Desperately Trying to Get Out of the Smokies

So, fantastic zero with Sherri in a cabin outside of Gatlinburg.  She made lasagna the first night, salmon bowls the second, had margaritas in the hot tub, you are the best!

Margaritas in the hot tub! You are the best!

Bear Dance Revisited

By popular demand, mainly from my friends that are familiar with Jimmy Buffets version of “Gods Own Drunk”, and that have obviously done the Bear Dance before, I have edited the previous post to include the part about the bear eating my sunglasses.  So, you may want to re- read that part, it has a little more color now. 

Omaha! Omaha!

I should probably change my trail name to Manning because I call so many audibles.  After the fantastic zero at the cabin, the next morning we went to Food Lion?  Food Something? to resupply and then put me back on trail on Saturday.  It was pouring.  Not raining, but pouring.  Radar looked awful.  Sherri said, I can’t put you back out in this, so as we drove down the strip towards Newfound Gap, we pulled into the Hampton to see if they had any rooms.  They did, they were outrageous, but we could get right in one, so ended up taking a double zero on the strip in Gatlinburg on Saturday night, one of my least favorite places on earth.  Talking about culture shock.  After living in the woods for a month, and then landing on the strip in Gatlinburg, is quite a shock.  Only in America.  The Cardiovascular Group has a lot of job security.

It cleared up a few hours later, we probably should have just sat in the car for a couple of hours, but Sherri is going to be out for several weeks, before we can hook up again, probably 3+, so we did one more night.  Had a good Carne Asada and more margarita and hit it the next morning on Sunday. 

First part of the day was fantastic.  Great trail, great weather, great views.  Always alot of uphill coming out of a gap, but the grade was good, I felt good and it was a great morning and early afternoon of hiking. 


Great Hiking! Great Views! Great Weather! But hang on!

Hiking along, having a great time, thinking everything is great.  I met this lady hiker, Dogwood, who took my picture at a place with a great view.

Thanks Dogwood! 15 minutes after this picture, I was scrambling.

Lesson Learned

Not 15 minutes after the picture was taken, I was scrambling trying to get my pack cover, rain jacket and rain pants on.  It was pouring.  I didn’t get the rain pants on, I have heard that a lot of people don’t have them, they serve no purpose.  They are hot, you get just as wet from sweat as you would from the rain is the thinking.  One small problem with that.  With the rain pants, the rain runs down the pants and over your boots and the inside of your boots don’t get very wet.  Without the rain pants, rain runs right down your legs and into your boots and fills them with water.  

I made it to a shelter that  night at Peck’s Corner.  I was the second one there.  Got out of my soaking wet, cold clothes and tried to get warm.  Stayed there that night, my first shelter experience, and it went better than expected.  Met a couple of cool people, slept better than I thought I would and didn’t have to unpack and set up in the rain.  Had another great conversation about bi-polar disorder with a lady hiker I met there.  Her daughter and late ex-husband, both suffer or suffered with it.  That’s a tough life.  I feel for her and others that deal with loved ones with that on a long term basis.

The next morning, headed out about 8:30 after coffee and a bar, and putting back on the wet clothes, so I would have dry ones to sleep in.  Got a few pics, made it to the next shelter just in time for lunch and the next down pour.  Timing was pretty good.  Waited out about an hour and a half and took off again.  Not to many views.  Lots of clouds.

Views like this. Walking in the clouds.


Then it got a little better

Made it to the next shelter at Cosby Knob, about 13 miles in a half a day of rain.  Not so bad.  Stayed there with Shera, Simone, Lord of the Rings, (hikes in a kilt), and his brother Shadow.  Pretty nice and different experience sheltering with 5 people total, rather than full shelter and some bitching and people not wanting to let a handful of others in out of the rain and turning them away. 

Billy Bob, Simone, Shera, Lord of the Rings, and Shadow 

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Not long after we went to bed, about dark, you heard maybe a half a dozen rain drops, dink, dink, dink, dink, dink, dink.  Then the bottom fell out like you wouldn’t believe.  I was so thankful to be in the shelter.  

The next day, we had 10 to 11 miles to get to I-40 and out of the Smokies.  Took off, the rain held off, got a little warm, actually challenged the rain gods by taking off my rain gear and pack cover because the sun had come out.  Wanted to give the sun a chance to dry out my pack.  But, as you might guess, I had to put it back on before I got to the bottom.

This is not a stream. This is the Trail. About 10-12 hours after the last downpour

Had a few good views.  There was a fire tower at Mt Cammerer, but it was a 0.6 mile side hike, and the views with the weather would be questionable.  I bypassed this, figuring if I hiked an extra 1.2 miles, didn’t get a view, and then got rained on later because I took the extra time, I would be pissed.  So, I passed.  The trail was a mess from all of the rain. 

Omaha! Omaha!

I had intended to resupply and stay at a hostel within walking distance to the trail just past I-40.  However, after talking to people, and seeing some other comments, it sounded like a party place and just one rung above a shelter.  I was hoping for a several rungs above a shelter.  Got a recommendation from my friend Ivan via text, he had stayed at another place that would pick you up at the Pidgeon River Bridge, The Discerning Hiker Hostel.  Shout out to Ken, he and his place were great!  Shera, Simone and I decided to stay there.  He took us into town in Newport, TN.  Got a good dinner at Janice’s Diner, had fried green tomatoes, catfish, pinto beans, mac and cheese, cornbread and a piece of German Chocolate cake to go.  It was hopping at 5:30.  Walmart for resupply in my loaner gym shorts and tee shirt going commando.  Fit right in.


Hadn’t been to a place like this in a long time. Don’t exist anymore in Gwinnett.

Hope to make it to Hot Springs in 2.5 days!

Until tomorrow!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • Daniel Taylor : May 16th

    I understand about Gatlinburg, but I believe I could have been persuaded to stay one day with my wife. Janice’s deli sounds like a perfect down home southern cooked meal kind of place. Thanks for the update, You’ve got this!


What Do You Think?