Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Future Trails


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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Iron Mt. Gap to Hughes Gap

Day One: 4.1                                                                           Outcasts Total Miles: 2229.9
Iron Mt. Gap to Greasy Creek Gap

Day Two: 5.3
Greasy Creek Gap to Hughes Gap

Total Miles: 9.4

This time we used the shuttle service from Mountain Harbour in Roan Mt. Tennessee. As we drove into the mountains we could see the snow at the tops. They were calling for flurries with an additional inch of snow possible. We started out in 3-6 inches of snow heading our way to Greasy Creek Gap. 

We set up camp and gathered firewood as the snow began to fall. It was supposed to get down to 19 degrees tonight. We got our campfire going and ate dinner as the snow continued to fall. By bed time we had to knock the snow off our tarps. Through the night the snow kept falling. Every time we got up to use the bathroom there was more snow. Finally by morning we had an additional 12 inches of snow. It was still snowing.

We got on the trail and started plowing our way through two foot drifts and knocking the snow off branches as they hung across our trail. There was 6-8 inches of snow on the branches. It was a powdery snow so that did help. We stopped at the Clyde Smith Shelter to have a snack and thaw out our bladder hoses.

From the shelter we had 6.4 miles to go to get to our next camp at Ash Gap. It wasn't looking good for time. As we continued to battle the snow we were making slower and slower progress as well as getting more tired. Knowing the snow was not going anywhere and a good possibility that it would get worse as we climbed Roan Mt. we decided to call it at Hughes Gap Road. We called for the shuttle and they came and got us. Luckily they had plowed the road on the side he was coming from.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

AT - Spivey Gap to Iron Mt. Gap

Day One: 4.9                                                        Outcasts Total Miles: 2220.5
Spivey Gap to No Business Knob Shelter
Day Two: 10.5
No Business Knob Shelter to Curley Maple Gap Shelter
Day Three: 7.9
Curley Maple Gap Shelter to Deep Gap
Day Four: 8.0
Deep Gap to Iron Mt. Gap
Total Miles: 31.3

As usual, we like to start out with a little excitement. When we got to Iron Mountain Gap there was no AT signs like we have had at all the other Gaps. There was snow and ice. We drove just a little further to make sure we were at the top, then turned around in a driveway. Well, when we backed back into the road an eighteen wheeler tanker truck come around the corner above us heading our way fast. Marco and I both hit the accelerator of the truck trying to get out of his way. Actually he was the driver, but it was a tight minute for sure.

We used hikershuttles.com and had Tom meet us at Iron Mountain Gap to take us back to Spivey Gap to begin the hike. We started out at Spivey Gap which is 331 miles from Springer Mt., the start of the Appalachian Trail.  It didn't take us long to hike into the snow. This time it was only about 3 inches deep and no drifts. We hiked on to No Business Knob Shelter for the night. Of course we did not stay in the shelter, but swung in our hammocks near by.

Day Two:
We decided to get an early start today and try to make it to the next shelter before the storm came in which was supposed to be around noon. We stopped in Erwin at Uncle Johnny's for lunch at his picnic table out side under cover. From there we crossed the Nolichucky River and headed on to the Curley Maple Gap Shelter. It had still not started raining. Lora gave us an update that the weather was still coming. Marco entertained us with trying to hang the bear bag inside the shelter. We did stay in this shelter. It started raining around 2:30am. 

Day Three:
It decided to rain on us on and off all day today. It gave us the chance to try out some new gear. Troy had some water proof mittens and a Frog Tog rain hat. We also had our Frog Tog coats and pants. The new equipment worked OK. 

We could see nothing at the Beauty Spot which is a large bald on top of the mountain. When we got to Deep Gap the wind was blowing so hard it almost took us off the trail. Unfortunately, this was also our camping spot for the night. There was no way we could stay here which later we found out was over 50 mile an hour wind. We hiked back South until we found us a place to make camp. We ended up camping in a cloud which later did a quick freeze and dropped down in the twenties. We did get to see a deer as we found a spring down the hill from us.

Day Four:
We got up and had to pack frozen solid gear up. We were breaking ice as we put our tarps in our backpacks. We started out with the steep climb up Unaka Mountain. The snow was frozen over and we walked mostly on top of it. There is a Christmas tree decorated at the top in memory of a young boy. Probably died of cancer. The top of the mountain is covered in a large thick pine forest which is beautiful in ice and snow. On the way down the mountain we saw our first hiker of the trip. 

We stopped at Cherry Gap shelter for lunch and then we saw a mouse playing at a campsite before the next mountain. On the way up the next mountain we saw two more backpackers that had just started out on a backpack going South. 

We got to the truck and headed to our traditional breakfast at Waffle House.