Now as you enter the Smokies you find a registration log. You must fill out the log and tell where you plan each night on your hike through. I laughed, but really tried to comply. By the second night we were two days off schedule, no one checked or shot us, so I guess it was okay.
Shelters will sleep twelve hikers, 16-20 if it is raining (LOL). When you come to a shelter you plan to spend the night in you claim a spot by rolling out your blanket or sleeping bag. I slept beside beautiful girls (besides my wife of course), ugly men and dogs. Sometimes the smell is bad but not often since one side of the shelter is always open.
TOILETS: Most of the shelters have some type of toilet. Each is unique. There are some with just enough boards to cover the private parts. Some are Hilarious. Most of the time you dig a little cat hole to do your business and cover it up. We all carry a small scoop.
The Shelters have a Hiker Journal. Most hikers record their feelings for the day. Water sources are noted so others can find it. If the mice are bad in the shelter it will be logged. Some of the hikers are artists and draw pictures. Some are poets and leave their mark. It is an evening’s pleasure to read back through the notes.
Facts of the trail. Most folks lose a few pounds, if we all stayed on the trail we would lose more. Problem is, those Hiker Journals also list the All-U-Can-eat Places in the next town. Or tell you where the best Pizza or Hamburger is. When we hiked thru the Smokies the notes always said, “Mountain Mama’s has the best Cheeseburger on the Trail, you gotta try it, two miles off the trail.” So about every five to seven days you make it into some town and gorge yourself!!
Oh yes in closing this entry, study shows that most hikers gain at least a half shoe size on a 2000 mile hike. I gained about a size. (Sherry is not talking, I think that is a girl thang!)
Thanks for coming this way,
***** A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.