Smokies Hiking Trip 2009

While the ladies manned the fort (8 kids), we went hiking on the Appalachian Trail. We put in at Newfound Gap in the heart of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We hiked northbound on the trail for 5days/4nights. We were weather channel savvy and hiked to the first shelter prior to the monsoon that arrived the first day. Thankfully, we stayed fairly dry. We had gusty rain through the majority of the night.

The following morning (Wednesday), was clear and cool. The hike took us by Charlie’s Bunion and over the sawteeth. Vistas were clear and beautiful. Several spots gave a 180-degree view. I’ll post some photos without many captions (too much effort involved). We hiked shelter-to-shelter backing off a little from the mileage obtained in the previous years. This made for a more relaxed experience. You will notice that there is a photo of a grouse. his name is Ricardo (don’t know how he earned that one) and he is a resident of the TriCorner Knob shelter metro area. Saw lots of bear scat but no bears. I do want to put a plug in for the new sleeping pad I bought this year. It is the REI Lite-Core 1.5. This pad was worth every penny. Light, compact, luxurious. I was not paid by REI to say that, but wouldn’t refuse it if they like the publicity.

The hikers this year were Andy Wells, Micah Lewis, Chad Bailey, and myself. We also had some rain on our hike out of the park, but a steak dinner made it tolerable.

All in all a great trip. Fun Facts about Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN:

1. These two towns have a pancake restaurant/resident ratio of 3:1. I was amused and counted twelve dedicated pancake establishments as we drove the main drag of Pigeon Forge. This is not counting the Shoney’s and TWO Cracker Barrel stores. What gives? Who decided that pancakes are the official food of Appalachia? Did I miss this in my schooling?

2. You can buy a Funnel Cake 365 days a year in Gatlinburg.

3. There were at least 5 stores that I’m confident sold a Braveheart-like sword.

4. Halloween is creepy in Gatlinburg. Hard to tell who is wearing a costume or just out for a night on the town.

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2 Responses to “Smokies Hiking Trip 2009”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Oh AVery, those comments are a riot! you really should write a small editorial column in a local donalson paper! (with all your extra time, of course!) Glad ya’ll had fun and Chad is already looking forward to next year.

  2. joy Says:

    Had to comment on this…sadly enough, when Alex and I went to Gatlinburg last month, the only things we said we HAD to have were pancakes and a funnel cake. 🙂

    Looks like you all had a great time on the trip!

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