Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 42-48

Day 42, Sat 26 Apr, 171.7 miles
Start Fontana NC 28 Crossing
End Birch Spring Gap

Entered into Smokies, yay!!  long steady uphil hike, grade definitely better than anything previous but stil uphill.  We past shuckstack firetower, where another hiker saw a mama bear and cubs, but we did not got up to the tower and didn't see any bears.  We got a late start and it was a full afternoon and evening of hiking, got into camp at 1940 hrs.

Day 43, Sun 27 Apr, 179.6 miles
Start Birch Spring Gap
End Russell Field Shelter

most enjoyable day of hiking yet, great weather, mild grade, clear trail, gorgeous meadows of flowers, spring beauty, fringed edge phalecia, yellow lillies.  Rained after we got into our tent for the night.
Hendo by apple tree in Russell Field

Meadows of Spring Beauty

Hendo and Hendo's Mom hiding out in a hollowed out tree


Day 44, Mon 28 Apr, 182.5
Start Russell Field Shelter
End Spence Field Shelter

We slept in today, we didn't sleep well due to the rainy blusterty weather overnight and two long days of hiking.  Because of the rule that you can only camp at the shelter locations in the smokies, we only hiked 2.9 miles to spence shelter.  We spent the afternoon getting caught up on little projects and napping.  The hike was again very nice, mild grade, clear trail, spring flowers, no bears.

Day 45, Tues 29 Apr
Start Spence Field Shelter
End Derrick Knob Shelter

Last night we survived storms like none other. It felt like we spent the night inside a tornado. It rained, hailed, lightning, insane winds, but our tent held up just fine.  It was still raining and blowing as we started hiking this morning.  The hike over Rocky Top and Thunderhead Mountain was insane, the winds were blowing us sideways and the rain was ferocious.  The trail down was a creek with 4in of water flowing down it.  The sun finally came out around 1300 hrs.  Mom's shoulder blade is bothering her because she had to use her hiking poles all day.
Derrick Knob Shelter


Day 46, Wed 30 Apr
Start Derrick Knob Shelter
End Siler Bald Shelter

Weather started out nice today, but turned cold, blustery and rainy by days end.  Moms shoulder was killing her by the end of the day.  We are going to get off at Clingman's and go into Gatlinburg so mom can see a doctor and we can dry out.  We have been on the trail for 5 days and need a zero day.

Day 47, Thurs 1 May
Start Siler Bald Shelter
End Clingman Dome

We made it to Clingman, we have caught a taxi into Gatlinburg and mom i has been seen by a doctor at urgent care.  The doctor prescribed her a steroid shot, oral steroids, muscle relaxers and some better pain meds.  Enjoying a night in a bed, hot
shower and yummy food.  We are staying at The Grand Prix Hotel, the owner has been extremely helpful and the rate is great!!!
Walking down the path from clingman

Benches along path down from Clingman, they need these on the AT!!

Day 48, Fri 2 May
Zero day, Gatlinburg, TN

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