Starting a week hiking the AT in TENN

Day 1 on the AT from 5512′ Carver Gap to Doll Flats.
Got a shuttle that took 1 hour from La Quinta by TriCities airport that was arranged through the Kincora Hostel. Seiko did the job, driving like hell over the serpentine mountain roads. Worth the $75 to start hiking by 9 AM right here. He told me there were 40 hikers at the hostel last night where it went down to 28 degrees. and I just brought my 40 degree bag.
10.8 hard miles, hard walking if you haven’t done this in these steep mountains for a while. There was some snow on the ground and the trees and shrubs were coated with rime and ice. It was slippery and gloves were a must. Just walking all day, no music, lots of breaks to enjoy the steer views. Got up over 6,000 feet within two miles. Had a break 3 miles in at the Stan Murray Shelter after 90 minutes. A mile and a half later took the side trail to the empty Overemountain Shelter, over looking this huge valley between the giants. I met about 8 thru hikers today, including 4 young guys smoking roll yer own cigarettes. It’s a tradition.
Figured 2,500 feet of vertical this new day out. Definitely a 3 ibuprofen dose situation. Not convinced the belt on the replacement Arc’teryx pack is any good. Still keeps loosening up, sliding through the buckle. I waited 5 months for it to arrive and I still appears as bogus.
Great campsite tonight. I don’t even remember seeing it in 2007. At the edge of a grassy meadow. Wild Turkey calling here at sunset. Ate dehydrated pasta bows with ground turkey and tomato sauce. I made 2 meals worth last week . Just like real food.
I call today world class hiking. Jane Bald (5807), Little Hump (5459) and Hump (5587) mountaIns were like nothing I’ve seen in 4 years. I just sT on the to ms and stared off slack jawed thinking of the last time that MeGaTex rolled through here, as we were just learning the thru- hiking ropes.


2 thoughts on “Starting a week hiking the AT in TENN

  1. jory

    itn’t it great tom, to have developed those thru hiking skills so solidly, you can just go back to them with confidence….trust the body… the gear….and have pushed to such far limits of endurance and pain, that almost anything now can be taken in stride….


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