March 30, 2017, Gatlinburg TN

posted Mar 30, 2017, 4:58 PM by Web Master   [ updated Mar 30, 2017, 4:58 PM ]
It's been 12 days now and I'm just over 200 miles along the way. I'm overnighting in Gatlinburg TN, taking some time to do laundry, take a much needed shower, pick up a resupply box, recharge electronics, and get some real food. Oh, and to sleep in a real bed with linens and a pillow!!

Tomorrow it's back to hiking and I hope the storm they're calling for hits tonight instead of tomorrow. The first half of the Great Smokies National‎ Park was pretty tough, with lots of uphills and down with rocks, roots, and water. I was in a shelter last night - just 4 of us in a shelter that can hold 12, so there was plenty of room to spread out. I was pretty wasted after 12 hrs hiking and got in late. I slept better altho the constant strong winds kept the Park Service tarp at the front of the shelter flapping all night.

Yesterday was gorgeous, with views of Fontana Lake and Dam. Water levels looked to be appx 40 ft below normal. I did experience a different kind of trail magic. As I crested Rocky Top (the Mt not the song) I was greeted by a group of 6 or 7 coeds catching the rays. After speaking with them I started to walk off, then thought better of it and got a photo of me with them! It definitely perked me up.

The area around Gatlinburg shows major damage from the fires of 2016. I got a ride into town (15 mi) from a couple from SE Alabama‎ and they gave me some history of the area. They are in town for a long weekend and saw that I needed a ride. Hope getting back to the trail in the morning is as easy.