Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Maineiac the third, Birthday, and the Gnar pow

I would like to start this out by finally saying that i am officially Maineiac the third and give A BIG OLE SHOUT OUT TO EMMA AND JOHN!!!! So I know I said in my last post that I would not be updating what was going on in the trail life until after the smokies however the trail has decided that it had other plans for me. So here is what has been going on in my life for the past week.
I made it to Fontana dam which is about 30 miles outside of the NOC in two days. Having heard there may be a birthday party being held at the Fontana Hilton which is honestly the nicest shelter I have run into on the trail yet. Much to my pleasure at the end of a 17 mile day I was greeted by many people I had never meet before including clever girl, rainbow braid, movie star, dump truck and Apollo. They immediately offered me some chips and salsa and hotdogs. It was in fact clever girls birthday, and her husband dump truck and good friend Apollo were throwing her a grand birthday bash. So we chilled for the night about 20 of us around the fire right outside the great smoky mountains. The next day I decided I would take my first zero day because I wanted to give my legs a rest and hang out with all of these cool cats for another day. So clever girl Apollo and dump truck and Hermesse the guy who originally told me about the party got a room at the Fontana lodge. A little resort out in the woods where I was able to bum some movie time, a computer to print out my GSMNP permit, and get some great food and company. A group of us peaced out of there before dark to get back to the Hilton before dark so we didn't have to pay for a room.
The next day I crossed the dam and entered the national park, where I was immediately meet by a park ranger asking for my permit. It felt a lot like a DUI check point. This is the last I would see of a ranger until newfound gap. The first day in was pretty wet but not to bad, I met up with rainbow braid at the shelter for the night so we got to hanging out and decided we would push a solid 14 miles the next day in hope of getting into Gatlinberg the next day to meet up with her boyfriend movie star. Well we pushed out those 14 miles, however at no point was I having a good time. We woke up that morning to 5 inches and still falling snow that we trudged along in until we made it. At this shelter we ran into lady gray (a wonderful 55 year old woman from Vermont) who had decided she wanted to go into Gatlinberg with us the next day. By the next morning when all 12 of us in the shelters crap was frozen and we were all miserable. We decided we would all push on to the gap and hitch into town (roughly 12 miles). So we made a long line making sure everyone was accounted for and we began to wade through the 8 inch snow at this point. We got about a mile when out came movie star who had walked back from his shelter in order to inform rainbow and I that the gap road was closed and that we had to find another way out. So we marched on to the shelter where movie star and come from and decided that this would be the place we would stay for the day (about 1.7 miles from the last shelter) the rest of the day was spent trying to figure out what our next plan of action would be and try and stay as warm as possible. This morning was like the last with the struggle to leave the warmth of the sleeping bag and put on the frozen pants, socks, and shoes from the day before. We had come to the conclusion that we would try to get a ride from some of the maintenance workers clearing the road. So we walked on, however today instead of 8 inches we had a solid 14 inches on the ground. When we left the shelter it was a dark grey cloudy day, about the same as it had been the days before. However today I knew that we had a possible great vista at the highest point of the AT. For a while I was pretty bummed that I knew we were going to be going over clingmans dome and that I would not be able to see anything. Some trail gods had obviously been looking to repay us for all the shit we had been going through for the past couple of days because about 500 feet from the top of the mountain the sun burst through the clouds and out came blue sky!!!!!!!! I am not going to play up the rest of the walk out to the road because honestly it was just a 6 mile hike of hunger and shin high snow drifts...... The gang has made the choice that we will take a zero tomorrow and hang around town eating food and gearing up to go back into the mountains.

Here is some pictures of the Hilton and clingmans (I am on the right and movie star is on the left), movie star and rainbow, me just loving the snow, from inside of the shelter and waiting in newfound gap for the shuttle to take us into town.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I am currently at this place called the NOC or Nantahala outdoor center where I was in a hostel for the night. The past few days have been crazy but so much fun at the same time. I crossed over my first state line NC/GA, I went over the first big set of bald mountains where I got a 360 degree view of southern Appalachia. I successfully completed my first resupply in Franklin North Carolina in a mere 40 minutes because this man name Ron haven (a local Franklin celebrity) who back in the day was a big time show wrestler. They have a museum for him in Franklin. g
Gave me and my friend a free ride in put of town. Until after the smokies have a great week or so.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The cold, trail magic and a wonderful morning

I am currently at the end of my 6th day on the trail. Here are the highlights of my hike. So far it has been nothing but a good time, and generally good weather. I say generally because the second morning when I was staying at gooch gap shelter we got poured on and the temps dropped into the high thirties. Other than that it has been blue skies. Two nights ago I stayed at low gap shelter knowing it was going to be a chilly night, and man did it get chilly. With the wind chill factor we were at about 6 degrees. When I woke up and broke down my tent I had snow flakes coming off my tent from the condensation. Yesterday I was at the end of my first 15+ day and just before I went to climb up a big mountain I was dropped onto little ire road where these three guys were waiting for hikers with fried chicken, Gatorade, pizza, Oreos, water, beer, and all kinds of candy. Let me tell you, I have never been more pleased with a group of guys in my entire life!!!! This morning I woke up having to go pee really bad, however this pain was quickly turned into one of the most peaceful moments of the trip so far. Because when I poked my head out of the tent the first thing I saw was one of the most wonderful sunrise I have ever seen. I have attached a picture of me on top of springer, on top of tray and the sunrise.