From Springer Mountain Georgia to Mt. Katahdin Maine

Friday, April 6, 2012


This is Macon's mom with an update on meeting up with "Daystar" in Gatlinburg.  I found her around noon at Newfound Gap on US 441, the only road crossing along the Trail in the Smokies.  Gorgeous, cool spring day with bumper-to-bumper traffic for miles.  Macon and her two hiking buddies declined the offer to return to Chattanooga for a couple of nights.  They piled in and off we went in search of lodging for the night.  We called and booked the last vacant room at the Grand Prix Hotel, close to the national park and on the edge of town.  Then, off to lunch where each hiker wrote a post for the blog.
Lots of pictures will be posted tomorrow. 

Macon, "Daystar":  Just had an amazing salad and an Appalachian Pale Ale at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. So great to have some real food after many nights of Ramen and peanut butter.  In the fine town of Gatlinburg.  I've never been here before and it's quite a sight.  Looking forward to the "Nero" (near zero) today.  We walked 5 miles this morning and met some great trail angels who had sandwiches, Oreos, and Cokes.  Mom checked us into the hotel and took us out to lunch.  Later we'll shower, do laundry, and run to the grocery store to resupply.  Tomorrow will be the first true "zero" - total relaxation.  Sunday morning we'll hitch or shuttle back to the trail - excited to finish the Smokies!!

Pants-on-Fire (First let me explain this hiker's trail name.  So, I asked, "Patrick, how did you get your name?"  It's certainly easy to imagine different scenarios for such a name.  He said that someone on the trail asked him his name... to which he responded, "Pat-so-far."  The person said, "Pants on Fire"?  So, "Pants-on-Fire" it is.):  Pants-on-Fire here checking in on Daystar's blog for the first time.  The community out here on the trail is magical.  Everyone we meet has experienced similar trials such as rain, hail, blisters, hunger, and the miles of hiking.   I believe most are having fun still.  I am definitely having fun.  We wake up every day and hike and we are loving it.

Gribley (His name is based on the character in My Side of the Mountain.  Sam Gribley runs away and learns to survive in the woods): I've been hiking with Daystar for about a week now and it has been great.  It seems so crazy that we have hiked 200 miles in three different states in under three weeks.  There's been rain, blisters, and some annoying biting flies to deal with but that's all a small price for the panoramic views of sprawling mountains, sunsets at 5500' in the Smoky Mountains, and an awesome albeit windy night on an observation tower looking down on the lights of a city in a valley below.  We are living in the woods now and loving it.  I can't wait to see all the next 2000 miles have in store.

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