Day 31: Erwin, TN to Cherry Gap

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

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Did you know that walking with trekking poles helps you go much further? Well of course you did, that's why I bought them! When you hike 6 miles using trekking poles, your feet walk 5 mi and your arms walk 1 mi... The other day I dropped my pack to see a rocky outcrop, and still using my poles I felt like I didn't even have to use my legs.

It was a little tough to get out of Uncle Johnnys Hostel this morning.  Woke up plenty early because the trains pass close by...shades of K College. Tent was covered in condensation, but nothing to worry about.

Everyone else was just lazing around, so I was the first to check out and leave. Felt great to hit the trail again, and the first 4 miles were GORGEous, the trail follows a stream up a nice gorge to the first shelter.

The morning is all easy and Roughin It (he hikes way faster so he caught me) an I eat lunch at Indian grave gap. We were hoping that by hanging out there for a long time we might get some magic, but no such luck.

The afternoon was harder, two 1000 ft climbs back to back. The first up to a great bald "beauty spot". Then up to Unaka Mtn, which was covered by a lovely pine forest (back over 5000 ft) that resembles something from northern MI.

We arrive at the shelter at a nice hour and roughing it was already here starting a fire. Beefstick rolls in an hour or so later after having started at noon. So a 17 mile day down and tomorrow is Roan Mtn. We saw it looming ahead already today. Should be rough.

Saw a big black snake on the trail this morning, First snake... It was about 3.5 ft long and it was climbing a tree... Kind of scary since I usually only look for snakes on the ground in front of me.

Hope y'all are doing well. The amazing weather continues, we've been cowboy camping every night and the stars and all have been great.
Go red wings!
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