Sunday, 8 July
Total Days – 39
Zero (Non Hiking Days) – 3
Hiking Days – 36
Total Miles – 470.3 (or 193 miles as the crow flies!)
Average Miles per Day – 12.1
Average Miles per Hiking Day -13.1
Maximum Miles per Day – 18.4
Minimum Miles per Day – 3.1
Maximum Days In A Row – 14
Falls – None in 470 miles!
Trips, Slips, Stubbed Toes – Too many to count.
Sights – Roan Highlands – I hit this with perfect weather. Many balds with great views over ten or so miles.
Sounds – Waking up to the birds each morning at about 5:50. No alarm clock needed.
Smells – The smell of the fir forest. You can not put it in a can. Also, a sweet, sweet smell like sugary candy. Could never figure out what it was. There were no flowers around.
Sights – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 13 Camping Areas/Shelters along the AT, 4 of which were closed because of bear activity. Not a lot of views and lots of people. Also, Gatlinburg. Too touristy and crowded.
Sounds – Harley Davidson weekend while I took a zero day in Hot Springs,
Smells – My backpack. Being freshly showered with clean clothes did not last long when putting on my pack to get back on the trail.
- Mountain Crossings – No WiFi, no refrigerator, no linens. Resupply here, but camp just up the trail unless you need a shower that bad,
- Top of Georgia – Very efficient and business like. Everything you need. Shuttle to Hiawassee for a good resupply and dinner.
- Gooder Grove – Opposite of TOG. Very laid back. Nothing really on time. Real bed with linens. Everything you need is in walking distance, restaurants, resupply and outfitter.
- Nantahala Outdoor Center – Shower, kitchen, bunkhouse, outfitter. Everything you need. No real character.
- Standing Bear – You either love it or hate it, no in between. Alcohol seems to play a part in liking it. I mailed a box here and kept going.
- Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn – Nicest accommodations on the trail. Feels like a bed and breakfast. Excellent breakfast meal. Pray you have enough people to get dinner made. Only downside was no laundry and having to use the laundromat. Hot Springs is the perfect place for a zero. Best outfitter on the trail is in town, plenty of restaurants.
- Hemlock Hollow Inn – Great host and accommodations. Everything you need is onsite. Linens available.
- Mother Marion’s – Bottom floor of a nice house. Good beds with linens. Nice shower. Only downside was poor resupply.
- Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel – Right on the trail. Good resupply onsite. Decent accommodations.
- Greasy Creek Friendly – Long way, 0.7 miles, off the trail but worth it. Shuttle to Dollar General for resupply. Stay in the house included linens.
- Mountain Harbour – Nice hostel with good resupply. Sorry I missed the breakfast.
- Boots Off – Nice hostel accommodations. Everything you need. I was lucky on running into some trail magic with complimentary lunch and dinner as part of the Independence Day celebration.
- Bears – Two, mama and baby. Way to close. I would have liked to observe them at a distance. See Day Sixteen – Mama Bear and Baby Bear.
- Deer – About a dozen. Only one buck.
- Turkeys – Two.
- Snakes – Three. Black snake, Eastern gartersnake, gray ratsnake.
- Chipmunks – Hundreds.
- Squirrels – A hundred?