thunder Mountain (5040′). We made it to the shelter first and I was able to get a spot in there so I didn’t have to set up my tent. The plus about this is that I don’t have to pack up a tent and I was able to stay warm by the fire place in the shelter! Shortly after we arrived the shelter was filled and a small tent city setup outside. We had people still arriving at 8:00 pm. That’s a long day especially when it’s cold and windy out.