A New State or Two
Where Are We?
Since leaving Virginia I haven’t been certain as to the state I’m in. We were in Tennessee for a while, but then the AT straddles the Tennessee/North Carolina border for many miles. I’m told that the NC shelters have privies and those in TN do not, but haven’t yet confirmed. Nevertheless, I’ll tell you that whoever is maintaining the trail is doing a great job! Of course, Tennessee is the volunteer state and may have something to do with it. I can’t really comment on the Tarheel state.
Here’s an example of the trail maintenance. I was told that the trail was closed earlier in the year after a major storm blew a couple dozen monster trees across the trail. This is the size of the roots of the trees that were cleared.
Many sincere thanks to all the trail angels that maintain the AT.
Day 125 – Stealth site to Dennis Cove ( 16 miles)
Day 126 – Dennis Cove to Mountain Harbour (25 miles)
Day 127 – Mountain Harbour to Carvers Gap (15 miles)
Day 128 – Carvers Gap to Cherry Gap shelter (19 miles)
Wow! A few days ago, I passed through the Grayson highlands and thought it was phenomenal. That was before I got to see the Roan Highlands. Although it doesn’t have ponies like Grayson, Roan sports incredible 360° views from 5500 feet for miles, at the top of a bald mountain. Away to some photos:
82-year-old hiker, Rosy Eagle:
Terror On The Trail
Ok, that’s a bit strong, but it’s so catchy.
Apparently, as the summer has worn on, the yellow jacket and hornet hives have been building to full strength. Most days, at least one of the three of us (myself, Spokes and Sideways) get stung.
As a beekeeper and bug collector, I’ve literally been stung hundreds of times. The one I remember best, because it hurt the most, was a sting from a white-faced hornet when I was a kid. Well, it got me again, and my arm ached for hours. These bastards go by many names – bald-faced hornets, blackjacks and others. They’re big and mean and aggressive.
And my arm a few minutes later:
As if the flying terrorists weren’t enough, I have to deal with the plants along the trail as well. For example, I have to keep my eye out for poison ivy, blackberries vines and greenbrier thorns. But there’s a new kid on the block I hadn’t been familiar with called stinging nettle. It’s covered in little hypodermic that deliver a painful histamine. It’s not everywhere, but looks almost identical to the harmless, but much more common, wood nettle. So, I need to avoid it all.
On The Lighter Side
Billy Goat, a hiker who’s been around us for weeks told me a story of staying with a friendly farmer for a couple days. The farmer offered a bag of dryer lint, which would be handy for starting fires. Billy Goat’s only thought was “Boy, I sure could use that Ziploc bag.”
And early in my blogging I posted a picture of Nature’s Toilet.
Due to popular demand, we are now offering its sisters (mmm, brother) appliance, Nature’s Urinal.
Order early to ensure holiday delivery.
Thanks for listening.
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