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Appalachian Trail... photos and journal

Spring of 2002... In the deep south...


(Page 8 of 10 pages)


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It's a very busy highway crossing at Sam's Gap which is also the Tennessee state line. For the last day of April the highway is literally gleaming with near unbearable heat.

Bees busy doing their pollen thing just past Sam's Gap.

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The trail continues not far past Sam's Gap.

WOW! This is the kind of springtime beauty that makes the trail the place to be!

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Red trillium's take over the rich loamy forest floor during the spring.

A sort of "diffused" sunset through the clouds as I approach Bald Mountain.

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Atop Bald Mountain during the early evening.


From my journal(May 1st) Day-15..."Sometime during the night the rain did come and fell consistently throughout my sleeping hours. Despite the rain I was northward moving just after 7:00 a.m. It was that wet drippy feeling but the rain was somewhat warm and my mind was set strong on getting to Erwin. The rain eventually stopped and the sun broke through by mid-morning.

At the top of the mountain overlooking the Nolinchucky river far down below it was a grand surprise and joy to run into “Trail Dad” (Roy Robinson) and inventor of the famous catfood can alcohol stove. It was a pleasure walking down off the mountain with Roy while talking “trail”. The AT comes out of the woods right at Uncle Johnny’s hostel where I’m bunked up with about ten other hiker’s including “Wolf Dog” from Dothan, Alabama and whom I met on the PCT last summer. It was another grand reunion as we shared old PCT stories on the porch for hours. This has been a great place to stay and Johnny has really taken care of us, giving us a ride into town for groceries, pizza, beer, or whatever. A short day on mileage but high on spirit! "


Just another one of those snails on the trail.

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The rain had been falling and it had been a long haul from Hot Springs so a I admit that I was looking for a little humor this morning as I walked along the trail toward Erwin! You've just got to love those white AT trail blazes... or go crazy. I believe that I qualify in both catagories!

It was a real treat when I ran into Roy Robinson "Trail Dad" while coming down the mountain into Erwin. As all ultralighter's know, Roy is the inventor of the catfood can alcohol stove which has served many hikers on their long distance hikes and he graciously offers directions on how to build your own at Roy's website.

It was really nice to see Roy after first meeting him in southern California during last summer's thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Oh yeah, Roy is also the father of "Flyin' Brian" who was the first person to complete consecutive thru-hikes of the AT, PCT, and the CDT in one calendar year... about 10 months to be more exact!!!

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Looking down into the town of Erwin as the trail makes a steep descent.

About a block from where the AT comes out of the woods is Uncle Johnny's hostel and store where a tired hiker (like me) could get a bunk for about ten bucks or pitch his tent in the backyard for less, including access to hot showers and a lot of good company... plus regular and free rides into the town of Erwin for meals and shopping. That was hard to beat. Oh yeah, Johnny also had a well stocked hiking supply store well worth a look.

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Johnny himself.

Johnny's lovely wife Charlotte who was very helpful... and willing to wash some pretty rank laundry of mine! Charlotte also gave us a free coke for helping to load up the coke machine! Johnny and Charlotte are genuinely good people who understand the hiking community and know how to help.

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