Smokin’ through the smokies

The smokey mountain national park: land of poor weather and close to no views. It was especially disappointing since the park contains the highest point on the entire Appalachian trail. In the smokies, there is a requirement that hikers must sleep in the shelters, and tent near them only if they are full. This made it tricky to figure out how many miles you wanted to do every day. Up until this point, we had the luxury of stopping anywhere we wanted, when we got tired of walking, and setting up camp. But I managed to make it through the park.

There was some good things that did happen during my time in the smokies. I managed to hitch a ride into gatlinberg where I said goodbye to some cool army dudes I’d been hiking with for about a week. (I also got some awesome wings and burger at the smokey mountain brewery!)
And I think I may have gotten a trail name. During my time hiking with the rangers, they kept calling me smilin’ Joe because I guess I’m always smiling. I kept telling them I didn’t want to go by that cuz I wanted something more masculine and intense.

…But, the more they kept calling me that the more I thought about it. Out here, there have been many days where it has been wet, muddy, hot, cold, cold + wet (the worst) and just plain uncomfortable. and the only way to deal with it has been to be as positive as possible. So being able to “smile” during those times has kept me going. And I think that’s one of the main things that sets the people apart from the ones that leave the trail.

SO… For now, (well, I guess until I get renamed some other hardcore trail name) I think I’ll go by Smilin’ Joe. 🙂

As far as mileage goes, I’ve made it to hot springs, NC. Approximately 260 miles in. I will rest for a day here and eat alot. Here’s an example of a typical trail feast.


I got through half of my burger before I realized I wanted to take a picture of it

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Comments 1

  • Maryjo : Jan 31st

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.

    It will always be helpful to read through articles from other authors and practice something from other sites.


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