Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mile 273 Hot Springs

What a week.

I was without phone signal for most of the last week, so there's a lot to catch you up on.

It's May 2nd and I have been on the trail for over a month and I still love the life of an AT Hiker.

After returning to the trail at Newfound Gap and a decent day of hiking, I faced two days of heavy rain and more.  The shower of the night before turned into a pretty intense lightning storm with hail and high winds.  Those that left early got hammered with golf ball sized hail.  I and most of the rest at the shelter delayed our start.  It was the second day when I got caught with dime sized hail.

It took one more day of hiking to finally leave the Smokies...finally!.  Now I can camp anywhere instead of only at a designated shelter.

During this week I have seen a Perigrine Falcon and he let me video him for couple of minutes before taking his leave of this hiker.  It was a special moment.

Climbing is getting a little easier very slowly, but I do feel some improvement.  I definitely have a better handle on my hiking pace and style.  I am still out here moving northward and that's what counts.  As a matter of fact, I had to give the same advice to a fellow 50-something last night.

I topped Snowbird Mtn a couple of days ago and lunched next to an FAA beacon tower.  The next day I was on Max Patch Bald - a beautiful view forever in all directions.

I did my first 15 mile day trying to get to a place where I could meet Susan, but phone connections weren't possible until it was too late.  I wish I could have a town stop and a weekend coincide before I get out of reach further north.

Most of my original group have finally caught up with me here in Hot Springs.  I am taking the day to do chores, pick up my mail drop, and eat:  I've had breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon sandwich and finished with dinner.  I shared experiences and wild tales with the other new trail friends over some pretty good local porter.  Batteries are charged, laundry done, I am showered and ready to get back on the trail in the morning.  I am now supplied for 5 more days till the next town: Erwin, Tenn.

Feeling good - hiking my own hike!


CCF said...

yay 66! been waiting for another post, but i figure no post is good news because it means you are out there hiking still. maybe i'll meet up with you in HF in june. the knee's getting better every day.

stay with it, one day at a time, and maine will sneak up on you before you know it!

- pages

Anonymous said...

Great to get the update! Been checking for it and thought you are in remote country or a bear gotcha! Of course, as grubby as you are probably starting to look, the bears are probably scared! Glad you saw civilization on May 2 to recharge electronic and internal batteries. You are doing great and keep truckin' north! Hugh