Smokies – done!
Gear review first. Sierra Designs cargoule rain jacket: TWO THUMBS DOWN!!!! Because I have only two thumbs. I wore it in the rain for just three hours and was drenched to the gills. Might as well have worn a sieve. I think it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, will be trying out the replacement then – Marmot Precip.
Things I like: mountain hardware fleece beanie – so warm and light! My buff to keep my neck warm. MSR stove, similar to a Jet Boil. Patagonia long underwear.
Critters. I saw 2 wild hogs, one bear, and two horses (tame, carrying park workers with chain saws). So doing pretty well from the wildlife observation standpoint.
Frozen Fog. The Smokies were cold even with good weather. Walked through frozen fog, coating the spruces like rime frost coats the trees at home along Nine Mile Creek on a subzero day. Beautiful but necessary to keep moving. Too cold for pics.
Trail magic. On one of the coldest nights I stayed at Double Spring Gap Shelter. I was lucky that Wildcat (Methodist trail chaplain) and his wife Becky were there. They hiked in from Clingman’s Done three miles away. They brought a saw and cut up enough firewood to keep the fire roaring all evening and all night. They had homemade cookies, fresh Panera bread, cheese, pepperoni, and peanut butter. And hot water in the evening for instant hot cider, cocoa, tea, coffee. And for the drinkers homemade whiskey sours; lemonade plus Jack Daniels. Thank you Wildcat and Becky.
Clingman’s Dome. Highest point on the AT. It was about 25 degrees with 50 mph winds. My husband says he’s been there by CAR. I say that’s not the same at all!
Standing Bear Farm. Taking a zero day. Washed my laundry with an old fashioned washtub and scrub board. It’s cleaner and less stinky now.
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Loved to hear about your Smokies experience. I did a lot of backpacking there when I was young. It’s just as well you didn’t know two hikers were electrocuted in the Double Springs Shelter during a thunderstorm. This was years ago when the bunks were made of wire and the shelters had wire fencing across the entrance.
really enjoying your posts. Thanks a ton for the gear info!
enoying your posts….I’m wondering how far away you were from the wild boars….they kind of scare me!
Eva I’ve been following your blog since the beginning of your journey. Of course I enjoyed the info about Boomers progress. He will be dreaming about this adventure for the rest of his life. Expect more dog sleep with feet catching air, rapid eyelid movement and those puffed cheek woofs.
I can’t wait to see you both back in Syracuse and hearing about the other stories you might not want it blog for the world to read.Wishing you great weather for the rest of your hike.
Enjoy your updates. Thank you