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Got a late start today and hiked up to Gregory Bald on the south side of the Cades Cove loop. It was a definitely a change in the weather patterns over the last couple of days and the temperature dropped down below freezing. It was windy and cold, a prime environment for testing gear even further and the extremes that I may face while on the AT. My girlfriend and I reached the top of the Bald fairly quickly, sat down and ate some quick lunch of crackers, tuna, and chocolate with a cloud inversion down below looking toward Cades Cove. Tested the DIY alcohol stove, but hands were so cold that it did not prove to be a successful endeavor plus the stove was having a hard time to prime maybe because of the temperature. This is something I need to do a bit more research into since I’m kind of new to the alcohol stove world.
We left in a hurry to get back on the trail before we froze into icicles.
Looking north down into Cades Cove. Around 30 degrees up ontop of Bald. No azaleas this time of the year
We reached Parsons Branch Road and then hiked back to the car where we started earlier that afternoon. Surprisingly we were greeted by a Law Enforcement Ranger to guide us out of the Cove and to lock the gate. Luckily he was a friendly fellow and did not give us a ticket or anything. Overall it was a good day hike in the cold to test the extremes of weather and to also test the limits of some of clothing especially my new down jacket and possum down gloves.
Day by day I’m getting more confident in my skills and techniques so that when I get on the the trail in April it will be that much more efficient and I can enjoy the other things of the Trail. I should have an official start date really soon. I’m thinking about planning an overnighter this week if anyone would like to join in the Smokies? I would really like to hike the Art Loeb Trail if anyone is free?
Link to photos and map of hike using GaiaGPS:
Hey everybody! Been a few days since I’ve posted here. I got the chance to get out for a bit to do some dayhiking along with the girlfriend today east of Cades Cove area. It was very much needed to put the computer to rest and to take a break from the social media scene. Overall it was a pretty easy loop hike taking Turkey Pen Ridge Trail in and Cane Finely Trail back out to the car, right around 8 or so miles. Luckily we missed the severe weather front that moved through the area by at least an hour or so and dropped a couple buckets of rain. The wind was really howling around and it made putting up my hammock and tarp kind of like flying a kite. Learned a few tweaks on the hammock setup that will save time and a little bit of weight. Too many guy lines almost tripped me up and I think I’m going to discontinue the continuous ridgeline. Haha
Etowah 8×10 tarp, ENO Sub7 hammock (minus carabiners), with added mule tape suspension. Comfy and dry!
For Route and Georeferenced Photos please view:
For best viewing click on photos to the right of the map which will bring up a fancy slideshow.
I’m trying to only use my iPhone right now to type and it is being quite annoying with autocorrect shenanigans but it is something I’m going to have to get used to while on the trail unless I’m in a trail town with a using a computer.
So in the next couple of days I will be doing some overnighters in the Smokies to further test some gear. I also need to spray my clothing with a silicone waterproofing agent and also soak my clothes in premerthin for ticks and other bugs. They are predicting it to be a big tick season on the trail come the warmer summer. Oh boy, get the tweezers out!
Other Blog Things and Sponsorships?
I recently have updated my blog page to include a Navigation menu and and have also added a few more pictures in the sidebar. I also may have some gear sponsors coming soon, so stay tuned!!!! I’ve been emailing all kinda of companies like Osprey, FitBit, Hammock Gear, Sawyer Squeeze and many others over the last couple of days, so I’m hoping to hear back from them really soon and see what they can provide for my adventure!
Catch some wind in your sails sometime?! Kind of the story for today.
Hey everybody! My website has launched called http://www.sonderupon.com ! Why Sonder Upon? Check out the about page to find out whats in the name. Also feel free to comment or like any of my pages as I’m hiking on any social media pages. I’m hoping to post a new page every 3 days or so and will also link up my Gaia GPS blog with georeferenced pictures on the map. Within the blog be sure to also check out my AT Gear List page as well my Trips Archive page.
So here’s a picture of all the gear that I will be using on the trail this year. I will eventually update the Gear List Menu to have a complete list with weight of each item using Google Sheets. I’m currently testing the WP app on my phone to see ease of use while in the field so I do not have to carry around a heavy, clunky laptop. Stay tuned.