Memorial Day Weekend 5.22-25

It is really chilly in the mornings but gets warmer as the day goes on.  By the end of the weekend I traveled 261 miles from the start.  Averaging 20 miles a day. Right on target.

Some people are wondering… Yes, there are some showers at shelters. Not all, but a few.  Water is not hot, I don’t even care, just a shower is great.

A few times I have jumped into streams or swimming holes. The water is those is FREEZING.

Feet are getting better. One blister isn’t so bad.

Ran into some boy scouts camping for the weekend.  I just kinda have to giggle that I was kinda not the best scout. I guess they didn’t appreciate that I could survive on my terms and wearing home made duct tape shoes really was not the end of the world on a hiking trip.  Maybe I can share some of my adventures with scouts when I get home. Nah, they probably wouldn’t let me. hahaha

Enjoy the pics. Sorry I don’t know where a lot of them were taken exactly. Some where between Silers Bald Shelter at mile 195 and Walnut Mountain Shelter at mile 261.

Memorial Day Weekend.  Got some company

Memorial Day Weekend. Got some company

Memorial Day Weekend. Oh, Don't mind me...

Memorial Day Weekend. Oh, Don’t mind me…

Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend. Umm... OK?

Memorial Day Weekend. Umm… OK?

Never alone...Memorial Day Weekend

Never alone…Memorial Day Weekend

Crawfish v2

Fire Tower View, I think this was Shuckstack Fire Tower 5.22.15

Fire Tower View, I think this was Shuckstack Fire Tower 5.22.15

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend.  A trail marker

Memorial Day Weekend. A trail marker

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Motivation.  Memorial Day Weekend

Motivation. Memorial Day Weekend

Can't miss this trail, better not miss it anyway.  Memorial Day Weekend

Can’t miss this trail, better not miss it anyway. Memorial Day Weekend

Tri Corner Knob Shelter 5.23.15, Have traveled 223 miles so far.  This is one of the few shelters that has a bear fence.  Yeah, a bear fence.

Tri Corner Knob Shelter 5.23.15, Have traveled 223 miles so far. This is one of the few shelters that has a bear fence. Yeah, a bear fence.

Tri Corner Knob Shelter.  5.23.15

Tri Corner Knob Shelter. 5.23.15

At Tri Corner Knob shelter. I think I really grossed out the boyscouts that were staying here too.

Memorial Day Weekend.  A trail marker

Memorial Day Weekend. A trail marker

donkey MMD

MMD 9

MMD 8

 

A people bridge. Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

A people bridge. Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

A wooded trail. Memorial Day weekend

A wooded trail. Memorial Day weekend

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Views Memorial Day Weekend in NC

Peace from NC

Peace from NC

5.22 = 28 miles.  One of the longest

5.22 = 28 miles. One of the longest

5.23 = 27 miles & 5.24 = 13 miles

5.23 = 27 miles & 5.24 = 13 miles

May 25, 24 miles

May 25, 24 miles

Fontana Dam 5.22.15

Fontana Dam 5.22.15

Fontana Dam at dusk 5.22.15

Fontana Dam at dusk 5.22.15

Fontana Dam 5.22.15

5.21 Entering into the Smokies

Kev is in a really bad cell area.  He was able to get a quick signal from a fellow hiker’s phone (Verizon, he has ATT).  Last night he stayed near the Fontana Dam Shelter.

He said this by far was the prettiest he has seen.  There were people there playing music and hanging out watching the sun set over the lake.    He took lots of pics but unable to send / post them.

He traveled 21 miles today (166 so far, 2023 to go) and is officially in the Great Smoky Mountains.

5.21 v1

5.21 v2

5.20

Last night I stayed at the Sassafras Gap Shelter, mile 144.  Went ~24 miles today.  Happy with that  Glad I was in a shelter, it POURED last night.

Elevation 4,330′.  I know it seems like the elevation does not seem to change much, but TRUST me I am not hiking only the peaks across.  I will try posting pics from the book Appalachian Trail, Thru-Hiker’s Companion 2015 written by the Appalachial Trail Conservatory so there is record of mileage and elevation change.

5.19 Wayah Bald Tower

5.19 Wayah Bald Tower

5.19  Wayah Bald Tower view - elevation 5,342'

5.19 Wayah Bald Tower view – elevation 5,342′

 

5.20 Morning hike.

5.20 Morning hike.

 

5.20

5.20

Quick video from on top of Wesser Bald Observation Tower. Sorry, it is coming up grainy here. Was crisp when shot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poqkyvB4DDU

5.20 v5

 

5.19

A few have asked about the “we”.  There is another hiker, Josh, who I have been hiking with the past few days.  A few days ago he would pass me, I would pass him then we decided to hike together.  Josh’s last day was today, he heads back to Atlanta.

We hitched into Franklin, NC yesterday. I couldn’t wait any longer for trainers to be shipped so I bought a pair. Camped last night near the Bartram Trail, elevation 5,200′.  About 120 miles from the start.  Averaging 17 miles a day.  A little less than I thought.  Food is mostly oatmeal, granola,  kinda tree-hugger food.

Please look for that loose change around your car and home.  Wounded Warrior Project will put it to good use!

Warning – toe pics are gross!!!  Looks worse than it is.  Feels much better with the trainers. When it heals I hope increase miles.

 

5.19 - “Listen to the trees talking in their sleep,' she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. 'What nice dreams they must have!”  ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

5.19 – “Listen to the trees talking in their sleep,’ she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. ‘What nice dreams they must have!”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

5.19  Rain is coming.

5.19 Rain is coming.

5.19. Still awesome on a cloudy day

5.19. Still awesome on a cloudy day

5.19.  A few calluses, really need a shower

5.19. A few calluses, really need a shower

 

5.19

5.19

5.19

5.19

5.19

5.19

5.18, The 100 mile mark

Today we hit the 100 mile mark at the peak of Albert Mountain.  We keep seeing clouds in the distance but really have not gotten much except a sprinkle.  I think we are bound to get hit sooner or later. Distance traveled today is 20 miles. Camped near the Rock Gap Shelter and mile 106.

Update – it POURED last night!!!!

5.18  Forget which mountain this was on but it was awesome!

5.18 Forget which mountain this was on but it was awesome!

5.18 another mountain tunnel.  Glad I am walking it in the daylight!!!!

5.18 another mountain tunnel. Glad I am walking it in the daylight!!!!

 

5.18.15 Circulatory system pumping hard after the climb. Albert Mountain 5,250'

5.18.15 Circulatory system pumping hard after the climb. Albert Mountain 5,250′

 

5.17, Crossing into NC

First Milestone, crossing into NC from GA at about mile 79. Camped near Muskrat Creek Shelter, elevation 4600′, mile 81. Shorter day today, toes are killin me.

5.17 camping near Muskrat Creek Shelter

5.17 camping near Muskrat Creek Shelter

5.17.15 afternoon

5.17.15 afternoon

5.17.15 afternoon

5.17.15 afternoon

5.17.15 into GA

5.17.15 into GA

5.16

It is really pretty in the mornings. Waking up in to fog each day is incredible. Last night we were at Blue Mountain ~ mile 50.

My toes are really starting to hurt. I have asked Mom to send trainers when she gets home. I need to loose these boots.

Josh and I hitched into Hiawassee GA and got some McD.  This is all my food!  Need every calorie I can get.

At the end of the day we camped near Plumorchard Gap ~74-75 miles from Springer Mt.  We went about 25 miles today.

OK, the toe look gross, but nothing compared to those who have been injured overseas, fighting for our freedom. Please find that change laying around, maybe in the cup on your dryer and donate that to the WWP.

5.16.15. Trying to remember, I think this is Powell Moutnain, about 67 miles

5.16.15. Trying to remember, I think this is Powell Moutnain, about 67 miles

5.16.  Wrap it up and onward march

5.16. Wrap it up and onward march

5.16 Kelly Knob ~4,276'

5.16 Kelly Knob ~4,276′

5.16 McDonalds near Hiawassee, GA.  Locals pick up hikers hitching into town A LOT.

5.16 McDonalds near Hiawassee, GA. Locals pick up hikers hitching into town A LOT.

5.17 trail in the morning near Plumorchard Gap, about mile 74

5.17 trail in the morning near Plumorchard Gap, about mile 74

5.15

Blisters are building up.  Pushing through.

I have run into some other people.  They think my trail name should be either Pepe, Forrest or Franco. (Someone said I look like James Franco – hahaha). Still not sure what will stick

I kept passing and being passed by this guy so we decided to hike together for a few days. Josh is from Atlanta and will hike until next week sometime.

The weather has been good so far.  Definitely gets warmer and cooler with elevation changes.

My backpack has to loose weight. I brought too much food. I ate as much as I could, gave some away. At this point I don’t need to carry 7 days of food.

Oh yeah, I lost one of the 2 water bottles yesterday. There was a long stretch without a water source. Usually there is water every mile or so, except yesterday. I will be sure to get some water bottles when we get to town.

Thanks for following.  Challenge – go to your car and see how much change you can find in your console, under the seat, in your door pocket.  Go ahead and donate that to the Wounded Warrior Project.  The link is at the top of the blog.  I bet everyone can find at least $2.

5.15.15 waking up in the clouds

5.15.15 waking up in the clouds

5.15 Cabin.

5.15 Cabin.

5.15 nightlight.

5.15 nightlight.

5.14

Started the day near Gooch Mountain Shelter@ ~ 16 miles and ended near Blood Mountain Shelter @ ~ 30 miles.

There is obviously a lot of up and down, but to give you an idea, yesterday I started at 3,782 feet, went down to about 2500 feet, then up and down ~500-600 feet 6-7 more times.

It is really going to be hard to give elevations.  Maybe I can take pics from the book and post.

Blisters are starting today.  I have run into a lot of hikers.  We all give each other trail names.  On the way down when Mom, Mimi and I stopped for lunch at BoJangles a couple we met from Germany told us their trail names are Bud and Bud Light.  Apparently A LOT of people from Germany come to hike the AT.

Today I was given the name Blaze.

5.13 camp site for the night  near Gooch Mountain Shelter, ~ 16 miles in

5.13 camp site for the night near Gooch Mountain Shelter, ~ 16 miles in

5.14  Blisters start

5.14 Blisters start

5.14 Meeting other hikers.  Missing Burton already

5.14 Meeting other hikers. Missing Burton already

5.14  Can't beat the views

5.14 Can’t beat the views

 

5.14 Outhouse

5.14 Outhouse

 

5.14.15 Blood Mountain, lunch time. Total miles ROUGHLY 30+/- from starting point

5.14.15 Burnett Field Mountain, lunch time. Total miles ROUGHLY 26+/- from starting point