Hike out of Gatlinburg

Trip Start Mar 01, 2014
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Saturday April 5,
Woke up around 8am, still hurting from the Birthday Bash of yesterday. After a hot shower, packing up our packs, and eating breakfast - Lobsteh and I headed to get a free shuttle from the Outdoor store....which ended up costing me $41.06, because I bought Super Feet Insoles for my trail runners.
We arrived at the parking lot around 10:45, where we met trail angels Barney and Beth, the same ones from a few days earlier. Lobsteh hung out for a few, then headed down the trail.
Since I was still feeling iffy, I stayed til 2pm, just talking and chilling out with everyone.
The weather was perfect, and I only had to hike 10 miles today :-). Great views today, sunny, and that deep evergreen/decaying underbrush smell made the hike perfect. Some of the overlooks were breath taking, a small slide cleared a huge path down the side of an overlook, making for a spectacular combination of new growth/old growth and decaying trees........ unfortunately the camera does not capture it at all :-( .
Finally making it to the shelter, I could have sworn I only walked a mile at the most - the Super Feet Insoles worked their magic again on this hike! I don't think I will ever go without them again, the support the deliver is amazing! Well worth the $40.00.
Arriving at the shelter, I found everyone already eating, and besides 4 others that I passed on the way, everyone from the party crew was there. We built a fire, hung the food bags, and settled in for the night. With a slight chill in the air, this promises to be a GREAT night of sleep - which I desperately need, after the last 2 nights of partying!

Sunday April 6,
Beautiful/easy 13 miles! The views were awesome, met some cool people and could not have asked for better weather :-)
After arriving at the shelter, I found out the crew had stayed at the last shelter, only doing 5 miles......so they could finish off the moonshine they hiked in from Gatlinburg. So I figure I will not see them for 2 or 3 days...lol!
Ridge runner Fletcher is at our shelter Tonight, he told us that tonight is suppose to bring a huge storm, 60 mile an hour winds and rain in the am. My alarm is set for 1am, in hopes of only having to deal with the wind, no rain!

Monday April 7,
Woke up at 1am .......and it is downpouring, so no night hiking...back to sleep!
Finally woke up around 8am, it was still raining, but the winds were not bad. I left the shelter almost dead last, because I waited for the rain to stop.
Great hike today, no sun - but clear/overcast skies. The wind did pick up for a while, strong enough to almost knock me off my feet at the ridges. Then, after heading down a few feet, the wind was block by the mountain.
I took a .6 mile detour to go check out the fire tower, well worth the extra hiking - some cool rock scrambles and great views up there! I almost lost my hiking pole, it fell down the side of a rock edge.....a few minutes of balanced "fishing" with my other pole, and I got it back.
Later down the trail, by Davenport Gap, some of the best/ most scenic water crossings we have come across so far. .......and......trail magic :-) - stream cold soda!
I finished today off at Standing Bear Farm. A rustic little place, with bunk beds and pizza :-) .
There is a black and white cat that relaxed with me for a good while also. The plan is to hike out late tomorrow evening, a cowboy camp at Max Patch tomorrow night!
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