The Appalachian Trail

Fontana Dam, NC to Newfound Gap, NC

Fall, 2002


The packs, before we added more stuff

10 minutes till takeoff The Packs - Actual Size - About 50-60 pounds each
White Water Ducks Outside the Roan Mt. State Park Welcome Center
100 Feet from our campsite Where's my fly rod?
This is gonna be GREAT!!
Our pre-Trail bodies Mike's gut the night before we hike
The first shelter- so plush they call it the Hilton
Inside the shelter It had a great view of the Lake
Fontana Lake
The Lake A cloudy early morning
Our hike to check out the shower facilities- sans packs and still smiling!
Fontana Dam The river winding down and away from the Dam
The Dam river The Dam Bridge
The road to our 1st shelter
The 1st night in a shelter We did a lot of reading!
Fontana Lake at sunrise - We set out today - 6 miles, straight uphill

Trail side First Aid - 

Kate's blister and extra flap of skin (from other blister)

Our campsite at Birch Springs
Her Indian name is "BlisterFoot"
Hanging our sweaty, wet clothes out to dry Our only tent site on the hike
Chillin' at the campsite trying to get some baseball scores
The duct tape is out -  now we're getting serious.
In many places, the trail is lined with these small plants

Feel the burn

This pack is freakin' HEAVY!!!!!

Hiking is fun?!

The shelter's just around this bend

Mollie's Ridge Shelter - Day 2

11 miles logged so far

2 blistered feet a sore back and 36 miles to go

The shelter was nice the mice didn't bother us neither did the bears
Ready for some dry clothes.  Sandals feel great!!! Home Sweet Home-sleeps 20
Since there wasn't much sun that day, this was a painfully cold shower (w/ mountain spring water)
It was freezing at night.  In the 20's most nights We had to hang our packs so the mice wouldn't get in them.
Spence Field Shelter

The trail to the water source

All shelters had a fireplace inside.  Some nights it was hard to get one started with all the rain!

Little brown mushrooms were everywhere.
Bear cables.  We hung our food on the pulleys so the bears couldn't get to it. Spence Field
Waxing crescent moon.
Sunrise at Spence Field
In the clouds - You can see how thick the clouds are on the ridge line
Spence Field - one of the nicer spots along this section This mountaintop was cleared by farmers in the early 20th century
The Trail
Horses were allowed on many of the trails They were beautiful and helpful for hauling firewood
The Privy Way nicer than digging a hole!
Spence Field staying warm Stockings hung with care above the fireplace - but different
Almost up Rocky Top You can see Fontana Lake in the lower middle
The view of Fontana Lake from 5500ft elevation
At the top, almost Rocky Top !!!
The Great Smoky Mountains 
Celebrating a small victory
Rhododendron thicket The trail was cut through some thick stuff
Derrick's Knob
Chillin' on one of the only sunny days Finally stayin' warm!
The Trail The Shelter at Derrick's Knob
A nice hiking family The fence is to keep the bears out.
Aahhhhh - A nice roaring fire at night didn't hurt
Glad to have those boots off!!!
Still with the duct tape?!!  They never got better :(
Mt. Collins Shelter Hangin' the packs
There was a full shelter that night.  13 people
It was FREEZING this night!!  -- but, it was cool to spend the evening with Brett Favre (on the right)
Newfound Gap

After a week in the woods, we exited the trail and hitched a ride into Cherokee, NC to find a hotel and several tons of food.


The celebration begins! Clean Clothes!!!! Yippee!!
We washed everything!
Unloaded the packs to let them dry Still with the blisters!
Up close and disgusting
Hello, my pretties!



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