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© 2013 Linsen. All rights reserved. 20130511-164051.jpg

Hello Tennessee

Day 18, Mile 206

It’s been a good week on the Trail – my leg has healed, I’m feeling in really good shape and I’ve managed three 20+ mile days. I’ve covered almost 100 miles this week (and should do another 15 or 20 tomorrow), putting me just shy of the 10% point.

The rhythm of Trail life is also becoming natural. Wake up around 6:30; pack up my things and eat two granola bars to leave by 7:00; walk at about 2 mi/h, taking 4 or 5 short breaks to snack on Reeses peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and trail mix; hit my destination (typically a shelter) around 17:00 or 18:00; pack out my sleeping things to grab a floor spot; make and eat food (just adding boiling water to freeze dried meals, as well assome beef jerky for protein and dark chocolate for happiness); fetch and treat water for tomorrow; write in my journal; crawl into bed and read till it gets dark around 20:30. And of course chat to other hikers in the shelter.

I’m now in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, although the Trail follows the TN-NC border for another 180 miles, so it’s a while before I leave North Carolina behind. It’s a very touristy town that feels like being in a theme park. Most amusing. I’m sharing a room with Heat Miser (who’s 17 and thru-hiking), and there are a few familiar faces here like Buffalo Joe, Frizz, Spoon and Alley Cat.

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You occassionally see these old-school signs, although the rectangular white blazes mark most of the Trail

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A cool lookout tower atop Wayah Bald

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The mountains rising like islands above the mist at dawn

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Me posing in front of said mountains

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The Trail passes straight through the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Centre), which is a hub of white water rafting

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The first big field of wildflowers I saw, in the Smoky Mountains

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Serviceberry trees blossoming – real pretty!

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It’s the little things :-)

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Lookout tower at Clingman’s Done,the AT’s highest point at 6643 feet

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I stayed in this shelter last night – with a fireplace!

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The hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg

4 Comments

  1. Tamzyn
    Posted 13 May ’13 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better and in such good shape. I’m really impressed with your pace and the beauty of the trail.
    You truly are the adventurer you set out to be. I’m so proud of you! My thoughts are with you as you continue on you noble quest!

  2. irizeloots@hypnother
    Posted 13 May ’13 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi Linsen,
    What amazing photo’s – gives a feel of some of what your eyes see…
    Thinking of you daily! And a part of me is envying your freedom to be in nature so vast, so beautiful, so expansive…

    Hugs from tiny, flat, wet, yet very green, springtime promising Holland!

    • Irize
      Posted 13 May ’13 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Why your comments keep choosing my old therapy work’s email address, I don’t know!

  3. anso
    Posted 17 May ’13 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Just back from a holiday and the best times was had watching the little birds doing their thing…enjoy them too:)

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