Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hiking through the Smokey Mt. National Park

Sometimes we walked together sometimes separated by as much as a mile, each with their thoughts. Here Sherry is ahead of me skirting an open field.
Here the trail is nice but narrow. Notice the ever present white blaze internationally known to mark the Appalachian Trail.

This is one of the 'Walks in the Woods' very pleasant parts of the trail where Sherry could hike side by side and talk.

One of the thousands of distant mountain views from atop a summit. Breath taking and you never tire of them.

I think the Smoky Mountains are the most visited National Park in America. We were looking forward to hiking that one hundred + miles of Appalachian Trail.

Back when we hiked the Smokeys the shelters were protected by chain link fencing. We only slept in the tent one night I think the rest was in shelters. We started our hike going North from Fontana Dam in NC. There are some unique spots on the trail one is the mountain called ‘Rocky Top’. Rocky top was in the clouds the day we reached it’s summit. I sang ‘Good old Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee’, at least four times, because it had some false tops. A false top is when the hiker is sure he is at the top, but then the heart drops when you walk a little further and see another climb.
We also passed Clingman’s Dome and had to shed our packs and climb to the top of the viewing structure. Our next stop was Collin’s Mt. Shelter where we met a father/son team hiking. We were shocked when we woke up smelling bacon and eggs and bread for their breakfast. It was their first morning on the trail. We talked for a little while, then they went South and we walked North towards New Found Gap.
The funniest thing happened at the Gap. We honestly expected some vending machines because the Gap is the main tourist stop for views in the Smokies. It is the Gap between The Cherokee nation and Gatlinburg, TN. We had been walking for five days. Daily we had a hand full of raisins, one pack of ramein noodles and we each had a pack of Lance Cheese crackers. That is about ten ounces of food between us. We were LOOKING for the vending machines. NONE did we see. I spotted a guy with a Monaco RV hat on. So since we had something in common I asked him if he had seen any vending machines. He said no. His wife said, “we have some drinks in the car if you would like one.”
Old tough Jack says, “No, that is all right, we will just head up the trail.”
“Oh no we want, we will take the drinks and be glad to pay you for them,” my quite reserved wife said. So we got two drinks, and they sure tasted good. Of course the couple would take no pay for the drinks. Seeing how pitiful my dear wife looked. LOL
We were half way through the Smokies.
Tomorrow continue the trip through, fifty more miles to Mountain Mama’s.

Nite Shipslog,
*** Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it!

**** Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.
*** Procrastinate !!! Now !!!

**** I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?


Helen said...

Bet you were really glad that Sherry spoke up about taking that drink. We have been to Clingman's Dome. All the trees were dead on top of it. That has been many years ago. Helen

Paula said...

Did you have a steak dinner as soon as you got back to civilization? I feek weak just reading this. lol

Paula said...

Whoops I am feeking weak. lol typo

shirl72 said...

I like you Paula getting weak with nothing to
drink. That would be a good time to start a diet if you wanted to. But you would be to weak to walk. I guess I am walking with you by
reading. When you were on the trail I followed
you with a map and your phone calls. More power
to you and Sherry.


Woody said...

Enjoying reading the Trip, I did see the trail when we went thru the Shenendoah National Park, I also saw part of it in Maine, I know we will never walk it but I can say I walked at least 10 feet of it..., LoL!!!

Sheila Y said...

I hope you found some food before too long. Did you lose much weight during the hikes? I am enjoying 'walking along' with you two. Take care, Sheila

Jean said...

I'm enjoying reading about your hiking trips,It sounds like it would be fun to do if I were 40 years younger. I couldn't hold out to walk to many miles now, lol. take care, jean

Anonymous said...

Aaah, false tops. Yes, that's what I felt on my first climb up Mount Orford last summer! Nice story!