Wordpress is loading infos from gaiagps
Please wait for API server guteurls.de
to collect data from
Day 26 16.7 Miles
Started the day with a huge spread for breakfast consisting of soufflés, hash brown casserole, fruit, chocolate dipped strawberries, and blueberry pancakes to name just a few items. Wow! My eyes lit up like the 4th of July. I think I put back like 3 plate fills and about 6 glasses of orange juice (don’t want scurvy on the trail). If you are hiker out there northbound stop at the Mtn Harbor Hostel and order the breakfast for $12, I highly recommend it for the morale as well.
Well me and Speakup didn’t really hit the trail until around 10 or so after a college group came through and a couple other thru hikers. I was waiting patiently for him checking my phone and using as much wifi as possible to check my birthday messages before heading out. My service has been spotty but thanks to everyone for sending me a birthday message. Once I get into the next town I will try my best to respond. It’s really awesome to spend your birthday on the trail and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.
The day was flat for the most part terrain wise, saw a black rat snake just before crossing the 400 mile mark, jumped into Elk River to cool off a bit, and drank down some lemonade at night because I didn’t really have any other type of drinks which was refreshing after a very hot humid day. Did some reflection today and I can say that I have definitely lived a good 26 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but there are many mountains and valleys that have taught me a lot along the way and I’m thankful for those experiences. Im a young whippersnapper pushing along.
Now to get some rest because I hardly got any the night before. I’m tired. Looking forward to Trail Days coming up in a few days in Damascus.
Day 25 16.3 Miles
Ahh the smell of spruce at 6000′ awakening you in the morning! Walked a couple miles down Roan Mountain into Carvers Gap and had my first bit of trail magic. A couple who run a hiker Hostel up in Maine came by before Trail Days which is coming up this Thursday and brought donuts, cantaloupe, sodas, and coffee right before getting into the Roan Highlands. When I’m in Maine I plan on seeing them again, it’s comforting to know that there are still good people in the world that just care about people. I greatly appreciated and thanked them dearly. The day was filled with much beauty. We hiked over several balds including Jane and Hump Mountain and even got to see a converted barn into a shelter at Overmountain. Hiking over Hump Mountain with its many false summits was a bit difficult but it was definitely rewarding getting to the top and seeing all of the ridgelines from down below. More beauty ontop of more beauty. Got down to Mtn Harbor Hostel along with 007 and Speakup ordered a tent spot and a huge double cheeseburger from the local food truck. Grabbed a shower and hung out with some fellow hikers reminiscing on the day and caught up on some social media as well. Big breakfast tomorrow and I’m stoked, I’ve been hearing about this for many days before on the trail.
Day 24 17.6 Miles
Awoke this morning to an older lady squatting alongside the trail and everything was hanging out, guess she was oblivious that we were there. Kind of a comical way to start the day. The first 10 miles to the first shelter and to Greasy Creek for lunch went fairly quickly with a couple ups and downs and road crossings. Crossed paths with Compass again, hadn’t seen him since the NOC in Gatlinburg. He’s only got about 4 months and is trying to push big miles. Leapfrogged with Princess Anne throughout the day.
Tackled Roan Mountain jamming out to Snake Farm and did a little dancing while climbing up the mountain. The ascent was 4 miles of agony, but I happily took the challenge and Speakup and I arrived to Roan High Knob Shelter ( highest shelter on the AT) around 5 in the evening. I threw my hammock around some trees and took a short breather before dinner. Met a guy named One Pole and I feel sorry for the man because one of his tent poles broke him earlier. Got to hear about his life and how he retired from the Navy and US Postal Service around dinner time. Can’t wait to get into Mountain Harbor Hostel tomorrow for resupply. Should be mostly all downhill.
Day 23 17.1 Miles
Caught the 830 free shuttle into Erwin to the Huddle House where I chowed down on an American breakfast of toast, eggs, and bacon. Great start to the morning instead of Poptarts. Sat with Tom and Sunflower and talked mostly about movies and relationships. Arrived back at the Hostel around 1030 and packed my stuff up, paid my tab for denatured alcohol and the stay, said some goodbyes out the door then left with Tom to head to Cherry Gap Shelter for the night. The first climb out of Erwin wasn’t that easy with a full resupply. Had lunch at the first shelter and met JenJen (sp?) and her friend who were both slackpacking to Indian Grave Gap. I’ve seen JenJen multiple times before at previous shelters but never formally introduced myself. Tom was lagging behind today because of some lower back issues. He was pretty close to turning back to Erwin he told me later today, but he kept pushing forward. Beauty Spot Gap clearing was gorgeous with views looking southward and westerly. Several cars were in the parking lot and I even crossed paths with a family eating some KFC being Mothers Day and all. Oh Happy Mothers Day to my mom back home, if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t t love the outdoors so much. She even section hiked the whole trail a few years ago. Kind of a big deal.
Climbed up Unaka Mtn later in the evening enjoyed the densely populate spruce forest at the top and rolled into camp around 7 just catching Princess Anne toward the tail end. Put my tarp up in a weird origami pattern (don’t know what type of hedron you would call it?), woofed down some Mac and cheese and tortilla filled with tuna and Nutella (I know sounds delish, it was first for me) and called it a night by 9. Get to camp at the highest shelter on the AT tomorrow.
Day 22 6.2 Miles
Woke up really early to hit the trail so I could get some pizza in town early. All I was thinking about was all you can eat at the Pizza Plus in town. Hiked down with Britney and Timber in the morning and arrived at Uncle Johnnys Hostel around 10. Unfortunately I had to wait until 1230 when the next free shuttle headed to town to Pizza Plus. In the meantime, I bought a hammock pad for the night for around $17, including a towel for a shower and also access to their kitchen supplies. Uncle Johnnys has a nice setup for hammocks with a roof and even a globe light above each hammock hang. Got a chance to see a few people I knew but it wasn’t until later that night when Boston Rob, Princess Ann, Gizmo, and few others arrived that I knew a bit better. Tom, or rather Speak Up now was there as well and I hadn’t seen him since leaving Fontana. The pizza at Pizza Plus was AMAZING, even though it tasted a bit like Little Ceasers cardboard, but it was AYCE for $8 including a soda. I think I left eating about 8 plates or so. Wallowed over to the Dollar General across the street like a fat hippo and got my next resupply for the upcoming days. Shuttle came back and then I mostly chilled in my hammock until around 530 chatting with some new people and then dozed off for a short nap. To save money I skipped the 530 shuttle to the Mexican Restaurant/Walmart in town and ate the extra Mac and Cheese that I carried for the last 60 miles using my alcohol stove. Once everyone got back I chatted with Timber for a bit and then watched Kindergarten Cop with Tom until I dozed off gently.
Day 21 16.5 Miles
Started fairly early to beat the rain but it didn’t really come until later in the evening. Caught up with Timber and Britney at Low Gap and hiked with them during majority of the day. It was good to hike with some folk and to not be myself for the entirety of the day. Crossed over Big Bald and I think the views and terrain are comparable to Max Patch Mountain or even better. Had lunch at Bald Mountain Shelter with Timber and Britney, the shelter was much nicer than the ones before us holding ten people and looking more like The Smokies shelter. The hike from lunch to No Business Shelter can be simply described as wet. It poured for a good several hours. When I got into the shelter I asked if there were any spots available out of the rain and I got a NO so I just threw my tarp down in the rain staked it out and wrapped myself in my sleeping bag in a few dry clothes and just called it a night. I only ate a few snacks and didn’t even fire up the stove because I was distraught from the unfriendliness in the shelter and the rain. Next time I’m going to set my shelter up differently geometry, rain was dripping in from both ends. Hoping the rain will hold off in the morning and I can walk the next 6 miles in peace. All you can eat pizza in Erwin is calling my name.
Day 20 19.7 Miles
Originally planned only of going to Hogback Ridge Shelter tonight but decided to push a bit further so I’d have some time for relaxation and resupply in Erwin. The first 10 miles or so getting to Rector Lane was mostly downhill and I had a chance for an early lunch at Flint Ridge Shelter before the two big climbs of the day. Got to meet Neemore on the way to the shelter and he said he was pulling big mike days and that he hiked the PCT a couple years ago as well as the AT in 2015. He was friendly fellow and was kind of humorous which was good for my state of being. Sometimes there is too much time by myself during the day and so I try to appease it with longer breaks at shelters and music. I grinded out the tunes today before the first major climb and it was a doozy. The second one not to bad getting to Hogback but I was out of water by the time I got there and it was another 0.3 to get water from the shelter. Why can’t they build shelters 15 ft from water. Decided to push on to Sams Gap crossing I26 underpass. Kind of weird seeing an interstate after so many days. Couldn’t find a decent campsite at Sams Gap so I had to get up to a meadow and lay low for the night, storm is on its way in for the night. Got in just before sunset and sure was beautiful peaking down below mountains I probably already passed over. Boiled some ramen for dinner and called it a night.
Day 19 15.9 Miles
Met some new hikers today by the name of Timber and Britney both from upstate New York and both just recently graduated in the geosciences. Had some conversation with them about glaciers and climate change which was interesting right before sunset. Also met a Sobo hiker named Cloth at lunch spot. Overall today was pretty hot, near the low 80s. Had to reapply the sunscreen twice because I was walking on a western facing exposure with little dense foliage. Saw another observation tower near Pounding Mill Trail. Had to boulder some rocks on an exposed Ridge to get down into Jerry Cabin Shelter. I’m getting kind of tired of peanut butter and need to change my snacks/lunch up a bit at the next resupply. Hoping to go a little past Hogback Ridge Shelter tomorrow so my resupply into Erwin is shorter day.
Day 18 14.2 Miles
Ok so I changed my mind about taking a nero day in Hot Springs. After hiking about 3 miles into town, resupplying at the Dollar General for an extra day into Erwin, and eating a burger at the Smoky Mtn Diner I decided to hit the trail for some more mileage. I really don’t know what made me do it but it was a beautiful day out and I really didn’t want to spend it in town. Save those days for bad weather. The first leg across the bridge was gentle parallel to the French Broad River but things became steeper climbing up and over Lovers Leap and Roundtop Ridge. I hiked up to the tower and out around the corner jumped Jukebox. Hadn’t seen him in a couple of days so we caught up talking about the bad weather in the Smokies and also about Hot Springs. It was good to see the ole chap.
Kept climbing until finally arriving at Springer Mountain Shelter where it was jam packed with people. Haven’t seen this many people since the first couple days, guess people got the same idea and left Hot Springs too. Talked to a few new people while making dinner, seems like I see new faces everyday. Jukebox and some other guy were discussing American vs British foods and metric system and pounds. Fun stuff.
I kind of wished I would have stayed the night in Hot Springs tonight, but it does feel good to be one step closer to Katahdin.
Day 17 20.2 Miles
I told myself after the last 20 mile day never again until VA but today I cranked another one out leaving me about 3 miles shy of Hot Springs which is my resupply. I’ve decided since Hot Springs is trail noteworthy of taking a nero day there and eat some real food and stay at a nice hostel before Erwin, TN.
Today was a long day. Early in the morning I hiked up and over Max Patch Mtn, the views were beautiful as always. I think this makes trip number five for me for Max Patch. Stayed for a bit looking at the scenery and also to use the cellular device, good service ontop of Max Patch. In the morning my mind was thinking about being a human being and not just a human doing. Every time when we introduce ourselves to somebody in town we usually always state our occupation, what about what we are being or becoming being more important? Anyways, just getting deep once again. Had lots of time to think while on the trail, guess that’s a good thing. Right now I’m hiking solo so it’s even more so.
Had lunch right before hiking up Bluff Mountain. Glad I came from the right side because the descent was super long. Down, down, down. My knees slightly hurt because of it. Couple younger guys trying to prove themselves past me on the descent, what’s the rush man?
Finally made it into camp with about 2.5 hrs of daylight, perfect timing to hang a bear line, cook some food, and just sit and stretch. Tomorrow I will be in Hot Springs, maybe soaking up some of that geothermal water. Ahhh it will feel good to take a break tomorrow.