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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Future Trails



2017/2018
Oct 14-18 Appalachian Trail
Nov 13-17 Appalachian Trail
Dec  7-11 Appalachian Trail


You may have to open our picture links in a new window by right clicking the picture link.  I don't know why I am having this issue.

(All hikes are subject to change at any time)
Benton MacKaye Trail
Pinhoti Trail
Bartram Trail

Thursday, April 6, 2017

AT - Newfound Gap to I-40 Make up hike


Day One:10.2                                                                      Outcasts Total Miles: 2098.3
Newfound Gap to Pecks Corner
Day Two: 4.9
Pecks Corner to Tri Corner
Day three: 7.7
Tri Corner to Cosby
Day Four: 7.5
Cosby to Davenport

Day Five: 2.8
Davenport to I-40
Total Miles: 33.1


We rehiked this part of the AT for Troy who could not make it before. We had the large batch of Thru-hikers to deal with this time.

Starting on a clear sunny Sunday put us in competition for a parking space at Newfound Gap. It worked out that a car was pulling out as we came through. Off to a good start.

There were ALOT of people on the trail between Newfound and Charlies Bunion. We got an earlier start on the trail than last time and more daylight which led us to getting into our shelter just after dark.

Lots of good views and for the first time in twenty years, we had our permit checked by a law enforcement ranger on the trail. He also notified us that there was a ranger staying at our shelter tonight.

We stopped and ate our dinner on the trail and got into camp around 9 local time. There were many tents set up with Thru-hikers, but room in the shelter.

Day Two:
We got up this morning listening to the ranger bragging about how we came in quietly last night. Then his radio went off saying a major thunderstorm was heading our way. Up we got, collecting food bags and getting water. The ranger stopped long enough to check our permit and then headed out to get off the trail.

With just light rain coming down, we headed out. We had a short distance to go today, but a mile out we got hit hard. Standing in about six inches of water on the trail and lighting hitting all around us. The shelter was full of drowned hikers. Wet clothes hanging everywhere. We ended up with a head count of 18 for the night and a dozen clothes lines. Rained all night.

Day Three:
The sun was out and a great day ahead. We enjoyed the sunshine for a while before it just got hot. As all of the hikers we stayed with passed us by, we started getting new hikers that were heading to our next shelter. When we got to Cosby we were met by a Trailrunner who again checked our permit. Numerous Thru-hikers. Some stopped to eat, some set up camp and then broke it down and headed on, and some stayed. Another night with a full shelter and campground.

That evening we got to hear a couple of owls talking and then in the middle of the night one sounded off in camp.

Day Four:
Once again they were calling for storms. We headed out and had another great day on the trail. When we stopped for lunch we were just a couple of miles from the shelter. Marco and I were making sandwiches when Troy came in asking if we saw the lightening. We dove into our wet weather gear as the rain started. We had rain, but not the rain that the other hikers behind us got into. Made it to the shelter and then the rain stopped for the evening. Lots of visiting with other hikers through the afternoon.

Day Five:
A short hike to a waiting Dad. He had treats from Mom and drove us back to our car at Newfound Gap. We drove into snow and 29 degrees. Our car had about two inches on top of it. There were two snow plows waiting in the parking area to start clearing roads. Off we went.

Pictures:

Saturday, March 11, 2017

AT I-40 to Hot Springs NC


Day One: 2.8                                                                      Outcasts Total Miles: 2065.2
I-40 to Painter Branch
Day Two: 7.8
Painter Branch to Brown Gap
Day three: 10.2
Brown Gap to Walnut Mt. Shelter
Day Four: 9.9
Walnut Mt. Shelter to Deer Park Mt. Shelter
Day Five: 3.2
Deer Park Mt. Shelter to Hot Springs
Total Miles: 33.9


Well, we made it to our first trail town on the Appalachian Trail. Hot Springs, NC, 273.7 miles from Springer Mt., GA, where we started on the AT.

We dropped off our car in Hot Springs and got a shuttle from Dan at Bluff Mountain Outfitter back to I-40. It was uphill all the way to our campsite at Painter Branch. When we got there we found a group of first time backpackers from Florida. We had a good night of visiting with them and exchanging stories.


Day Two:
Today we finished climbing Snowbird Mountain where we got some great views of the surrounding mountains. From there we continued on to Brown Gap visiting with many Thru Hikers along the way.

Brown Gap has a small campsite along a gravel road with a spring. Not the best place to stay, but it worked. The rain kicked in just after we got our tarps set up. In between the rain showers we filtered water and hung bear bags.

Day Three:
We got up and ate breakfast. While we were eating the ground froze and our tarps froze. It was kinda weird watching the ice form on everything. We broke down camp and headed off.

We climbed Max Patch. There was a gentle Gail Force Arctic wind blowing. One Thru Hiker came back down and put on his rain gear before attempting the summit. After some quick views we went down the other side and had lunch.

We stopped at Roaring Fork shelter to air out our equipment from last night. There was still ice on our tarps as we hung them out to dry.

From there we continued on to Walnut Mt. shelter. This shelter is on top with the campsites behind it. Not a good place to be in during a storm. We had one Thru Hiker camping with us tonight. We had a good campfire and listened to the owls.

Day Four:
Today starts off with the climbing of Bluff Mountain. From there we continued on to Deer Park Mt. shelter. We camped down by the stream for the shelter. That night we had a strong thunderstorm after we got in bed.

Day Five:
Today we head into town. Our first trail town on the AT. We stopped at the Smoky Mountain Diner and had us a Hungry Hiker Burger. Life is good!

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

AT - Newfound Gap to I-40

Day One:10.2                                                                      Outcasts Total Miles: 2031.03
Newfound Gap to Pecks Corner
Day Two: 4.9
Pecks Corner to Tri Corner
Day three: 7.7
Tri Corner to Cosby
Day Four: 8.7
Cosby to Davenport

Side trip to Mt. Cammerer
Day Five: 2.8
Davenport to I-40
Total Miles: 34.3


Troy couldn't join us this time. Marco and I headed up to Newfound Gap to start our hike. We got on the trail a little later than planned. We met the thru hiker Lazarus at Charlies Bunion and then again at Pecks Corner Shelter. We arrived after dark but enjoyed some great views while it was light out. The stars were wonderful and the moon bright when it came out. We set up camp for the night and went to bed.

DAY TWO:
We got up and headed out. Another great day of hiking. We got into Tri Corner early and collected some firewood. Our two hikers tonight were doing a 30 day hike. Hunter runs a Wilderness initiative program out of Georgia. They brought in the weather report so we got our fire going early. Rain was heading our way. It rained heavy all night long. We had our mouse going through packs and checking everyone out.

DAY THREE:
We woke up to two inches of snow. It was a windy day of hiking and the temps were dropping. Talked to some more thru hikers today. Lots of good views. Had some issues with ice blowing off the trees and hitting us. When we got to Cosby Shelter the wind was blowing too strong to enjoy a fire. We hung out in the shelter for the evening and called it an early night.

DAY FOUR:
Another cold and windy day of hiking. We took the side trail out to Mt. Cammerer. The windows and walkway around the tower were all frozen over. We did get the views in anyway. Then we started the long descent down to Davenport. The weather was warming up all the way down. When we got to Davenport Gap shelter, there was a stack of wood, cardboard, lent, and a lantern. This was going to have to be a trap. Not normal at all.

We got camp set up and then a couple of thru hikers came in. We had heard about the group of seven firefighters from Virginia Beach behind us and now they caught up with us as well. Lots of visiting tonight around the fire.

DAY FIVE:
We got up early and then everyone else got up. After saying our goodbyes we headed down to I-40 where Mom and Dad picked us up. Another great hike.

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