Thursday, April 26, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 26 mile 342 (6.3)

Last night was better weather wise. The rain that we were supposed to get didn't happen. That all changed after 20 minutes of hiking.
I had just put my rain gear on when the sky opened up. Lightning and thunder was all around me. Extreme wind followed along with hale. Since i was on an exposed piece of trail i stepped up the pace. The wind increased even more and trees started falling around in the woods by me. I immediately started jogging to get to lower elevation. Just then a large tree fell within 5 feet of me. If i would have been 2 steps faster I wouldnt be posting this. My life literally flashed before my eyes! Childhood memories and just about everything from my life. By the time I realized I was not dead and came back to concious I noticed myself in a full sprint heading down the trail. Almost 40 years of memories flashed before my eyes in less than 30 seconds (not in any order and all vivid as they were just happening). Things like riding an elephant in Florida when i was about 3-5, memories of trips with my family when I was a child and on and on.
It's amazing how one event like that can pur your whole life in perspective.
I am now in a Super 8 motel. All I can say is "what a day!" A little rattled, but alive and well. Life will never look the same again to me. Almost leaving my wife a widow will forever change me. Never take the ones you love and the ones who love you for granted!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AT Thru Hike - Day 25 mile 335.7 (20.7)

Rained all night last night and i didnt get a wink of sleep. All my gear was wet and muddy this am.
Left camp around 7:45 and hike in thick fog and cold for most of the am.
When i crossed over both Big and Little Balds (missed the views) the sky cleared up, the sun came out and it actually got pretty warm. Made it the 20.7 miles by 5:45 and cleaned the mud from my tent and let it air out.
Tomorrow i will be in Erwin, TN after a short day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AT Thru Hike - Day 24 mile 315 (14.7)

Woke up to another chilly morning. I warmed up quickly after i started hiking. The sun came out and i had i really nice time hiking. Meet a man named Pops who sounds exactly like my father inlaw even with the same mannerisms. Snowed a couple times today as well.
The pic is for my mother - yes I am eating the jerky you bought me :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 -Day 23 mile 300.3 (15.4)

woke up to snow this am. Froze my tail off last night and thought i would have hypothermia as all my clothes were soaked from yesterdays hike. Snowed in the early am with high winds, but was just mostly cloudy and cold the rest of the day. Walked/climbed along an exposed ridge this afternoon with some pretty cool views. Made it to Jerry Cabin shelter at 5, ate dinner and am now tucked in my tent trying to stay warm.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 22 mile 284.9 (11)

Today was another hard day! Not because of the trail or anything physical, but emotionally. The one thing that I thought might get me off trail before I left was missing my wife and dogs too much. Having to say goodbye again today was almost too much. My wife has been a real trooper through all this and really helped to get me back on trail. Thanks Babe!
It rained all day and by the time I made it to Spring Mtn shelter I was drenched and frozen (40 degrees right now). I got into dry clothes after setting up my tent and am already in the sleeping bag to keep warm. It will definately be a long night!

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 21 mile 273.9 (3.2)

Did a short 3.2 miles into Hot Spring, NC. Trail Fest was taking place and i got a chance to visit with one of my hiking friends. She was there selling her tents that she makes. I would highly recommend checking out her products at if you are looking for an excellent UL tent.
Got to our cabin around 1 and spent the day relaxing, watching some tube and of course EATING!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - Day 20 mile 270.7 (14.8)

This morning was a little colder than it's been for a little while. It warmed up quickly though and i was soon drenched in sweat and my hiker stench.
Had a few big climbs to start the day off, but it was mostly downhill once i hit the top of Bluff Mountain.
The pic of me is where i cooked my lunch. I had a spectacular view and since it was quite and I was all alone I relaxed for about 1.5 hours to let my feet rest and dry out.
I now have my tent set up at Deer Mtn shelter to avoid heading into the youngin's and the party of Trail Fest. I have 3.2 miles tomorrow into Hot Spring to meet my wife, dogs and resupply.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - mile 255.9 (15)

DAY 19
Today started off with less than perfect weather. When I arrived at the top of Snowbird Mtn I could hardly see the aviation tower from the trail due to the heavy cloud cover.
There was a huge amount of elevation gain and descent today which tired me out a bit, but Max Patch had 360 degree views so I layed down in the field on top for 2 hours. The views were spectacular so I didn't mind staying put for a bit. I am at Roaring Fork shelter for the evening (tenting).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012 - day 18 mile 240 (11)

Made it to Standing Bear hostel today. It rained all night last night and poored all day today. Hiked the 11 miles in record time (for me) today mainly because i ate on the run due to the rain. I started hiking at 7:30 and arrived at the hostel at 11:30. I was a little nervous of the crowd when i arrived, but they moved out soon after i arrived and the older crowd moved in shortly after. I have about 15 miles to do tomorrow to set me up for an early arrival at Hot Springs on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AT Thru Hike - Day 17 mile 230.1 (13.3)

Didnt get much sleep last night. The shelter was full and i pitched my tent on a slope.
I made pretty good time today doing 13 miles in 6 hours with an hour lunch break and another 20 minute break. I was hoping to stretch the day out, but obviously was moving quicker than i thought. Tomorrow is a short 11 mile day into Standing Bear Hostel to resupply and hopefully get a bed!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 16 mile 217.2 (10.8)

I had a very nice visit outside Gatlinburg with my wife, parents and dogs. Thanks to everybody for coming to visit me!
The Smokey's have been great! The weather cooperated today and although a little warm the views wered excellent. The thing i like the most about the park is that the trail follows the ridgeline so you can see in all directions on clear days.
A nice short 13 mile day tomorrow!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - day 14

I am in Gatlinburg, TN with a new phone, taxes done (long painfull story) and crisis avoided.
I am spending tomorrow with my wife, parents and dogs before heading back out on Monday. Thanks to everyone who has been following! I really appreciate the comments - keep them coming as they are good motivation! I should be able to keep this blogh going now that i have my new phone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Everything is going ok!!

Seth walked me through the process to get this information to you.

He has been having a problem with his phone and hasn't been able to update this journal.  We will be working on getting him a new phone and he should be able to get back online when we meet in Gatlinburg.  Otherwise he is doing well and should be into North Carolina tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Approach Trail

I'm not sure how many videos I will be able to post :(  The resolution on my camera uses up a lot of memory taking a while to upload on a computer (time which I unfortunately do no have and quality I am not willing to sacrifice). I will try to figure something out!!  No worries.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Day 3

Another hot day.  Really did not expect this type of heat the first week of April, but I think it will cool off a bit towards the end of the week.  Blood Mountain was just as hard as the last time I did it. Looking forward to some cooler weather. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Day 2 (15.6) 15.8

Today was a long and hot day! Started off ok but reached 90 degrees by lunch time. I thought by starting early i would be able to avoid the heat for a while but i was obviously wrong!
Really haven't meet a lot of people to hike with at this point but have meet some good people.
Had my first trail magic today on springer mtn but had to turn it down because i have no appetite and been having to force food down up until this point.
Tomorrow is going to be a hard day!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1 - Springer Mtn Shelter - .2 miles (9.0)

Today starts the journey!
Hiked the Approach Trail from Amicalola state park. The weather was clear but the 84 degree weather made the 9 miles tougher than they should have been. I am out of shape to boot.
Time to go fill the water bottles up and get ready for day 2!

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