I have immense respect for anyone who hikes a long distance trail. Having hiked the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail myself I have no illusions of the hardships, pain and suffering that go hand in hand with months of trail life. But with those hardships come worthwhile moments of accomplishment, joys and rewarding euphoric highs.
Jeff and Nancy of the Hike Inn offered to let us leave the car with them. Upon arriving at the Hike Inn located seven miles from the start of our hike at Fontana Dam near the Southern end of the park, Jeff sat us down explaining that even though we were with Backpacker Magazine we would get the same treatment as everyone else. He then in detail made us aware of the potential dangers as well as beauty of hiking in the rugged backcountry of the Smoky Mountains. People like Jeff and Nancy are true caretakers of the land they live in and love. They are a rarity in todays world and truly enrich everyones life they come in contact with.
Flies in your Eyes
With a large chunk of time off between our last show in Boone North Carolina and Trail Days Festival in Virginia, Becky and I secured a backcountry permit along the Appalachian Trail in Smoky Mountain National Park. Before we could hit the trail a few logistical issues had to be addressed. Mainly, where do we leave a tricked out Subaru and trailer full of backpacking gear? The obvious answer to this is in a secure location. What better location than with a couple Trail Angels.
In the couple of days I spent on the Appalachian Trail I was again reminded of the mental toughness it takes to complete a long trail. Specifically when it comes to the AT, if the root and rock laden trail doesn’t get to you, the humidity surely will. If the humidity doesn’t break your spirits, the sudden down pour accompanied by thunder and lightening just might. The steep climb leading to no view but simply a knee punishing decent will make you question your resolve. When you’ve taken everything the trail has thrown at you and confidently marched on, the buzzing will do you in. The swarms of relentless gnats were the last straw for me. A personal entourage of fifty plus gnats encircles everyones heads. Kamikaze evil bastards take turns trying to commit suicide in your eyes. A part of me laughed because I knew I would be off this trail tomorrow while the foolish thru-hikers would continue North with the clouds of gnats hovering over them. Only those with an unshakeable determination to reach their goal will finish this trail.
6/4/2022 06:40:52 am
Great post tthank you
Leave a Reply.
Binge drifting is a way of life for us. Since we met in 2008, we have worked seasonally in 10 different states, driven across this amazing country of ours countless times, hiked from Mexico to Canada, bicycled from coast to coast, and traveled the world. We hope you enjoy these tales of our journey chasing adventure!