T-13 Getting ready…

Went for a short hike yesterday but with a full pack. It was nice but slow and steady. Millie went too and she found a turtle.

Mr Turtle
Millie likes baby squirrels too!

Here’s where my mileage stands right now:

AT Thru-Hike Stats
Section Day #0 (4/29/22)
Start — Fontana Hilton (165.7)
End — TBA
Today’s mileage: NA
Total section miles: NA
Total miles on AT: 1016.6

Behold the turtle. He makes progress when he sticks his neck out. — JB Conant

T-15 Time to Go Again…

It’s time to go back to the AT again! This time I’m planning to finish up the area around GSMNP (Great Smoky Mountain National Park) from the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) to Standing Bear Hostel at the north end of the park. This will complete about 105 miles around the National Park. I’ll be doing two smaller sections, each about 30 miles over 3 days: Fontana Dam to the NOC and Newfound Gap to Standing Bear Hostel.

I leave in 15 days. Everything is all laid out and ready to be packed for the hike. Base weight including some cold weather gear is 14 lbs for this hike. I’ll be documenting the hike on this blog and tracking on my Garmin InReach Mini. Links to photos and my track are on this page. There will likely be very few videos posted on YouTube. There are so many Thru-Hike Vloggers this year; many have fairly poor quality videos. I don’t want to be one of them. I have been following Jay Wanders Out, it’s like being there again.

14 lb Base Weight Gear Laid Out

I’ll be posting again soon…

 “The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Day #5 — That’s Enough!

After hiking 42 of some of the toughest miles on the Appalachian Trail, I decided to stop hiking this section here at Fontana dam. There are many reasons I’ve made this decision, the biggest one is that my daily miles are not anywhere near what I need to make it to Atlanta in time for my regatta.

So I got a hiker shuttle into Knoxville late last evening and I am taking the bus home from Knoxville. Looking at the weather, it might’ve been an even better decision.

I’ve got lots of projects at home including building a deck and lots of sailing stuff. I also have a lovely lady and sweet dog that I haven’t seen for sometime.

Day #4 — Out of the Smokies to Fontana Dam…

I got an early start from Mollie’s Ridge Shelter after a much-needed long nights rest.

The rain from yesterday had passed on and the trail was pretty nice.

I began the long descent out of the park to Fontana dam as the sun came out and it got very warm. I ended up at the Fontana dam shelter, also known as the Fontana Hilton.

AT Thru-Hike Stats
Section Day # 4 (4/9/21)
Start — Mollies Ridge (177.7)
End — Fontana Hilton (165.7)
Today’s mileage: 12.0
Total section miles: 42.0
Total miles on AT: 1016.6

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. — Leo Tolstoy

Day #3 — Milestone and some rest.

I set off from Spence field this morning and after hiking the 6 miles to Mollies Ridge, I decided to call it quits for the day. This gave me a chance to get some much-needed rest and have a nice dinner. The shelter is very crowded and there’s a ridge runner here checking everyone’s permit. I was able to call the back country office and get permission to stay here for the night.

The big mile stone today is that I now have more than 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail. It seems funny because the thru hikers here all have trail legs and are hiking strong, yet they’ve all done less than 200 miles.

I’ve got 11 miles to hike to Fontana Dam tomorrow. That will take me out of Smoky Mountain national Park.

AT Thru-Hike Stats
Section Day # 3 (4/8/21)
Start — Spence Field (183.7)
End — Mollies Ridge (177.7)
Today’s mileage: 6.0
Total section miles: 30.0
Total miles on AT: 1004.6

Be courageous! Have faith! Go forward. ― Thomas A. Edison