A Month on Trail, and Spring Is Popping Up

At last signs of springs are showing up. A single bluebird and a robin at Max Patch. Frogs at dammed pond, a huge toad next to the French Broad River. A single shadblow blooming on Pump Gap. Of course, great trail towns like Hot Springs; had Callery pears, and Japanese cherries, forsythia, and daffodils abound. At Newfound Gap my buddy Lucky and I attempted to hitchhike in the freezing rain for an hour on a closed road.

Amazingly, we succeeded to get a lift from a sweet lady ranger into Cherokee. Our thoughts of reuniting with Swede in Gatlinburg and steaks at roadhouse were not in our cards. We zeroed the next day and enjoyed the Cherokee museum and cultural center. There we enjoyed exquisite flute music and story time from a young Cherokee man who he told us stories of nature and twice said never to believe the sweet music of a titmouse because they are liars. I won’t ever look at them the same. Beware of proclamations of spring from titmouse. Just passing on the word.

The miles continue to tick by; 16.7 on my final day of the month. I closed the month at 344 miles giving me an average of 11.47 miles a day. Had one 20-miler and hope to do more depending on topography.


Staying healthy is important on the trail for me, with the cold and damp weather; additional immunity boost Emergent C is a daily ritual, as well as a multivitamin and 500 mg of vitamin C. Plus my psyllium routine, as you may have read about.

Things I haven’t considered that can bugger up my hike: flooding, landslides, adverse weather, and fires. Besides weather and fires, I never considered the other two. Frankly, I’m not concerned with fires so much since the East Coast has had exceptional rain since last year this time, but we’ve seen both landslides and flooding. Saw some side trails closed due to landslides and also where the French Broad River had flooded the AT early in the season. Things to think about for sure.

Remember, good trail karma is always present when you pay it forward. Happy trails, y’all!


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 5

  • Nikki : Mar 20th

    It looks like you are having an amazing time! Keep going and having a lot of fun on your journey.

  • Jan : Mar 20th

    Yer doin well JOHN! Keep doin – “Happy Trails”.

  • Jan : Mar 20th

    John, neglected to say that grackles, one redwing black-bird and a few starligs are back at my feeder cleanng the windswept seeds. Have seen a few (heard more) robins, here in Scotia, NY. They arrived early last week. Yes SPRING is here…………..

  • Beretta and Dave : Mar 20th

    Awesome hike! Awesome story!

  • Frank Hetterscheidt : Mar 21st

    It was awesome meeting you and sharing a beer at the Station. Best of luck!


What Do You Think?