Day 21: Gatlinburg, TN to Pecks Corner

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, April 5, 2010

Did you know... Great Smoky Mtn National Park is the country's most visited of the traditional parks. You must stay in shelters while traveling the AT. Each shelter has a reservation capacity with 4 spots always set aside for thruhikers, if the shelter is full then we must tent just outside. These regulations are quite annoying after 150 miles of freedom to camp anywhere!  The tradeoff is the beautiful landscapes and high altitudes.

Woke up this morning to some great pancakes and sausages made by mom... I will miss the home cooking. Despite my hunger I still know the difference between trail food prepared by me, and a gourmet meal!!

After breakfast we load up and drive to Gatlinburg to visit an outfitter ( I wanted to buy a new pack cover) the place we hit up has bad selection but a fun free rock wall that Andrea goes up! Dad and I find out there are a couple of other outfitters in town so we end up walking a couple miles through the Gatlinburg craziness looking for the cover. Unfortunately nobody had the right goods.

They all drive me up to Newfound Gap, we take some pictures, and I am off again into the forest.  The hike is annoying at first, crossing paths with a million tourists all asking lots of silly questions, but finally the trail opens up and it is just us thruhikers again :)

One highlight is climbing out on rocky charlies bunion... Nice name!  We enjoy a snack there, take some photos and I enjoy meeting "Door Mouse", "Dirt Stew" "Mishap" "Dufus" and reuniting with Red Hat and On the Loose. Good times, and a few of the people had "heard of me" when I introduced myself!  Haha, small world out here.

The ten miles are a bit difficult mostly because I got a very late start and I think my legs were a bit angry that I was doing this to them some more.  The shelter is nice here, some people brought candy to share for Easter and I cooked a nice dinner of jambalaya mix and peperoni.

I think I will sleep well, especially after being too hot trying to sleep in the condo. Nice and cool out now. The woods and views are beautiful. The people are great... I feel back at home after a short vacation.

I miss the fam already, great to see them even if only for a short time. Also fantastic to hang out with Colin and Marie. They are great kids... Wish I could spend more time with them and all my cousins :)
Take care everyone and happy Easter!
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