Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Roan, damascuthon and everything in between

The past week has been by far my favorite part of this trip so far. It all started with running into freshgrounds again where we ended up spending half a day eating as much food as you can put in your stomach and then waking up in the morning and doing it all over again. A few days later we went up and over Roan mountain. AKA the most wonderful walking of the trip. It was 13 miles of balsa with a huge civil war barn that was converted into a 40 person shelter in the middle. A day or so after that we ended up on top of a hill that we quickly turned into a sweet campsite. That we named hilly billy knob, cause all around us we were hearing gun shots and four wheelers. The next leg of our journey ran from iron mountain shelter to Damascus, or what we like to call the damascathon 26.2 miles from the shelter to town. By this time however we were very low on food, I think I had 2 pop tarts 2 snickers and a couple tortillas to get to town....... But I was over it and was under the mind set of Damascus or die. So off we went, the day was made when at mile 11 of 26 a man named nomad was waiting with a fresh grounds trail magic spread where I was not only able to eat all I wanted but also able to pack as much as I wanted out. We started the day at 5:30 in the morning and finished at 6:30 at night and in the mean time we checked off our third state of 14!!!!!!! Now we just have 550 miles in Virginia, lets dance!!!!!!
Big things coming up in my trip, the Grayson highlands, and 500 miles

Attached I have pictures of roan, over mountain shelter (the barn). The two state lines that we crossed North Carolina, and Tennessee. And just some pictures of the gang.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hot springs, and sickness

Hot springs was by far the coolest trail town we have walked by so far, it has just got me even more excited for Damascus!! When we finally left which was after a solid day and a half of enjoy natural hot springs, great food and some wonderful people. The next day we woke up and it was drizzling but then as the day went on the temps dropped and the rain continued and we start to get the freezing rain by the end of the day there was probably 1/4in of ice on the trees. So we called it short after 10 miles and stayed at Little Laurel shelter. Turns out that was a very poor choice, because apparently shelters are great for holding stomach viruses. The next night I found out just how great they are at doing that. After dinner wild blue and I settled down to go to bed when the next thing I know we are both throwing up !!!! He was much more lucky then I was because he did it out side of his gear, where as I was not so lucky and could not get out of my tent and threw up on and in both my sleeping bag and tent. Being sick has never felt so bad ever!!! The next morning my breakdown and without a wonderful conversation with Jessica Decke (my boss at Tanglewood) who pulled me out of the gutters like she has done time and time again. By the end of the day I was back in the groove and ended the day on top of big bald with the most fantastic view so far. Sorry for the rush but its time for laundry and regroup with my friends. I appreciate all of the love everyone has been sending my way.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

End of the smokies, long days and sore feet

The last time I posted I was in Gatlinberg Tennessee. That was a weird town to say the least. Today I am updating in Hot Springs North Carolina.
When I say we, I mean my current group of trail dudes. Duffel miner, genie, rainbow braid, movie star, spidermac, Brokenpack, and Wild Blue

The first day back on the trail after Gatlinberg was pretty wicked, we had nice weather until the end of the day and we also came across Charlie's bunion. Which was this really cool rock that came out of the side of the mountain that you could climb up and around and be little kids on a jungle gym. The next day however was a very different story. We knew it had snowed once again however we really were not expecting another 8 inches of snow....... So we got up looked out ad immediately said to each other we are getting the hell out of this place today. This meant doing a 23 mile day, however
It also meant that we were going to be able to stay with this guy name fresh grounds. Who is the 2013 trail Jesus. ( he has literally been doing an all you can eat breakfast lunch and dinner trail magic for 30 days) The day was long, we started round 9 and ended around 6:30. My feet got wet and had minor feet pain, but damn was that trail magic and getting down out of the snow worth every mile. When I rolled into his "complex" he had hot dogs going, hot coffee, every snack cake you could imagine, so I promptly put up my tent and plopped my self down next to the kitchen and did nothing but eat and talk for the rest of the night.
The next morning was Easter and fresh grounds treated us to a bacon egg and pancakes Easter breakfast. So we hung around for a while and slowly made our way 7 miles to the next shelter. The day after that was the craziest of them all, when we first got up wild blue was saying he was going to do 23 to the shelter just outside of hot springs, so we told him have fun and we will see you late Tuesday when we roll in. So the rest of the group slowly meanders down the trail, we go up and over Max patch. Eat lunch up there, get to the shelter we had planned on stopping at for the night at like 6. When we roll in it starts to rain a little the shelter is full also it was the worst shelter we had seen yet. However we start to cook some dinner everyone trying to hold off on the idea of setting up our tents. As we are eating we come to the idea of why not night hiking. The rain had all past, and so we all get pretty stoked about the idea that we will just night hike into Hot Springs. Having no idea what we were going to do about sleeping arrangements once there. We didn't really care, so at 7. We start to walk and the sun starts to go down and the headlamps turn on and we get about half way to the shelter and we all start to grumble about our feet but we keep walking, the pain slowly but surely gets worse and worse. So we take a little break at this point it was probably 9:45 and so Broken pack (BP) pulls out two honeybuns and takes a bite and passes them around the group, then I pull out my snickers and pass it around, next thing you know we have 7 snickers 2 honeybuns, a sleeve of crackers and vitamin I being shared through the whole group. We pick up and continue to trek on, we make it to the shelter. There was only three more miles after this but it was already 10:30. Those three miles went by way quicker than I thought they would. So we get down into Hot Springs at 11:50 and just collapse on the road, which happened to be right next to a hostel , so we begin to talk options for sleeping and this nice guy from the shelter comes out and offers us a a bunk for 15 a person which is totally reasonable however the night was already have over so we were like thanks but we are all set. So we ended up sleeping on the other side of the road from the hostel on the grassy shoulder of the road next to the trail. We didn't even bother putting up our tents.

Here are some pictures of Charlie's bunion and max patch