AT 2: The Great Switchback “NC & TN”

Total Miles: 465.3

  • Georgia: 78.2
  • North Carolina/Tennessee: 387.1

* miles remaining: 1724.5

Total Days: 57

  • Georgia: 7
  • NC/TN: 50

*current mile at time of posting: 500.4

*current day at time of posting: 64

North Carolina or Tennessee? With more than 200 miles of the trail weaving back and forth over the state line… at some points during your hike you have absolutely no idea which state you’re in. Something else you might not have known is how much harder the terrain would become after Georgia. Some days you might find yourself repeatedly climbing 3000 – 5000 foot peaks and others you might spend the entire day hiking uphill for 12 miles. For all the ups and downs, physically and mentally… rain, rain, rain, and more rain… North Carolina and Tennessee proved to be a wonderful chapter in an already fantastic journey.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Mother nature and your body determine your schedule.  My advice: live each day in the moment and don’t stress yourself with trying to plan out your hike. You’ll get there when you get there. Enjoy the experience. 
  2. Your body is going to hurt. My advice: you’re going to wake up sore everyday. The hiker waddle will become a morning ritual. So, know the difference between soreness and pain. If you’re in pain see someone before it becomes an issue.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables! My advice: if you don’t stay on top of your nutrition by the time you reach Virginia you’re body will start to let you down. We battled a case of deficiencies where our energy levels crashed and hiking was a nightmare. Obtaining fruits and vegetables is difficult on trail so take every opportunity to pig out on them. Especially in town. I’m not saying don’t eat an entire pizza in one sitting… I’m saying eat a salad too! Naked “green machine” shakes work wonders. 
Trail Life

Wayah Bald Lookout Tower


Fontana Dam


Overcrowded bear cables in the Smokies


The “shelter only” policy at work in the Smokies


The Great Smoky Mountains


The Great Smoky Mountains


Max Patch


Leaving Hot Springs, NC


Hot Springs, NC in the distance


Preparing to boulder






Snow on Roan Mountain…. in May!


Booyah! Roan Highlands!


Roan Highlands


Laurel Falls Gorge




Behind Watuaga Lake Dam


Things are getting green!!


Hello Virginia!

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Comments 2

  • Carnac Jack : May 22nd

    Great report and nice photos. Thanks for posting.

  • Brenda : May 22nd

    Your pictures are absolutely amazing–just amazing!!!! Thank you for sharing them. Hope you hike is going well–looking forward to seeing more from you!! Happy Trails!


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