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Appalachian Trail... photos and journal

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


(Page 9 of 10 pages)


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It was also in Erwin where I ran into "Wolf Hound" whom I'd also first met at Warner Springs, California last summer on the Pacific Crest Trail so this was a nice surprise reunion.


From my journal(May 2nd) Day-16..."I couldn’t believe that I was one of the last two hikers to wake up this morning… but I was the first by far to be on the trail again at about 9:15 a.m. Johnny and Charlotte took everyone to breakfast in town except Wolf Dog and me as I wanted to get back out on the trail after a hot, stuffy night in the hostel. The trail was fairly tough today going straight up and over ridges, but I still managed to do a 25-er . Just as I got my tarptent set up the thunder, lightning, and rain began to fall so I must cut short this entry and make sure that all is set up for maximum dryness. Good Night… I hope! "


Into Pisgah!

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You've got to look closely to see this unusual green spider on the purple flower... just more proof of the true majesty of the Appalachian Trail.

A side view for a better observation! Even a 30 mile day couldn't distract me from so much beauty on the trail.

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More ramps that I dug for my evening meal...

...I usually peeled and cut the ramps while on the trail then tossed them into the pouch of my backpack or just stuffed them into my pocket until cooking time.


From my journal(May 3rd) Day-17..."Rain fell throughout the night and didn’t stop until about 7:00 a.m.- just when I was back on the trail. The fog lingered in low all day and I was walking in the clouds all through the Roan Highlands whose balds revealed absolutely no views. However, the trail was so moist that I enjoyed getting some nice photos of some red newts which seem to savor these moist trail days.

At Apple Orchard Shelter I ran into “Green Man” from Alabama who was cooking a hot meal and I did the same sitting on the steps of the shelter. Green Man was carrying a small tape recorder and recording the various happenings during the day on tape and I almost fell off the steps in wallow of laughter when he played back his encounter with a bull while crossing over one of the balds earlier in the day! It was actually quite real with the full sound effects of the wind as a background as he described the encounter on tape. After a good hot meal we left the shelter together and hiked until dark, but I had to hike on another half mile past Green Man since I couldn’t find a flat spot to set up near the creek. "


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This had just been a plain good day for wildlife on the trail! The red newts hung out on the trail especially during the morning following a rain and they were usually sluggish in movement allowing plenty of photography fun.

Looking straight down on another beautiful bloom, a pink trillium I believe.

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The trail passes directly beside this old chimney of history and it's hard not to pause and wonder who had warmed themselves in years past by the glowing embers of the many fires surely built in this very spot!

That's Roan Mountain in the background under cloud cover while looking back to Carver's Gap. I lost one of my thin polypro gloves between here and the Gap while digging for food in a mesh backpack pocket, but replaced it later in Damascus.

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A white blaze that said "God Bless America" in its own way.


From my journal(May 4th) Day-18..."Sleep was a bit restless last night and especially not helped by a small pack of dogs that barked their way through the woods near my campsite early in the morning. They left me alone but today’s hike was a struggle in that I knew some rest was missing. Despite a lack of rest and hiking in a cold rain until mid-afternoon, I somehow managed to plow out almost 35 miles behind me

I took the trail down to Laurel Falls which must be one of the most fabulous waterfalls in the southeast. From here a section of the trail followed along a steep creek side cliff, which made for an exciting trail! It was then up and over the steep pond flats and down to Watauga Lake. By this time the sun actually broke through for a few precious hours so I stopped to cook a hot meal before getting back up on the ridge to Damascus. I am camped tonight about ¾ mile north of Vandeventer Shelter that was at full capacity with no flat places to set up my tarptent although this was a nice place directly on the ridge overlooking Watauga Lake. "


The low water trail as it skimmed the creek bank just down stream from Laurel Falls.

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Now you've got to admit that this is an interesting bug and a creature that I hoped would not get inside my sleeping bag!

Another angle for your viewing pleasure.

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