Left to right, Mountain Goat, Greyhound & Chopper after a routine stop led to their removal from the mountain outside Hot Springs, N.C.  Heading SOBO (southbound), the 3 had gotten 6-8 miles inside the fire restricted area before they were seen and warned about the closure. 


We were inside of 5 miles from Hot Springs at the time and thought the burned areas were “control burns”, which we had seen posted.  It turns out the fire was extensive and a 12 mile stretch of the AT had been closed.  The NOBOs (northbounder) were stopped in Hot Springs and shuttled to the safe zone.  We somehow had slipped through, being SOBO’s.


Brad Adkins, Forestry Service Professional, provided this picture, showing a ridge in the zone only a day or 2 earlier!


Brad was also driving the Forestry Service vehicle that gave us a ride off the mountain to Rt. 70.  Interesting that Brad Adkins is also a semi-pro Bass Fisherman from Kentucky ( when he’s not doing Forestry Service work)


This was one of the scorched areas seen on our hike that day (Saturday).


Like good thru-hikers, once we were dropped off, we walked the balance of our miles into Hot Springs instead of accepting a free shuttle into town.


We’d like to thank the Forestry Service Personnel for ” playing along” and also for their assistance getting us off the mountain and safely into Hot Springs!!


It gave us the opportunity to see the above sunset on Max Patch only one day later (Sunday night), and the sunrise this morning (Monday)


This morning’s sunrise!

Today’s hike is History, tomorrow’s hike’s a Mystery. Right now is a gift, which is why it’s called the Present;)

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Comments 7

  • Pat Finneran : Apr 26th

    Hey,Duke. See you are already getting in trouble! Sounds like a great time. Best of luck along the trail.

    – Pat Finneran

    • Duke Conrad : Apr 29th

      Thanks Pat!

      Passed our 600 mile mark yesterday and should be out of the Smokies by Tuesday. Ran into a bear a couple days ago…., but that’s for another post! Thanks for following the blog;)


      • Pat Finneran : May 5th

        Duke: Sounds great! Can’t believe you’ve gone more than 600 miles so far. That’s pretty incredible. Keep on truckin’.

        • Duke Conrad : May 7th

          700 tomorrow and 800 next Sunday;)

  • Pat Finneran : Jun 10th

    How’s it going, Duke? It’s end-of-the-school-year time here, and the trail sounds pretty good to me right about now. Hope things are going your way!

    – Pat

    • Duke Conrad : Jun 16th

      Hey Pat,

      The rocks in northern Pa are killin us, but tomorrow is our last full day in Pa. Saturday well be in N.J. The first 15-20 miles will be similar, but then we knock out Jersey, NY, and Conn. pretty quick before we finish with Mass., Vermont, N.H. & finally Maine. We’d like to hit Maine by August 4th or 5th if possible!! Thanks for staying in touch!


  • Uncle Turtle 1966. : Jun 25th

    I left my charger and battery there at the tailgate. If you could mail them to
    Guy Hays/Nancy Owen
    4400 Overglen Ave
    Wake Forest 27587.

    I’d be very appreciative.

    Thank you

    Uncle Turtle.


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