Franklin, NC thru the Smokies
A lot has happen over the past 10 days, so bear with me.
Real quick side story here. As I was hiking through the smokies every time I saw a day hiker I tried to use the word ‘bear’ in a sentence. For some reason I found it really funny, and it helped to pass the time. Examples of what I would say: “this climb is really a bear.” “Bear left ahead.” “I pack the bear essentials”.
Okay, so now everyone is thinking I’ve spent too much time in the woods (I guess I shouldn’t blog about my idea of making a clock with 24 hours on it).
The past 100 miles on the trail have gone by remarkably quick. The miles seem to be getting easier and easier. My “trail legs” are coming along and I have seem to be getting into a pretty good rhythm. As the miles go on I think more and more about the trail itself. The trail (any trail for that matter) is a simple thing, it is a simple path through the woods that takes you from point A to point B. Along the way there are some breathtaking views, animals, and fields of flowers – but it is still a simple trail. The less complex that we make it, the easier it seems to be. Don’t overthink the gear, don’t over plan, don’t over think. I think we can all take this thought and use it in our day to day lives. Sometimes we can all over complex/think situations and cause problems that aren’t even there, don’t take this the wrong way – as life is hard, but don’t make it harder then it already is. The trail is simple, a path in the woods.
“There is a simple underlying basis to life which we forget almost daily; that life is good, life is hard, but we know from our experiences as well as our expectations that it can and ought to be good, and is meant to be good” Edward Hoagland
I just hiked through the smokies in four days, on day two my phone got wet and stopped working. Let me tell you a quick life lesson – don’t purchase cheap waterproof phone cases on Amazon, they tend to not be waterproof during a downpour. You live and you learn. So I hiked the past two days with no phone (so the slim chance that anyone has been trying to reach me I am not ignoring you).The only thing I missed was the camera, as the views were unreal. I am trying to take more time to stop and enjoy the views. I need to continue to work on this aspect of the hike.
My parents, my Aunt Peggy, my moms cousin Janis and her husband Moe all drove down to meet me at the end of the smokies. It was so nice of them to come down, and I thoroughly appreciate it. I enjoyed every second of my “zero” day with them. We did some moonshine and wine tasting. They are even going to hike a couple miles with me tomorrow morning, give them a real taste of trail life.
Tips from a “pro”:
Waterproof phone cases are not always waterproof.
Some key stats:
# of snakes seen: 2 (one rattle, and one black. Everyone said that the black snake was only around 4 feet long, but I swear it was like 12)
# of bears seen: 0
# of phones broken: 1
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Really enjoying your blog! You’re a fabulous writer. So your Mom’s cousin, Janice, is my niece’s mother-in-law (she’s married to Greg Moore). The AT goes through my hometown of Falls Village, CT…and I grew up thinking I would hike the whole trail one day. I’ll definitely have to do it it pieces, as I’m lying here flat today with back pain and cannot bend, ha. I live in Dallas, TX now, but we frequently fed, watered and housed AT hikers growing up, and we’ll take good care of you when you arrive and need anything. Beware of Lyme’s Disease and do frequent tick checks as you head north.
I laughed out loud at your ‘bear’ talk with day hikers.A real wise guy. I’m afraid of bears and marvel at people’s up close pictures of them. Why do we do this?
Anyway, if you get your waterproof phone working again but it into two ziplock sandwich bags.
Your blog was entertaining and interesting. Glad you are doing so well. By the way, the military uses a 24 hour clock. If it’s 1 p.m. the military clock says 1300. I know this because my husband was once in the military and we have clocks that keep military time. It’s annoying actually as I’m not that good at math. I’ll look forward to your next blog.