It's now 8:30 and we're waiting for the 9AM shuttle at Rock Gap to take us to Franklin. It's a beautiful morning with birds singing and the sun coming up. Perfect hiking day, but getting cleaned up and re-supplied is first priority for today.
Now we're in town and I've had a chance to look at the blog. Thanks so much to all who are following or commenting
Some questions asked:
What surprises have there been on the trail?
Every turn brings new things to look at. We've seen bear tracks, food has been stolen by them, but no one has reported seeing any as yet. Another surprise is just how steep some of the climbs have been. Some required crawling up on your hands and knees. Blow downs have also been a bit of a challenge. As far as the trail in general, after all my reading, it's pretty much as I had hoped.
What do you eat?
Oatmeal in the morning w/raisins or whatever may be in the pack, trail mix or GORP and a candy bar for lunch and, on a good day, a Mountain House freeze dried dinner. Occasionally someone will share a special meal if they make too much. Only what you can carry is available on the trail unless someone is providing "Trail Magic" as happened with the Boy Scouts providing lunch at Trey Mountain Gap.
Of course when we get to town the fare gets much better. Today in Franklin we had great Mexican food for lunch, a steak dinner and tomorrow the local Baptist Church is picking us all up for a pancake breakfast and getting us back in time for a 9 AM shuttle back to the trail. We shouldn't be too hungry for a day or two.
Took advantage in town today to pick up a few things, sort gear and restock my food supply from the box Jane mailed me. (The chocolate chip cookies were a nice surprise and enjoyed by all).
Many hikers don't even carry a stove and eat cold food all the time. A notable example is Milo who is a chef by profession who says he wants a break from cooking.
Spoke to Bobby Luning tonight who offered to pick me up near Gatlinburg for a day of good food, a beer and a soft bed. Hope AT&T will give me a signal to call as I get near!
All is good...be back on the trail tomorrow and keep updates to send when I get to my next connection point which may be Fontana Dam.
Peace, love, hope & joy
Some more photos from the past few days:
|Camp Fire at Carter Gap Shelter - Buffalo Bobby on the left.|
|Tenting at Carter Gap|
|Meal Time at Carter Gap|
|At Muskrat Creek Shelter|