Day 17-18, March 19-20

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.

10 thoughts on “Day 17-18, March 19-20

  1. Excited to hear of the people you get to meet on this journey. As blessed as you are to cross their path and learn from them, just know, they are the lucky ones! The impact you leave on others is not forgotten. Love you, son.

  2. Nice job Tyler! You had awesome weather through the smokies, which can be tricky this time of year. You’re in a great groove – keep pushing North. Do you have a trail name yet?

  3. Hey Yukon!

    Great meeting you yesterday. We had a blast chatting with you.

    Send us an email when you get the chance—we can pass along our IG info.

    Great job hiking!

  4. Yukon. Is that your trail name? How about Yukon Jack? That’s even better😁. Sounds like your Getting use to hiking physically and mentally! You got this!!

  5. Great job Tyler, sorry I’m just looking at your website. Drank some beer with your mom in the French Quarter last night & she brought me up to speed! Hope the weather gets warmer but I know that won’t stop you. Keep it up!

  6. Tyler,
    Also just catching up. Your posts pull on my heartstrings out of love and respect. Your favorite coolie is waiting for you. It reminds me to say a prayer for you!
    Aunt Janice

  7. Laura has been following on Instagram but I just realized you had this website. Sounds like you’re doing great. Keep your focus on the prize of completion. I’m in awe of what you’ve already achieved.

  8. Tyler, you rock! I’m inspired by your journey. I watched Karl Meltzer’s documentary on running the trail. It gave me an understanding of what you are enduring out there. Keep it up, you are crushing it! Also, your journey motivated me to hike the Rim2Rim in the Grand Canyon this May! This in only the beginning for you… so much beauty to explore and paths to cross! Stay safe out there.

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