Travel Day “0”

Today was my travel day. I decided to rent a car one way to Sevierville, about 10 miles from Gatlinburg. The drive went well, although I was almost hit by a car that spun out on the highway near Knoxville.

There was no rideshare service from the Hertz drop off location, so I set out on the back roads of Tennessee with my pack on and my thumb out. I had a ride to Gatlinburg in less than 5 minutes. Tomorrow, I’m taking the shuttle to Newfound Gap from here.

The trail will provide…

I had a nice dinner at the local BBQ place. It will be trail food for the next 5 days.

Gatlinburg is busy now. The weather is nice. 🌞

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha

The trail will provide…

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Yesterday, I found that I was becoming increasingly nervous about getting to the trail. On Monday I’m driving a rental car to Sevierville, TN, figuring a way to get myself the 15 miles to Gatlinburg and then figuring out how to get to the trail at Newfound Gap Tuesday morning. Uber and Lyft don’t seem to be running much in Gatlinburg; will I be stranded?

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So, I opened GutHook (AT hiker navigation app) on my phone and found this. This is so awesome. Somehow, someway, always the trail will provide.

So, I’m off to Tennessee in the morning for another adventure. In addition to this blog, please follow my location and send me messages from my Garmin MapShare page:

Videos will also be posted on YouTube. See my page here: Puffins YouTube Page

See you on the trail in 2 days!!!

“God is in control of all events and is able to protect and provide for you His child.”
― Jim George

This hike’s theme…

Every time I’ve done a section on the AT there’s been a theme. For example, in May of 2019 I sought to find the “spiritual” on the trail. The evening I saw thousands of fireflies across the street from the Quarterway Inn I found it.

This hike is about electronics. I’ve redone everything and it’s been fun to play with all the new gadgets. I’ve got a new iPhone 12 mini, a Garmin InReach Mini, a SteriPen, a RavPower 15,000 mAh quick charge power bank, a NiteCore rechargeable headlamp and shortie multi-use cables to charge everything.

We’ll see how everything works out. I’m optimistic about the power, relative low weight, and functionality of everything.

I leave for Eastern Tennessee in a week, and will be on the trail in the Smoky Mountains in 8 days. The long term weather forecast looks pretty good so far. So all is go for launch!!!

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. – Henry David Thoreau

Oh yeah, I forgot I bought a new hiking watch too!

Less than a month to go…

Yes, there are 30 days until I start my hike. I’m in the process of making reservations in Smoky Mountain National Park for the start of the hike. I’m also doing some warm-up hikes. I did a short but nice one in a local nature park to try out the Garmin InReach Mini. I think I’m going to like it. I’m pretty sure I’m going to opt for the unlimited plan when I hike, so anyone can message me via the satellite messenger. Go to my Garmin MapShare Page (link on blog web page) to see my little hike. In April, go there to send me a message as well.

I got this fortune with my dinner. I thought it was perfect! And yes, I know my friends will be critical, particularly at the end of my hike.

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. – Albert Einstein

I’m so excited to be preparing for a section hike again… Day #T-39

2020 was a tough one. My plans to hike the 300 miles between Port Clinton, PA and Great Barrington, MA were cancelled; therefore, I did no hiking during the calendar year. After looking into the best places to go for an April 2021 section hike, I have decided to hike ~210 miles from Newfound Gap in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the southern terminus of the trail at Springer Mountain. If all goes well, I will arrive at Springer Mountain at the end of the day on Thursday, April 22nd or Friday, April 23rd. The Springer Mountain parking lot is 55 miles from Lake Lanier Sailing Club and a MC Scow Regatta. So, my sailing friends, I’m walking to the Rebel Rouser Regatta!

Lake Lanier Sailing Club


I have new toys this trip.  I decided to upgrade my phone and power bank in addition to adding a GPS tracker and water purifier.   Here’s the set-up:




15,000 mAh RavPower Battery

iPhone 12 Mini

Garmin InReach Mini


RavPower and SteriPen




20W RavPower charging cube and cables

15,000 mAh RavPower Battery

SteriPen Ultra


Gone will be my Sony camera, Sawyer water filter and 10,000 mAh power bank. I’m hoping that the extra power and new phone will allow me to post some video from the trail and keep in touch better. You can also follow my track on the Garmin MapShare page (link on page).



Link to SteriPen Review:

More to come soon.

The new electronic independence re-creates the world in the image of a global village. – Marshall McLuhan