Just wanted to give a trail report for my latest outing.
This is what a hike from Franklin N.C. to the far north side of the Smokies turned out like.
We left Franklin with a drop off by my Dad. (thanks to him). That was a great morning. Really no good views due to the fog. Next morning started off with a heavy heavy fog. I believe it was in the hammock with me, fairly warm temps. It was foggy all day with only one good view at a fire tower.
The third day started the same heavy fog and rain all the way to the N.O.C.
We decided to get lunch there. That is wherer the third member of our group of 3 dropped the bomb he was leaving. He was not having a good time on his first outting and saw the 7 mi up hill climb of over 3000 feet coming. He left us on the highway with his thumb out and got a ride to Ashville N.C. for a rental car and headed to Memphis.
We finished the day with the big uphill climb and a nice sunny afternoon rest. We hung out our wares for drying to no evail. We awoke to pouring rain on at midnight that didn't stop for over 24 hours. I hung the hammock for the last night that night befor entering the Smokies.
We made it to the Fontanna Hilton in the rain and fog. Just in time to get a shower and hang a few clothes lated in the evening. The next day was nice leaving there after my first ever night in a shelter. It was rather tough sleeping on the wooden floor with the broken ribs I have from a fire dept
The next day was nice coming out of Fontanna a heck of a climb into the Smokies. but a good day with views from Shuckstack Mt tower and one bear sighting. We stayed at our 2nd shelter that night solo.
We awoke to rain again, who would have thunk all that rain and more to come. No views and we got to Russel field shelter for lunch I was frozen and shaking uncontrollably. I got a quick lunch and hit the trail for more rain and mud.
Pretty mucn that was the same thing for every day from that point until the finish. Rocky Top and Thunderhead Mountain were both completely covered in fog and the wind was blowing the rain so hard it blew me off balance crossing each peak.
We pulled out early at Clingman's Dome which was really nice. We were actually were above the rain clouds that day. When my Dad picked us up rather that the prearranged resupply it was beautiful at the top but as we got below the clouds the rain began again. The rain turned into snow that night at elevevation but the the rain followed us all the way home to Memphis.
So all totaled it was 7.5 days of rain out of 9 days out. only 2 nice views but it was still quite fun. We covered only 88 miles where we did 108 in the same time frame last year. The terrain and weather really hammered us this time.
Thanks for reading