The Appalachian Trail - Springer Mt. to Great Smokey Mountains National Park
|Springer Mountain, GA|
|North Carolina-Georgia Line|
|US19-Nantahala River, NC|
|Fontana Dam, NC|
|TN32-Davenport Gap, TN|
The Appalachian Trail in The Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and I packed too much food and not the right water filter. Cousins from California and Florida finally living the backcountry dream. Goldilocks and The Red Fox. I flew into Atlanta and met my cousin Sandra there as she drove from Florida to the Springer Mt border.
I used an alcohol burning stove to boil water and simmer food. For six days and five nights, for food I packed-
Five cups of organic Oatmeal mixed with chia seeds, raw cacao, macca, brown sugar, bee pollen and Himalayan sea salt.
English Breakfast Tea
Two organic nut and fruit bars per day
Organic Nut Mix
Vitamin C electrolyte mix for a water bottle
Organic rice pilaf of Cajun or garden veggie variety with a dollop of whipped butter
The rice pilaf is very filling, and I was rarely able to finish a bag, hence the overpacking.
Starting at Springer Mt, the Southern launch off of The Appalachian Trail, we started strong, gaining elevation slowly and blazing by lakes and hills. This is where The Hunger Games was shot, District 12 to be exact, coal country. After a week here we hitched a ride back with another hiker to gather the car and drive past Cherokee to Clingman's Dome NC.
We parked at Newfound Gap and hiked at a leisurely pace to the shelters at Icewater Spring, Peck's Corner, Tri-Corner Gap, Crosby's Knob, and Davenport Gap. Originally we ordered a shuttle to get us from the Davenport Gap Trail Head on the last day, but we met another hiker who offered us a ride to our car at Newfound Gap and saved us $100. Thank God there was cell service with AT&T on the Northside of the ridge so that we could cancel the van and get a refund.
The best 'extra' item I could suggest to bring is a hammock. This made my nights comfortable and secluded from the roaring snores coming from the shelters.
My water filter is a 2 liter base camp bag with a gravity fed hose on the end that I was using as a camel back. It has a fold and clip top that would not stay sealed. I learned the hard way to keep that water filter in the Dry Bag by day, and store my food in the Dry Bag by night to contain the scent of food from bears. Clothes and sleeping bag were drenched. I had to wear long johns, a sleeping bag liner, and long johns that all belonged to other people who were kind enough to lend them on a night when it was 38 degrees out.
The final day of hiking it rained all morning. We took a path south of the A.T., Low Gap Trail, to a river with gorgeous water falls.
Mountains speak to eachother in echoes, and each step up the ridge is sweat for penance and breath for prana.