Peripatetic

Due to the sporadic delivery of his hiking journal to his wife, I have come to expect random updates, not always in order. Here is our latest update from Traveler, our Appalachian Trail Thru-hiker Jack Dickens.

February 29, 2008 Rock Gap to Carter Gap Shelter (12.2 miles)
Snow is still on the ground. I met a thru-hiker and his litter terrier dog (Trail names: Hammer and Nail). It is very cold and windy tonight and it’s started snowing. Tomorrow will be a trough day. I must remember to watch carefully for the “A.T” trail blaze on the trees, etc. in order to stay on the trail in the snow.
March 1, 2008 Carter Gap Shelter to Muskrat Creek Shelter (12.6 miles)
Had about 3 inches of snow with high winds last night. Started hiking at 8:20am. The trail is covered by snow, but the “A.T.” blazes kept me on the trail. There were tracks of a large clawed animal going in my direction on the trail for the first 3 miles. I’m no Daniel Boone, but I think it was a bear. I was such relieved when those tracks left the trail!!! Met a total of 7 thru-hikers today. I’m going south for 3 days so it’s easier to meet North bounders. Today was a difficult day beginning with the snow and the bear tracks, but it ended well. There are 5 young people here at the shelter. Two of them (Melty and Ramen) are thru hikers. I’m glad to be in camp so I can finally get WARM! Will hike out to my truck tomorrow near Clayton , GA.
March 2, 2008 Muskrat Creek Shelter to Dick’s Creek Gap (11.6 miles)
It was very cold last night, but no snow. The young lady thru-hiker (Ramen – like the noodles) was carrying a travel banjo and was quite talented. She played and sang for about an hour while I read in my warm sleeping bag. She and Melty, her hiking buddy, said that my snoring serenaded them for much of the rest of the night!
Waked about 7:15am and was slower getting packed up today. I walked out of the snow at about the North Carolina/Georgia line. It was a relief. Anyone who enjoys walking in snow is either going downhill or walking with someone they love! It’s really hard on a long uphill climb. I met several more thru-hikers and 2 lost hunting dogs with radio collars. I chatted briefly with 2 Georgia Belles at Blue Ridge Gap. They were waiting on their husbands who were day hiking about 5 ½ miles from Dick’s Creek in Georgia. Met the guys (Stan and Mike) up the trail. They said they were training for a hike to the Leconte Lodge in the Smokies. It was generally a good day, but I noticed that the ups were more difficult later in the day. Fresh legs are a hiker’s best friend! This hike completes my trek from the AT beginning at Springer Mtn, Georgia, to Fontana, N.C. where I plan to enter the Smokies. I’ll be checking the weather to try and pick a good time to start.
March 4, 2008–I am leaving today for Fontana and plan to begin hiking the Smokey Mtns. Tomorrow. My daughter and her children are driving me there while Elaine is helping in Charlotte , N.C. , with our new grandson, Jack. Please pray for good weather and an early spring. I’ll try to make regular notes on the trail and send them to you when Possible.
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Both of those pictures were obviously pirated, but I’m sure this is fairly similar to the conditions he’s going through. I am planning on hiking a part of the trail that he has just completed this coming October and am enjoying the read, hope you are too. Jealous of the cold and snowy weather, not necessarily on the trail, however. Stay-tuned…

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