Day #2 — A long one..

I hiked 13.5 miles today; got caught up with my schedule. I kept seeing my park with your friend Greg And intern Megan.

I ended up hiking the last 2 miles in the dark with my headlamp on. I climbed and descended Thunderhead Mountain in the dark. I hiked through thick Rhododendrum’s in a dark tunnel. I did come upon a pair of shiny eyes looking back at me from the side of the trail; fortunately it was a bunny rabbit. 🐇

The miles up here in the Smokies are really tough. Ten miles a day is tough for me.

AT Thru-Hike Stats
Section Day # 2 (4/7/21)
Start — Double Spring Gap (197.2)
End — Spence Field (183.7)
Today’s mileage: 13.5
Total section miles: 24.0
Total miles on AT: 998.6

You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction. ― George Horace Lorimer

Day #1 — A Tough start…

Today was a tough one. I started at Newfound gap after taking the shuttle from Gatlinburg.

Almost immediately the 8 mile climb to the top of Clingmans Dome begin. With my winter gear and five days of food the pack was very heavy and going was very slow slow.

 I ended up making it only to double spring gap and doing 10 1/2 miles. I met a nice park ranger who gave me permission to stay at the shelter. I also met lots of through hikers and there are also many vacation hikers here as well. I have 13 1/2 miles to do tomorrow to get myself back on schedule.

AT Thru-Hike Stats
Section Day # 1 (4/6/21)
Start — Newfound Gap (207.7)
End — Double Spring Gap (197.2)
Today’s mileage: 10.5
Total section miles: 10.5
Total miles on AT: 985.1

Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding. ― Jimmy Valvano

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!