Miles from Springer Mountain: 241.8
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 1950.2
The last two days have been of high spirits out here on the Appalachian Trail! After a 20.3 mile day yesterday I met a great group of people at Cosby Knob Shelter. Along the way I got to enjoy the beautiful sites of the Smokies, paths few tourists walk along. Charlie’s Bunion was one of those highlights.I’ve enjoyed the end of the Great Smoky Mountains, truly one way of seeing America’s beauty.
Today I left the Smokies, a point at which 50% of thru-hikers have dropped out. They have been wonderful and a highlight of my hike forever. It hasn’t been easy, most nights have been colder than they have warm.
Today I got the pleasure of receiving two different pieces of trail magic. First, at Davenport Gap an older gentleman who volunteers for the park gave me a Mountain Dew, some chips, and some M&M’s. He asked a few ecological questions about wild animals – nope, I didn’t see any bears! Later on, next to I-40 I met a couple driving out to California to begin their PCT thru-hike. They sold their homes, quit their jobs, and packed everything in their car. They gave me a few beers and asked about the hike; as a sailor and hiker there is no way I’d turn down a beer even if it’s 12 PM!
Tonight I am staying at Standing Bear Hostel, a unique commune of a myriad of genuine folks. Everything is honest, homey, and built from hand. Tonight we are eating pork chops! I am gonna press on early tomorrow in hopes of reaching Hot Springs by saturday.
Thank you everyone for your support, I know I can’t respond to every comment. Everyone’s t’s and p’s have gotten me to where I am today.