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KenandNancy - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2017

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Ken & Nancy
Begins: Apr 4, 2017
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Apr 20th, 2017
Start: Franklin, NC mile 105
End: Gatlinburg, TN mile 205

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 343
Journal Visits: 2,450
Guestbook Views: 199
Guestbook Entrys: 32

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Week 2

We have arrived in Gatlinburg, TN for resupply. Week 2 had quite a few highlights. We crossed another state line from North Carolina to Tennessee--actually, this section of the trail crosses back and forth multiple times so they don't even have an official marker and we also have passed the 200 mile mark. We watched as a wildfire broke out about 2 miles away from our campsite, thankfully we were up wind so it didn't pose an imminent threat to us. That night we could see the flames and watched the headlamps of the hot shot crew working the fire. By morning the amazing group had the fire out! We walked across the Fontana Dam on the trail-this is probably the only flat spot on the entire trail-it was pretty impressive to see. There was a museum explaining the entire project was completed in 3 years during WWII to help with electricity for bomber plane building. We entered the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where we reached the elevation high point of the trail at Clingman's dome. Unfortunately, the three days that we've been in the park we've walking in the clouds, literally. There's been very limited visibility and it's been raining nonstop which has made the trail a mud fest! You don't appreciate having modern conveniences like washing machines until you've walked thru mud all day and then have to put the clothes and shoes back on the next morning still wet and muddy. We have had some camaraderie with a few people at the shelters (3 sided lean-to that they make you stay by in the GSMNP) as we have laughed over the conditions and general events of the trail. We have been disappointed with the lack of animals on the trail though. We saw our first and only deer the other day and what we think was a bear paw print in the mud. Otherwise, there have been lots of birds and we saw what might have been the worlds longest earthworm--measuring in at 18 inches. We are looking forward to the coming of spring and the wild flowers as we continue north.

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Appalachian Trail 2017

Ken & Nancy

 

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