Monday, November 21, 2011

Summary of AT hike

Day Mile/Acum Location startELmaxELELgain
M 1 20.6/20.6 Cooper Gap 1715' 3720' 5709'
T 2 18.8/39.4 Neels Gap 2801' 4299' 4970'
W 3 10.9/50.3 Low Gap 3058' 3756' 3267'
TH 4 15.0/65.3 Tray Mt 3170' 4512' 7399'
F 5 15.5/80.8 Plumborchard 4382' 4391' 5983'
SAT 6 19.8/100.6 Carter Gap 2999' 5317' 6829'
SUN 7 15.7/116.3 Winding Stair 4431' 5111' 4406'
Totals 7 days = 116.3 miles (107.5 on AT) 38,563' EL gain
Average elevation gain per mile = 331'

Day 1 - springer approach trail, falls, 600+ steps, passed on water
yelling couple at night, canvas tent, army jeeps, light rain
Day 2 - "hand stand", northern lights, damascus dave, running man, older couple, blood mt, blouders, dark, hostel, pirate, fog, smoker
Day 3 - easy day, the ellis family, grandpa, laughter, snoring, bats, 2 bears in tree, bear hunters, rolling mountains
Day 4 - papa jay, lonestar, wildman, getting the shuttle, rain at night, slipped going down unicoi, rocky mt, tray mt, blue mt, smokers
Day 5 - Bert, drunk, stories, chain smoker, 3 level shelter, good water, kelly knob, knobs are evil steep knuckles, virginia/greg lane doing trail work w/mahomet daughter, pretty morning
Day 6 - Ga/NC state line, bly gap, steep, steep steep!!! old twisted tree, trail angels young couple 1 liter water, standing indian mt, long ups and long downs, sun
Day 7 - Albert mt, scramble to the top, 700' in .3Mile, fire tower, 360 views, smoky mts in the distance, long nice flat sections, ough last climb then down, trail angel Eric, cheese burgers, Gene "Shuttles", stories of German man and more, in car driving home all night, eat, tired.
What a week!!

Daily details to follow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

(Part 2) Vacation- Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and on the AT

Part 2 of vacation - Hiking the AT with Tom

Note: Prior to this trip I had only backpacked twice for 1 night each and never multiple days. Tom has done several multi-day hikes and on the AT in Virigina. I was glad to have Tom along, as I would never do this alone.

Sunday 9-18-11
After finishing a very nice 8 days with my wife in the Smoky Mountains it was on to meeting Tom to start our hike in Georgia on the AT. Sunday was a long travel day as Debbie and I drove from Townsend to Kuttawa, KY (300miles) to meet Tom who was driving my car from home to pick me up (280 miles) and head south to Amicalola Falls state park, GA (another 320 miles). Approx miles/time from home to GA was 600 miles/9.5 hours.
We got there at 6:20pm ET and signed in the AT book as section hikers. My trail name was "Guide Boy" (name from my lovely wife) and Tom was "Bison Tom" (what else would he be??) We settled into the Max Epperson shelter on the start of the AT approach trail, which is about 9 miles up to Springer Mt, which is the offical start of the AT. Yes, we had to hike that far before we even started the AT!! Tom got a fire going, it was 65deg and cloudy. We hung our food by rope in a tree. This was day 1 of not shaving, Tom told me you can't shave on a backpack trip. I listened to Tom since he has the backpacking experience. It was 9pm ET when we layed down to sleep. As we layed down Tom asked me if I knew about shelter mice??

Saturday, November 19, 2011

(Part 1) Vacation- Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and on the AT

From Sept 10 to Sept 26 I was able to spend my vacation hiking in the Smoky Mountains with my wife then hiking part of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Georgia and North Carolina with a friend Tom. The 2 weeks were a contrast of luxury accomodations the first week to primitive take everthing you need on your back the second week. All in all it was one of the best vacations I've ever had.

I plan to do a 2 part report, Part 1 - 8 days in the Smokies with my wife Debbie then Part 2 - 7 days of section hiking the AT with Tom.

Day 1 - Sat -spent most of day driving 526 miles from home to Townsend
8h 50 min)
2 miles total 350 ' elev gain
5pm - .5 mile up to look rock observation tower then down .5
7:30pm - 1 mile in cades cove on rich mountain trail, getting dark
settled into our cabin for the week.
beautifull in the mountains

Day 2 - Sun - 61 degrees foggy then cleared later 56-62 at c. dome
13.5 total miles 3100' elev gain
8:30am- Run 4.5 miles chestnut top trail out/back 60 mins, first .5 mile is uphill, nice run/walk.
noon - hike 9 miles out/back on the AT at clingman's dome 6h 48total time with stops to look at the beautifull views and to all the people out hiking, meet section hikers, day hikers and the AT ridge runner Doug McFalls, great talking and hiking...a nice day. Saw 4 bear along road driving back.

Day 3 - Mon - 62 - 80 degrees, nice day
10.6 total miles, 2035' elev gain
10:15am - hike Curry Mt. trail to lumber ridge, gradual up and back down.
6h 24 min...a little tired...tomorrow an easier day.

Day 4 - Tue - 56-80 degrees, nice sunny day
8.2 miles total 1584' elev gain
8:20am - run lumber ridge tr at tremont, 2h 1min, 35 mins cont uphill run at start then run back after 4.1 miles, nice run
noon- drove over to fontana lake to kayak and swim- lots of fun...
NOTE: met a thru-hiker going south "hand stand" Tom and I later meet him as he finished his last day on the trail.

Day 5 - Wed - 56-62 degrees
10.8 miles total - 3050' elev gain
8am - hike Mt LeConte via alum cave tr....nice steady hike, 8h 30 min lots of people...saw big bear on trail, it ran away down the mountain...b-u-t-full views all the way up and at the top...this is one of our favorite hikes.

Day 6 - Thur - 62 - rain predicaed today - go to town day.
4.5 miles total - 860' elev gain
8:15am - run chestnut top 60 mins same as Sun...this is my standard running trail because it is accessible from the cabin.

Day 7 - Fri - 52-62 degrees
8.1 miles total 2411' elev gain
10:15am - hike ramsey cascades to big waterfall/cascade...we have done this 3 times before...its a good one...saw a voluntneer who helps maintain this trail 4 times a year. he had a light, a pick and a pack. he lives 90 mins away. if we even lived here, adpting a trail would be great fun. a bear wanted some of the peoples food (chilli) at the top. he was scaried away, then came back but never bothered us or showed aggresive behavior.

Day 8 - Sat - 55-79 degree w/ sun
7miles total hike
10am- hike to Spruce Falls by tremount , steep sections 2010'elev. gain in 2.5 miles
1:30pm- hiked in cades cove part trail to an old cabin and then down sparks road loop

Our Smokey Mountain vacation ended on Sat. Lots of fun with a good varity of trails hiking and running. Amazing every time I come here I feel stronger even after 1 week.

in 8 days totaled 64 miles w/ alot of elev gain. met some neat people.

Next post will cover part 2 of my vacation: Hiking the AT with Tom.