The best trail magic

Wednesday September 27, 2017

Standing Bear Farm 18.4 miles

Total mileage 1983

I slept well last night and my feet didn’t bother me to much yesterday but today was a different story. We were walking over a lot of roots and rocks that were really taking a toll on me. I was ready to be done before the end of the day. As we were heading back to Standing Bear Farm and dropping in elevation it got really hot. That just makes you that much more uncomfortable.


Jim was waiting for me today! That’s the best trail magic. My husband coming to see me. He had a nice cold water ready for me. Then took me to a cabin with a hot tub.

This place was pretty amazing! I was definitely needing a break and my feet… OH my poor aching feet needed some TLC.

Jim brought plenty of food for us. We had salad and South Western Chicken Lasagna for dinner that Jim made and brought up. It was fantastic! Thanks, Babydoll!

I get into the hot tub before going to bed then also the following morning. As I am smiling and relaxing in the hot tub Jim brings me breakfast and I feel so spoiled!😊 A girl can get use to this.

Today I am thankful for all the goodness in my life.

Smoky Mountains

Tuesday September 26, 2017

Tri Corner Knob Shelter 15.1

Total mileage 1963.8

I entered the Smoky Mountains today. I took a shuttle from Standing Bear Farm to Newfound Gap, which is in the middle of the Smokies and I will hike north back to Standing Bear Farm. This way I don’t have to climb up the 3000-4000 feet up from Davenport Gap. I will hike down it.

Then Jim will pick me up a Standing Bear Farm tomorrow and we will go to a cabin that he rented near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I will take a much needed zero there with him. I am so excited about it!😊

After my zero Jim will drop me back off at Newfound Gap and I will continue my hike south. Hopefully with feet that feel much better.

I slept great last night. I even slept through a mouse eating my dinner for tonight. He had to eat a big hole in my pack to get to it. I had an extra breakfast meal so that will be my dinner for tonight. And… He also got into chocolate supply! 😯

I had forgotten how beautiful the views from the Smokies were. There are so many mountains in the views. It is so much cooler up here to. Our high today was in the upper 60’s. We passed by Charlie’s Bunion early this morning with its amazing views and narrow ledges.

We see a deer at Icewater Spring Shelter early this morning. It kept an eye on us but continued to eat.

Just about the whole trail today was covered in roots or rocks. My feet started to bother me at the end of the day, but they still felt better than yesterday. Maybe the shorter day yesterday and the time off them helped. I spent a good amount of time massaging them yesterday and did the same thing today at the shelter.

There are 4 other guys here that spend a week section hiking each year. They started at springer and have made it this far.

Today I’m grateful for the cooler temperatures and the beauty of the trail.

Standing Bear Farm

Monday September 25, 2017

Standing Bear Farm 12.6 miles

Total mileage 1948.7

I slept much better last night. We get our shuttle at 7 am and hit the trail at 7:45.

Today was a hard day for me even with the low mileage. My feet are just sore.

There really was no excitement today except for Standing Bear Farm. It is a pretty interesting place. Many talk bad about it. It’s just pretty rustic in the back woods of Tennessee. It has everything a hiker needs. Laundry, you just have to use a wash board to clean your clothes.

It has a kitchen, bath house although the toilet is non flushing, and a bunkhouse. It also has a tree house.

HOOTIE and I are staying in a cabin which is a step up from the bunkhouse.

We were shown around the property by John who had on interesting attire. John was doing some work for stay on the property and had on a leather tool belt as well as a couple of knives strapped to his belt and knee high leather boots.

Today I’m thankful for HOOTIE leading along the trail and getting most of the cobwebs. I lead for a short while and the cobwebs drove me nuts. I also had a bug buzzing my left ear that drove me nuts.

Max Patch was amazing

Sunday September 24, 2017 Max Patch 20.3 miles Total mileage 1937 I didn’t sleep well last night. I ate almost a whole bag of barkthins before bed. I probably shouldn’t eat that much chocolate before trying to sleep! I get a shuttle today to take me to Max Patch and I slackpack north back to Hot Springs for one more night. I’ve been trying to get here for a while. This is where I was headed when I broke my wrist in the Smokies. Now I am finally here and it is amazing! I was surprised how many tents were here this morning. I definitely want to bring Jim back here for a sunset and sunrise!

The rest of the hike was just so so. It was still beautiful but it was stuff that I have already seen. Toward the end of the day my feet and back bother me. Some days worse than others. Today was bad for the feet. Today I am greatful that I was finely able to see Max Patch! 😊

Bald Mountain

Thursday September 21, 2017 Flint Mountain Shelter 18.9 miles Total mileage 1882.8 Got some great news tonight after a hard day. Jim may be coming up again while I am in the Smokies so I won’t have to carry five days of food and I will get to see him again! Whoo who! That makes my heart swell! 😊 I woke up late this morning! Can you believe it? I do have to admit yesterday was a hard day. HOOTIE didn’t want to leave until 8 am. So I set my alarm for 7 am and I slept right through it. I have been setting an alarm so each time I wake up I don’t and keep checking my watch to see if it is time to get up. I just lay there all snuggled up until it goes off.

I struggled today sore feet, sore back and just tired. The miles passed very slowly. We crossed over Bald Mountain and the views were stunning. Today I am greatful I didn’t fall and knock any teeth out. I did a lot of stumbling today.

So many days

Wednesday September 20, 2017

Bald Mountain Shelter 16.8 tough miles

Total mileage 1863.9

HOOTIE and I said goodbye to Uncle Johnny’s and continued on our way south. It was a hard day with a lot of climbs.

At the start of the day while we were lower in elevation it got really warm but as the day progressed things weren’t as hot and there was a little breeze.

We had a good view of the Nolichucky River far below. This river ran right by Uncle Johnny’s Hostel.

HOOTIE and I on our lunch break. I had some leftover chicken parmesan from last night’s dinner. This is one meal that I have been enjoying lately.

I have another mushroom picture for you guys. It amazes me how large these things grow. And I have seen so many of them. They are everywhere out here.

I have started to countdown the miles and hope to be home in less than 3 weeks. I’m ready to be done and snuggled up to Jim each night. I miss him and home. HOOTIE’S happy thought for the day…

What did the thesaurus eat for breakfast?…

Synonym toast

I’m thankful for socks. I love socks! Well truly underwear period. I just love it!

Famous Uncle Johnny’s Hostel

Tuesday September 19, 2017

Uncle Johnny’s Hostel Erwin TN 17.1 miles

Total mileage 1847.1

I was up at 6.30am. Late for me but it doesn’t start to get light until 645. I packed up and we left at 720. It wad a little foggy.

You could really see the fog down on the valley.

Our lunch spot for today. I didn’t think I was going to make it here. My feet and back were bothering me. After getting food in my stomach and a rest for my feet and back I was ready to go again. Especially when I realized that I only had a little over 4 miles to go.

This is a huge hive we saw along the trail. There was also one hanging above the shelter last night, but I never got up to check it out. I just prayed it didn’t fall out of the tree while I was sleeping.

This is the famous Uncle Johnny’s Hostel in Erwin, TN.

The dog is Jerry Garcia. He had his own sofa in the bunkroom.

Today I am thankful for my hiking partner HOOTIE, who bought me dinner tonight and paid for my bunk. Thanks HOOTIE!

A Riddle…

Monday September 18, 2017

Cherry Gap Shelter 16.9 miles

Total mileage 1830

I got up this morning and didn’t feel dread. I was ready to go this morning even though I would have to carry my full pack today. It has been close to 10 days since I carried my full pack.

I had a light breakfast, just a protein shake to start the day and didn’t have any unsettled stomach feelings. Plus throughout the day I was ready to eat.

The weather today was cool and sunny. The terrian wasn’t too bad. It was mostly dirt path with plenty of ups and downs and one or two views thrown in to keep you from getting to bored.

I am sleeping in the shelter tonight with HOOTIE and maybe one other section hiker. It is easier, takes less time and I’ve gotten lazy.

A riddle for yall…

You are standing at a river crossing with a boat and a duck, bag of grain and a wolf. You need to get all three across the river but can only take one at a time across the river in the boat. But you can’t leave the duck with the bag of grain because he will eat it and you can’t leave the duck and wolf together because the wolf would eat the duck. How do you get all three across?

Today I am thankful that the rest of my body doesn’t feel as bad as my feet!

1800 Miles

Sunday September 17, 2017

Toll House Gap 17 miles

Total mileage 1813.1

I ate a lot yesterday. The most I’ve eaten in a while. I know I need the calories and I’m feeling better about the trail. I am ready to finish it and trying to stayed fueled up. I even had my first soda today. It was a coke and it didn’t taste as good as I thought it would.

I stayed at Doe River Hostel last night. I had a room to myself. It’s the SOBO bonus. There are very few people on the trail and in the hostels.

We have been encountering a number of trees down on the trail from Hurricane Irma. Dave, the hostel owner told us that there were sections of trail in GA that were closed because of the blowdowns. Hopefully that will be cleared up by the time we get there.

My alarm goes off at 620 this morning. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to hike today. But up I go and a hiking I went.

I slackpacked again today. This is my last day and tomorrow I put on my full pack after more than a week of slackpacking. I’m not sure how I will make it through tomorrow.

HOOTIE and I hit the trail about 8am. We had some great views today and trail over large grassy bald. Most of today’s views are from Hump Mountain and Little Hump Mountain.

I had another fall today. I think I am ok. I may have a bruised hip tomorrow, but I’m not scraped up.

Today I am thankful for my health and ability to do what I doing. I’ve had to make some hard decisions among the way, but those decisions have have lead me to this path.

And so it continues

Saturday September 16, 2017

Roan Mountain, TN 13.6 miles

Total mileage 1796.1

I had a good birthday dinner yesterday with Jim. He is my rock. Although I had to say goodbye to him this morning I know that he is with me every step if the way in my heart.

I decide later last night to stay on the and continue hiking. I knew I would regret quitting. So I am still trucking along and hope to finish this. I have less than 400 miles to go.

This bench sat alone the trail. With a view toward the mountains.

Today I am grateful for the love and support from my Mom. She has also done so much for me and continues to support me along the way. Thank you for the trail magic today! When Jim left me this morning he shuttled my stuff to the next hostel so I could slackpack again today and my Mom paid for my stay here plus shuttles as well as HOOTIE’S stay and shuttles. Thanks Mom!

This is shuttle driver Dave waiting on us to shuttle us back to his place (Doe River Rest) for the night.