Break on Through (to the Other Side)

Day 23 – New Found Gap to Tri Corner Knob Shelter 15.7 miles

After a zero in Gatlinburg, we were dropped back off at New Found Gap. The crew hit the trail headed for Tri Corner Shelter. The plan was to do two 15’s then a short hop to Standing Bear then on to the next shelter. Plans….

The day was stellar.  The views were fantastic.  The terrain wasn’t bad at all. I felt great. Charlie’s Bunion was a nice side trip.

The day couldn’t have been any better. About 4 miles left in the day, the inside of my right knee started to hurt.  It was the area where I had surgery on a large varicose vein. It feels like a deep bruise.

Day 24 – Tri Corner Knob Shelter to Davenport Gap Shelter 14.7 miles

Another wonderful weather day. Early views then the descent down the mountain. The bone jarring downs and ankle breaking rocks along with roots that try to trip you at every turn. Some of the trail was covered with ice in stretches.

I met up with part of the crew as they were taking a break. They said they were going to push on to Standing Bear. I probably could have done the 18 miles but I wouldn’t have gotten to the hostel much before 6pm. I stuck with my plan and stopped at Davenport Gap Shelter.

This is trail life. People come and go. It gets lonely hiking alone but I also get to meet a lot of new folks.

Day 25 – Davenport Gap Shelter to Standing Bear Farm 3.5 miles

Coming out of the Smokys today I followed and criss crossed a stream. There were a few gorgeous waterfalls.

I was met with trail magic from two 2023 thru hikers. Grilled cheese sandwich and Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies – my kryptonite. The rest of the hike today was pretty easy, some ups and downs. I got to the hostel relatively early and settled in.

Rain is starting to fall as I write this. Tomorrow is supposed to rain early then clear up. My plan is to hit the next shelter about 7 miles away hold up there and Sunday the prediction is for great weather as I cross Max Patch.



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