Day 17: Mollies Ridge to Derrick Knob
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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Fast fact, the AT was the first dedicated national scenic trail in 1968. You may notice me refer to the other two biggest trails in the USA: the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). Someone who does all three is a "triple crowner." For those of you in the Midwest, the North Country Scenic Trail (NCT) runs from New York State to Dakota. Amongst it's interesting points is crossing the Mackinac Bridge.
Last night right before bed the orange full moon came up and man was it impressive! Really enjoy those sorts of things out here. Tracking the sun, moon, and stars seems so much more interesting out here.
Got going about 9:30 after a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, condensed milk, hot cocoa, and sugar
The day became difficult after Thunderhead Mtn. Hard downhills, trudging through snow, mud, and deep leaves, and some interesting ridgeline scrambling. Staying at Derrick knob shelter tonight, a lot of us here but we've got a spot in the shelter. Tomorrow will be the climb up Clingmans Dome, highest point on the AT. After that we have to decide to head to the shelter or all the way to Newfound Gap. Well see how we're feeling. The motivations of Gatlinburg and seeing the family will be strong, but don't know if the body will carry me.
Hope you are all well. Big warm bonfire tonight to keep us up past "hiker midnight" ( 9pm)