Two weeks on the trail (207.3 Miles)

After a little over two weeks on the trail I have stopped in Gatlinburg,  TN for a much needed rest day.  The backpacking trio of Stink Jacket, Turbo, and myself are relaxing in the classy motel 6 on the edge of the Smoky Mountain National Park.   Even though rest is much needed after hiking continously for the last two weeks, the draw back to the woods is constant.  With time to kill I figured this would be a great time to recap all I’ve learned in the last two weeks of adventuring.

1. Single wall tents while ultralight are not effective against rain or condensation

2. Rain gear, especially rain pants are great items to throw into a hiker box at the first opportunity

3. Resupply, at least to this point is much easier than first thought

4. Towns, hostels, and shelter are never far from the trail

5. Hiking with others helps break up the day to day trail monotony

6. There is no better feeling than starting your day in the woods with your food bag still entact 

7. Great satisfaction comes from being able to survive in the woods with only the supplies carried on your back

8. The AT through trail magic and its supporters help out at the most opportune times turning a difficult day into a memorable one

9. Backpacking the Smoky Mountain National Park is an amazing experience with extreme weather changes

10. The AT thru hiking experience is for people of all ages and physical fitness, while good conditioning and endurance help the biggest hurdle to getting through the tough days is mental

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” – Edmund Hilary


The view from Fontana Dam, the southern entrance to the Smoky Mountains



One of the shelters in the smokies


Some of the amazing scenery in the smokies


From Clingmans Dome, Elevation 6655 ft.(Highest point on the AT), poor picture quality due to very strong winds and below freezing temps…


Pigs be running wild in the park!


The best part of going to town: All you can eat buffets!











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