Double Spring Gap Shelter
4/1/2014 – Day 21 – Total Miles 196
It’s 7.30 and there must be 30 people in and around this shelter now, and of course I’m the oldest one here… What’s up with that?
We have a small Boy Scott group here, so there is energy to build a fire. All the shelters in NC have chimneys but everyone is usually too tired to build a fire. The scouts have an interesting definition of old… If you are over 41 you are elderly. … End of story!
At this shelter you can get water to filter from either side of the state line… NC or TN… lol.
Ice Water Spring Shelter
4/2/2014 – Day 22 – Total Miles 209.8
Finally, an awesome day. We had great weather and TM at about 12 miles in. After the trail magic we just rested for about an hour then pressed on to Ice Water Spring. I think rain is coming but don’t know for sure.
Today my legs were strong for the first time… I didn’t fall behind and there were plenty of ups and downs. We crossed over the highest point of the Appalachian Trail today at Cling Man’s Dome (approx. 6,500 ft.) I hope it wasn’t a fluke… But it’s too early to think I have my hiking legs. Total miles for today was about 14.
The shelter is packed again tonight with the same folks as last night. We also have a couple guys who are determined to get a fire going… They have been at it steady now for about 2 to 3 hrs. I’ll be asleep soon.
Phone Service is terrible so I don’t know if anything is getting out except my GPS location.
Anyway, it’s hiker midnight…
PS: I forgot to mention the couple that provided the trail magic took their vacation time and drove up from St. Petersburg, FL just to provide Trail Magic to the thru-hikers. They even gave out free re-supply to those that had a need or were short anything. Amazing… It restores your faith in mankind.
The other thing I forgot to mention is that folks from everywhere that were visiting the area would ask about our hike effort once they figured out that we went just homeless! We must have been asked 20 times and wished success on our journey. People actually care!
Tri-Corner Knob Shelter
4/3/2014 – Day 23 – Total Miles 222.4
It was an absolutely gorgeous day to hike today. Beautiful blue skies with spring rolling in over us. BUT, you must know by now that there is always a but, 12 miles today and the rocks just beat my feet to pieces. I almost hobbled into the shelter. 2 ibuprofen and I’ll have new ‘old’ feet in the morning, just in time for 15 miles in thunderstorms tomorrow. I hope not but it’s likely.
The shelters thru the Smokies are pretty full and now we are hearing Norovirus is beginning to take off. So many of the younger set not filtering their water yet. If it gets close I’ll move to my tent and avoid the shelters which have local mouse residence.
The pic is of our food bags hung up to keep the bears and mice from feasting.
Davenport Gap Shelter
4/4/2014 – Day 24 – Total Miles 237.2
Well we made our 15 mile day. After 3 miles in the pouring rain we huddled in a shelter about halfway till the rain stopped, then we made a run for our intended shelter for the night.
Plan to make it to Standing Bear Hostel for a food drop pickup in the morning and maybe a run into town for laundry… If I wait much longer I’ll have to burn my underwear!
We got real lucky getting thru the Smokies. Hot Springs is coming up fast (50 percent of the hikers are gone by then). The next big drop in Hikers will be Damascus, VA. But let’s not get ahead of myself…
Phone Service is almost none existent with AT&T. If you are hitting the trail soon and reading this… Get a Verizon Disposable… You’ll be glad you did!
The pic is of the fire we started to dry out all our wet clothes socks etc. You can see everything hanging above if you look closely.