April 24

Posted in Hike '09 at 1:03 pm by segue

11mi to Mollies Ridge Shelter

Stayed at the Fontana Dam Hilton shelter with about 30 people. More then I had seen on the trail up to that point. Hometown and I got a good early start. DId I mention that Hometown joined the walk! Great company, good stories, somking bears (and thats when I first noticed the bear) and vending machines.

¬†Walked across the dam and into The Smokies. went from Fontana Dam at 1775′ to Mollies Ridge 4570′ in 11mi.


4 days to Fontana Dam

Posted in Hike '09 at 1:03 pm by segue

It was a race to Fontana to met up with Hometown!

April 21 6mi to campsite got out of Franklin much much later then I should have. I had four days to do about 70 miles and this wasn’t a great start but at least I was able to leave. Its hard once you get a zero under your belt to want to really get back on the trail. Esp leaving good friends. Black Betty drove me back out to the trail head, opened the door and told me to get out! LOL just kidding.

April 22 18mi Cold Spring Shelter. Met Moe, Red Lion, and C.J.

April 23 20mi Very hot day stopped a lot for breaks. First 13mi feeling good. When I got Down into the gorge at N.O.C. there is an outfitter, resturant and hostel there. Took a long afternoon break to get out of the heat and then at 4:30 pushed on. What Hometown said was an “easy” climb. 7mi uphill with a elevation gain of about 4,ooo’. I was expecting to get a few more miles in this day but it was getting dark and the shelter was there.

April 24 22mi – 14mi = 8mi Did the 8mi into Stacoah Gap got in about noon. Only had about 14 mi to Fontana Dam to meet Hometown, but couldn’t get there in time to get my mail drop. So Hometown and Black Betty picked me up on the way. It was great to see them again and catch a hitch.


Day 9 April 19

Posted in Hike '09 at 4:47 pm by segue

15.4mi Beech Gap to –> Rock Gap

Woke to, wait for it, wait, you guessed it, rain, cold cold rain. Packed in tent again, I’m getting good at that, ate a cold breakfast. Headed out to Carter Gap Shelter 3mi. to have breakfast out of the rain. Legs felt good and strong lots of energy, I think it was the draw of trying to make Franklin NC to see Hometown and Black Betty.

Climed Albert Mt 5220′ first hill so far that reminds me of a real trail and home. Was a good climb into the misty mountains. No view from the top with firetower. Down hill fast. Trying everytime rain would break to make contact with Hometown and let him know I was close. Finally just above Big Spring Shelter I found a cell and let him know I was coming in fast wet and cold. He let me know that Black Betty would be in the parking lot just below the shelter in 20!!!!! Thats 20min to you and me! Now it’s not easy to run with a pack and bad ankle but I kept up a stiff pace.

There she was Black Betty calling my name, it was love at first sight. Dry warm car and good friends. Made it! got to take a great hot shower wash clothes and share a good dinner with friends. The trail really does provide. Thank You Hometown and Black Betty!


Day 8 April 18

Posted in Hike '09 at 4:34 pm by segue

16.6mi Plumorchard –> Beech Gap

Slept till 8:30 got a slow start to a beautiful hot day. Still felt a little weak but ate a big breakfast and drank a lot more water before getting started. Legs weak but taking it easy. Made the GA/NC border in 4.3mi Waaa-Hooooo! One down and five to go. NC really wanted to let you know you were no longer in GA. Trail maientance changed and two big steep climbs as soon as in NC. Made it to Muskrat Creek Shelter for lunch, “Come for the Muskrat stay for the Muskrat Love”. after a good long lunch headed out 4.9 for Standing Indian Shelter.

Note to self stay away from shelters during the weekend!!! All the sudden there were people everywhere. Boy Scout Troup and weekend Nancys. Somehow I missed the shelter and ended up on top of Standing Indian Mt. 5498′. Well I was away from eveyone now I just needed to find a water source. Three miles downhill to Beech Gap and a “water” source which was a muddy trickle but better then nothing. I made it into camp by dark cooked good hot dinner and crawled into my bag.


Day 7 April 17

Posted in Hike '09 at 4:29 pm by segue

8mi Deep Gap –> Plumporchard Gap Shelter

Beautiful hot day! Just couldn’t get any energy. Felt tired and weak all day. Don’t know if I was dehydrated or just worn out from long miles. Was hoping to get to GA/NC state line. Listened to my body and stopped at the first shelter early. Drank a ton of water set up tent made dinner and went to bed early.

Sometimes you just gotta do what you can do. On to NC tomorrow.


Day 6 April 16

Posted in Hike '09 at 4:28 pm by segue

15.3mi Blue Mt. –> Deep Gap

Woke to a beautiful day for a walk, cool and brisk but sunny. Legs feel stronger, very sore from 18mi yesterday. Lots of PUDs Pointless Ups and Downs. Till Kelly Knob 4275′ last hill climb of 1000′ in 1mi. Also climed Tray Mt 4930′. Still shooting for Franklin NC on Sunday and Hometown!


Day 5 April 15

Posted in Hike '09 at 4:22 pm by segue

18mi Neels Gap –> Blue Mt Shelter

My first 18mi day, legs felt good and strong till the very last mi uphill to Blue Mt. 4029′. Got started early up at 5a and on the trail by 7:30. Very cold overcast 40 and wind gusts to about 40mph. Turned beautiful about noon, by then had already but in 11mi to Low Gap Shelter. Ate lunch and decided since everyone else that stayed in Neels Gap that night would be staying there to push on to Blue Mt Shelter.

Beautiful sunset from the shelter while cooking dinner and meeting three new through hikers. Seems also people this close to the start haven’t chosen trail names yet.


Day 4 April 14

Posted in Hike '09 at 2:45 pm by segue

3mi Woods Hole –> Neels Gap

Short day into Neels Gap. Woke to rain still falling so packed inside tent when I came out had to play “Where is my food bag?”. At camp we hang our food bags from branches about 15′ up for they are not as likely to be gotten by bears or other critters. Well something small got mine a squirrel or racoon ate through my bag. I found a nice neat pile of what was left about 20′ away. Since I was going into Neels Gap the next day I only had a couple bars left. But they also ate my honey and soap. I collected what was left and headed out.

Short steep climb 4461′ to the highest point in GA. Blood Mt. totaly socked in fog so no views. The shelter is an old one made of stone kinda spooky. Made even spookier by the mist and clouds. Headed down hill into Neels Gap.

The Walasi-Yi Center is the only building on the AT that the trail goes through the breezeway. Its also an outfitter and hostel. Traditionaly where through hikers get there first equipment shakedown. I had my first drop box sent there and was looking forward to a hot shower and warm dry bed for the night, and as Terrapin Flyer said “I’m probably the only person to go into Neels and not buy any new equipment.”


Day 3 April 13

Posted in Hike '09 at 2:22 pm by segue

12mi Gooch Mt. –> Blood Mt.

Woke to rain, overcast and cold. Body felt good after night sleep. Met Tom starting through hike and two guys from the Marines out for ten days. Made it to the base of Blood Mt. at Woods Hole Shelter when it started to rain. I threw my tent up fast climed in and used the last of my water to make some hot dinner and tea with lots of honey. Climed into my warm dry sleeping bag and slept, till… Mice running laps around my tent. Scrounging through the leaves for mice type things. Every once in a while they would run into my tent “BONK” and wake me up but didnt cause and harm.


Day 2 April 12

Posted in Hike '09 at 2:22 pm by segue

7.2mi Hawk Mt. to Gooch Mt. Shelter

Woke late to a beautiful day, full sun, blue skys felt wonderful warm. Legs felt good and strong. Everything just starting to explode with color. Trails in GA. well groomed path no rocks. Looks as if they pulled all the rocks out of the trails. Stoped early listening to body hips sore, don’t want to push to hard to fast.

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