Carey Kish is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, a distance of 2,200 miles over a period of 5-6 months. Entries from Carey’s trail journal are presented here (read them all). You can also follow his journey on his Facebook page.
April 12, 2015: Newfound Gap to Tricorner Knob Shelter, 15.6 miles, 10:05am to 5:35pm.
The magnificent Smokies! What a day to enjoy the very best, from the pinnacle of Charlie’s Bunion to the high, narrow and winding Sawteeth and miles of fine walking beyond. All along were lookouts affording awesome views of the jumble of steep-sided mountains in every direction. Lovely Mt LeConte was in view much of the day. Must make a trip up there some day via the Boulevard Trail.
The trail stayed high all day in the 5000-6000 foot range, and its consistent grade allowed for some good cruising. It’s no wonder then that I knocked off nearly 16 miles. Original plan was to buck up at 11 miles at Pecks Corner, but I reached there a little after 3 and that was too early to stop. So I pushed on the extra 5 miles and change. No problem. Legs were strong all day and I was able to keep a consistent pace, rarely stopping on the ups except for a pull on the water hose.
Charlie’s Bunion was a hoot, climbed right up on the rocky pinnacle with full pack on. Last time thru in ’89 it was pouring rain and we saw nothing. Today was gorgeous there, just like ’77. Airy spot with wild views, one of my favorites on the entire trail.
Got a spot in the shelter tonight. Good thing as tent sites are limited and not so great. Spring right out front. Fire going when I arrived, nice as it has been cooling down outside. Will be good sleeping. Jerk is playing his radio outside now. Why why why??? I’m in my bag or else I’d go out and say something.
So glad to vacate the hotel this morning. Depressing place. Wandered through the mostly empty streets to the Grand Prix Motel (a hiker hostel that I couldn’t book into) to wait for the shuttle. I was first there, so I had a spot. Van didn’t arrive till 9:30 and by that time there were 9 hikers waiting. Van could only take six plus packs. Oh well. The others would have to wait another hour for a second run. $30 ride was split six ways. Good deal.
Out at Newfound Gap and hit the trail at cruising speed. Had a real need to put miles between me and Gatlinburg. Yesterday was a low day for sure. And to think I was going to spend 2-3 days there to get caught up on writing. That would have been borderline suicidal. Didn’t help that had some awful gastro issues, brought on by that BBQ dinner perhaps, that had me in the bathroom way too many times throughout the day. In any case, too much time in towns means no mileage progress. Mileage means I get closer to home and my wife, a better plan.
Tomorrow, more fine high mountain walking, including a run over 6000-foot Mt Guyot. Davenport Gap Shelter near the park’s northern boundary is the plan. Showers are forecast. We’ll see how it all goes.
Feel so much better out here…