My Latest Journey...

Dec 11, 2020
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Wherever I'm At
So my latest journey took me around 600 miles afoot across Southwest Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Northern Georgia. I started out of Knoxville and walked to the Smoky Mountain National Park and proceeded to hike a series of side trails, then decided to hop on the Benton Mackeye Trail and hike it down to Amicola Falls State Park in Georgia. The Benton Mackeye Trail is all backwoods camping, no shelters, very few reliable resupply points and trail markers. But I enjoyed those 300 miles and the adventure that came from it--like losing my way on Big Frog Mountain because the trail was overgrown and not marked and it set me back three days as I took a circuitous route to get back onto the main trail. That route took me a river wilderness area where I had to ford over twenty times (yeah, I honestly stopped counting after day two) and this was back in October/November and right after we had that tropical storm blow through the Southeastern region, so the fording spots along the trail were swift and deep. I had to strip down for each one, ran into a black bear, seen a few mountain goats, ran into many hunters at that time, and went five days at one point without seeing another human being. So after I arrived in Amicola Park, I spent the night in the shelter there that they have for AT thru-hikers and headed out on the AT the following morning. I was familiar with this section of trail as I've hiked it before, but it was a different experience in late fall/early winter. So after many cold days and nights in the mountains (and plenty of snow and Ice, especially coming back through the smokies) I decided to head off trail at Clingman's Dome for the Blue Ridge Parkway, and this was a week before X-mas. I wanted to shoot for Asheville, North Carolina by then to take part in the festivities, but my journey along the Parkway and Trail was rain, cold, and snow and the day before X-mas there was a big cold front move through and dumped about a half foot of snow, especially higher up in the mountains, and my tent and boots and most of my other gear was frozen solid from the rains the day before, and I was set back a day as I collected pine wood to dry out my gear. Well, I finally arrived in Asheville to search out a good camp site for the winter here at dawn, pushing all night to make up for the previous day. And besides spending the last month flyin' sign and working part-time, have had no further adventures of late. I'm awaiting the call of the wild again to begin the next adventure, may the time be soon...

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