Friday, March 23, 2012

"Ya'll goin' to Maine?!"

Wow! This update is long overdue. I enjoyed a nearo day in Hot Springs, NC yesterday and a zero today! Hot Springs is the first trail town the AT passes thru. The trail literally goes right downtown, it sits on the 273.9 mile marker. I'm staying at the Sunnybank Inn, a very historic hostel that has been serving hikers since 1948. Earl Shaffer, the first thru-hiker, stayed there during his hike in '48. I was able to send out some gear that I no longer needed yesterday (bottoms of my zip off pants, extra socks, a book etc). Today's zero is much needed after 22 days of straight hiking. My blisters and sun burn are finally healing.

Last week I was in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park -- took my time through this section since the park is one of my favorite places. I've been hiking a lot of miles with Jerusalem Cruiser or J.C. for short - we met a few days into the hike. He's a stand up guy and we share a lot of similar interests. I finally got a trail name. Fellow hikers found out my high school mascot and I was immediately dubbed, "Pretzel."

Below are an odd ball collection of photos. I would love to upload more but the internet is very slow here and I am blocked from uploading video!

First state line, Welcome to North Carlina.

That is blister on top of a blister!

J.C. Sunset on Cheoh Bald.
Sherpa & J.C., Cheoah Bald, North Carolina.

"What would Edward Abbey do?" Fontana Dam, Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

J.C. and Sherpa in all out Hiker Trash mode! Newfound Gap, GSMNP.

Sunset at Mt. Cammerer Lookout, GSMNP.
Hawkeye from Vermont, enjoying Standing Bear Farm Hostel. Just outside of GSMNP.


  1. Bruce Deuchler Go Fire Go!March 23, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Awesome pics Matt. Best of luck to you, I hope you have a great time. We'll all be missing you on the 24th!

    1. Thanks man. I just saw a photo of the tifo, amazing work, as usual.

  2. I wouldn't go sending away all of your cold weather gear just yet.... It can still get pretty cold at night this time of year! =)

    -- Ryan

    1. Oh yeah! Keeping my insulated jacket and cold weather bag for a few hundred more miles. There were a lot of people at the Hot Spring PO sending home cold weather gear, yikes!

  3. Hey Matt!

    I love reading your blog! You are living out one of my dreams, and I can only hope that I have time to do this in the future, if just part of it! Now I'm going to have to go read some more books on the AT!

    Stay safe(watch out for bears!), stay warm, and good luck!

    Carley Schmidt