Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Recent Photo Albums

I think I'm done blogging, but I do plan on uploading photos from time to time.

Recent Photo Albums

If you're not getting your news from sites like on the right side of this Swiss Policy Research media navigator then you're being propagandized and misinformed. "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations. In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.":
For whom the struggle is real...it might be the nail:

My understanding of the world:
1) Return on capital\power is what motivates the world shapers
2) It's all organized crime. Some of us work on the cleaner side of the house, but it's all pretty much dirty now.
3) Global senior capital controls most\all sovereigns from the shadows
4) Global senior capital is old, old, old, money (royal and aristocratic families, their merchant bankers, The Vatican, etc). Bloodlines matter...a lot.
5) Organized crime includes a mixture of benevolent partnerships and required partnerships. Ultimate power and control is non-negotiable. There is no "free market may the best man win" ruleset. It's ruthless. All wars are their wars not ours.
6) The China\Russia\Iran sabre rattling is about enforcing the terms of a "required" partnership. The terms are being worked out and will probably result in diabolical collateral damage for us all.
7) There is no limit to their enforcement measures: financial, atomic, chemical, biological, psychological, etc.
8) They are master manipulators. They will use anything to trigger us to act on their behalf: patriotic and religious symbolism, false flag attacks they perpetrate, "we were attacked" accusations, communism\socialism\terrorism scare tactics, etc. They use it...because it works.
9) Ideologies, politics, religion, etc are illusions to manipulate the masses. It's a zero sum game to the real players.
10) Liberals and Conservatives are just good cop bad cop roles...they both answer to senior global capital
11) The illusions are wearing off, there are systemic cracks, and the rulers are battling for position. Who are the main rulers and their fronts (sovereign, political, corporate, etc))? Maybe disagreement on US-centric Empire (Anglo\Zionist zealots) vs Globalist Empire (Multipolar cosmopolitan elitists)? Either way seems like Empire is the goal.
12) Militarily enforced world reserve currency (petro dollar) and world stores of trade surplus\value (US treasuries, stocks, etc) manipulations are adding to rising instability and loss of trust around the world. New store of value\trade settlement being worked out ... gold\multinational\crypto? combination.
13) UBI like stipends are coming to the unwashed...probably digital, but it's not a precursor to a benevolent Star Trek like utopian future...it will be to try and keep the house of cards ponzi debt pyramid from collapsing. Authoritarian control will tighten. The super wealthy will be pulling hardest on the levers of shared sacrifice...consolidating wealth and power...while safely protected in their offshore tax shelters, etc., framing the merely wealthy et al to take the brunt of the hit. Thanks for playing.

At the movies they root for Luke. In real life they fight for Vader.

"American people are deeply domesticated people with a grand sense of narcissism as “Americans”.  The country has inflicted so much pain and suffering against the world with its colonial policies and wars, yet American people generally perceive themselves as citizens of freedom.  Ironically, the more they are cornered into enduring the consequences of their own complacency, the more they cling to the fact that they are at least “Americans”.   Because, as it was described above, rejecting their country-hood is a rejection of themselves—the biggest fear of all for the proud Americans."
"The dynamic is actively encouraged to stay within the corporate political framework, invigorating the illusion of “democracy” dominated by two US imperial political parties."

"Exactly where we were when our heroes began their quest to inform an insouciant public. I should point out that insouciant has long been Southern gentleman Paul Craig Robert’s favorite adjective, but frustration has led him to the regular substitution, dumbshit."

"Hmm… America Keeps Getting Attacked By Nations It Hates In Ways Only The CIA Can See. I'd like to tell you a folktale. It's called "The Emperor's New 9/11. Don't be a sucker. Be the child at the Emperor's parade."

"However, just as the Russian people had to stop kidding themselves with silly dreams about “democracy” and had to tackle the real problems of Russia, so will the people of the USA have to find the courage to deal with their real problems, frontally and deliberately." http://thesaker.is/the-systemic-collapse-of-the-us-society-has-begun/

You are being played...we all are...acknowledge it...and then try to be as honest as you can with yourself and others. "Propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. Respect the fact that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century"...question everything.
https://youtu.be/34LGPIXvU5M (Manufacturing Consent)
https://youtu.be/p8ERfxWouXs (Ruled From The Shadows)

Friday, September 27, 2019

2019 App Trail Thru Hike: Finished: Hiawassee GA to Springer Mtn GA

I finally finished the AT Thru Hike I started way back on April 3rd.  It was a rich, robust, and rewarding experience. There were many enjoyable moments, but I wouldn't call it "fun". It was quite a journey and a real mental and physical challenge.

Pre Trip Interview in Peachtree Corners Life Magazine
Post Trip Interview in Peachtree Corners Magazine 

Day 171

Time: Sat, 21 Sep 2019 21:57:56
Location: Henson Cove B & B Mile 2125.9 of Appalachian Trail

Helen and I stayed at the Henson Cove Bed and Breakfast in Hiawassee last night. We had a really nice breakfast and talked with a couple from Charlotte who are house hunting in the area.

We hung around and relaxed on the porch and talked with our hosts, Mariah and Dave. We petted the horse in the pasture across the street.

We went into town and visited the Trailful store, which is a neat outfitter. They were really nice and we chatted about the trail and their cool conversion van parked out front.

We browsed around a boutique and joked that the ladies in there would never camp in the woods. Different strokes for different folks.

I had lunch at McDonald's while Helen watched and ate some of my fries. We went to Dollar General and got some trail food. Then we got peanut butter shakes at Dairy Queen.

We relaxed a little at the B&B and then went to a local brew pub for dinner. They had live music outside so we stayed in the small bar area inside to escape the noise, but then they propped the door open so it was loud anyway. The place was filling up for the Georgia vs Notre Dame football game. Not a good choice for us. My burger was pretty good at least.

We swung by Dairy Queen so I could get a vanilla soft serve cone and then went back to the B&B and had some yummy chocolate covered strawberries and wine. Helen keeps nudging us towards the wine thing, but that just seems like a whole world I'm not sure I want in my head. It was pretty tasty with the strawberries though.

We're meeting Derek in the morning and he's going to hike with me a couple of days.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=34.93132%2C-83.68941

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 172

Time: Sun, 22 Sep 2019 18:23:11
Location: Tray Mountain Shelter Mile 2133.8 of Appalachian Trail

Helen and I spent last night at the Henson Cove Bed and Breakfast in Hiawassee GA. We had another delicious breakfast and chatted with our hosts, Mariah and Dave.

We drove to Unicoi Gap and met Derek. He's hiking with me for a couple days from Dick's Creek Gap in Hiawassee to Unicoi Gap. He met a hiker named Ben and told him we would give him a ride into town. Ben started on the Penhote Trail and is hiking north. We dropped him at the Dollar General and then went to McDonald's for lunch.

We finalized plans for Helen, Derek, and maybe Adam to meet me at Springer Mountain on Thursday afternoon and then we're staying the night at Amicalola Falls Lodge to celebrate the completion of my thru hike.

We drove to Dick's Creek Gap and Helen walked with Derek and I for awhile and then we said goodbye to her and hiked on.

Derek and I hiked 11 miles to Tray Mountain Shelter. It was a pretty day but there was a lot of climbing. We stopped at the shelter and talked with two section hikers who started at Springer. We got some nice cold water from the piped spring nearby and then set up our tents on the ridge near the shelter.

Derek called Madison and then took a nap. I called home and talked to Helen.

I ate some loaded baked potato instant mashed potatoes and sweet and spicy tuna out of a ziplock bag. It's amazing how much water instant mashed potatoes can soak up.

We sat out on a rock outcrop at sunset with two other guys and talked. One if the guys is the section hiker we met at the shelter. He talked about starting in the rain and having to take multiple days off in Dahlonega for his foot blisters to heal. He also told us about hitting a deer on his motorcycle. The other guy is set up in a tent near us. He's an EMT from Kennesaw who attempted a SoBo thru hike last year but had to get off in Pennsylvania. He's really nice and we talked with him about the trail and life. His trail name is Big Peach. He's going to Unicoi Gap also. We stayed out until 9:30 and watched all the stars come out and the lights come on in the valley below.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=34.80365%2C-83.67738

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 173

Time: Mon, 23 Sep 2019 17:30:56
Location: Low Gap Shelter Mile 2149.2 of Appalachian Trail

Derek and I spent last night at the Tray Mountain Shelter. We tented on the ridge and stargazed and chatted with a couple other guys.

The sky glowed red over the valley below as the sun rose. 

We finished the climb over Tray Mountain and then had another climb over Rocky Mountain. We got stung by yellow jackets along the way. Derek got stung once on the neck. I got stung on both calfs. It's not unusual to see comments in Guthook about people getting stung. I've only been stung one other time on my hike. Just one more thing to deal with on the trail.

We saw Ben, the older guy we gave a ride to yesterday. He said that after he resupplied at Dollar General a couple offered to take him to get a shower and clean up. He commented how people are so nice.

He's from Opelika AL and has a wedding to go to in North Georgia in October, so he decided to walk. He's almost there.

Derek and I hiked 5 miles to Unicoi Gap where Derek's car was parked. We had a pretty drive into the kitschy Alpine themed town of Helen where we went to Wendy's for lunch. Burger, fries, soda, coffee, and frosty. I was reluctant to toss my big soda cup in the trash on the way out because I knew I would want more ice cold soda later in the day while I was hiking.

Derek drove me back to the trail and we hugged and said our goodbyes. It's nice that I'll see him again on Thursday.

It was really nice to hike with Derek. It's a real treat to listen to him and get caught up on his life while we walk. I missed him while I hiked alone later in the day.

I hiked 15 miles to Low Gap Shelter. I'm the only one here. There was some ridge walking along scraggly rocks and a lot of loose rock on the trail. Thankfully most of it is flat loose rock and not the round rocks that roll out from under you. They're still annoying. I'm ready to cruise home through softly padded rhodendron tunnels along cool refreshing cascading rivers and streams.

Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=34.77619%2C-83.82439

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 174

Time: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 19:41:25
Location: Lance Creek Restoration Area mile 2168.2 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Low Gap Shelter alone. Lots of sweat drenched climbs today including Blood Mountain, the highest point in GA on the AT. I want Georgia to be easier. People are leaving water jugs at road crossings, which helps when it's warm and water is drying up.

I stopped in Neels Gap at the Mountain Crossings outfitter. There was a lot of activity as usual. I did a shakedown there and bought a lot of my gear there before my hike. They were really nice and we talked about the trail and my hike. They gave me a free soda. The girl working the register finished her thru hike Sept 1. Her trail name is Brother. I had a few sandwiches, a couple sodas, a coffee, and a Big Sur brownie.

I hiked 19 miles to a tenting area called Lance Creek Restoration Area. There were quite a few section hikers headed north and a number of day hikers around Blood Mountain.

Tonight is probably the last night in my tent. Tomorrow is my last full day of hiking and I'll stay at Hawk Mountain Shelter. The next day I'll hike 8 miles and meet up with the family around noon at the parking area a mile before the finish at Springer Mountain.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=34.70766%2C-83.98521

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 175

Time: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 17:01:21
Location: Hawk Mountain Shelter Mile 2183.9 of Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Lance Creek Restoration Area alone. I was camped right off the trail and a couple guys walked north early in the morning with their headlamps.

Today is my last full day on the AT. Tomorrow I'll walk 7 miles and meet my family at the Spinger Mountain parklng lot and then walk the last mile together to Springer Mountain.

Today I hiked 16 miles to Hawk Mountain Shelter. The first half of the day was nice. The trail was nice and easy winding along and even through some rhodendron tunnels and along streams like I wished for.

The second half of the day was up and down some steep gaps with a bunch of loose rock in the trail.

My mind wandered from reminiscing about my trail experiences to what I'm going to do when I return to normal life.

Another guy showed up at the shelter. I had seen him at Mountain Crossings yesterday. He does a lot of hiking around here and is planning to start section hiking the AT.

I called home and finalized plans for meeting up tomorrow.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=34.66599%2C-84.13609

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 176

Time: Thu, 26 Sep 2019 11:31:45
Location: Springer Mountain 2192 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail


Today I finished my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike.

I spent last night at the Hawk Mountain Shelter with a nice young section hiker. We talked about my hike and all the hiking he's done.

I walked 7 miles to the Springer Mountain parking lot where I met Helen and Derek. Adam has some quizzes today and an internship interview tomorrow so he couldn't make it.

It was a nice 7 miles. It was cool with a nice breeze. The trail walked through rhodendrons and crossed streams. I spent some time enjoying Long Creek Falls.

I met some ladies at the parking lot preparing for a section hike. I helped them adjust their backpacks and they were so excited about me finishing my thru hike.

Helen and Derek walked the last mile with me to the trail terminus on Springer Mountain.

We're staying at the Amicalola Falls Lodge tonight to celebrate.

It's been a rich robust mental and physical challenge with many enjoyable times, but I wouldn't call it "fun".

It's hard...really hard, but certainly doable. You have to be comfortable with being wet, whether it's humidity, perspiration, or precipitation. And you will have to take off your dry clothes and put on your wet ones to hike in. You will be cold, hot, tired, hungry, aching, lonely, etc.

It's hard to eat enough. It's hard to get proper rest. Something will almost always hurt. There's not enough time for your body to recover. You will get injured. You will get sick.

You will meet lots of nice and interesting people. The shared experience with other hikers and the people around the trail supporting hikers is the best part.

I'm glad I did it. I'm going to sit around now and drink lots of coffee and beer with a big smile of satisfaction.

I'm so glad Helen and Derek got involved (and Adam a little bit). Sharing the experience has made it so much richer.

I couldn't have done it without Helen. She's my hero. She came and visited me numerous times, provided unwavering support, and handled everything at home. ♥️

Happy Trails 🥾

Google Maps link to my location: http://maps.google.com/maps?z=14&t=m&q=34.63775%2C-84.19493

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Friday, September 20, 2019

2019 App Trail Thru Hike: Weeks 23 & 24: Hot Springs NC to Hiawassee GA

It's weeks 23 & 24 of my AT Thru Hike. I made it back to Georgia. Helen came up to visit me at the Fontana Village Lodge in NC last weekend and is meeting me tonight in Hiawassee GA. Derek is hiking out of Hiawassee with me on Sunday. I'll be done by the middle of next week.

Day 161

Time: Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:58:57
Location: Double Spring Gap Shelter mile 1994.8 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Peck's Corner Shelter. I was the only one there.

There were some nice viewpoints early on but the views were hazy. I didn't see anyone until I got to Charlie's Bunion, a rock outcrop with nice views. It's a popular day hike from Newfound Gap. I must have seen 50 people of all types. It's a pretty good hike 5 miles each way.

There were also a lot of people at Clingman's Dome, the highest point on the AT at 6644 ft.

I hiked 20 miles to the Double Spring Gap Shelter. It was a tough hike and I didn't have as much energy as yesterday. I need more recovery time.

The Smokies are tough. Lots of ups and downs and the highest elevation on the AT. There's lots of loose rock and they have a lot of steps and the steps are too high so they're tough going up or down.

We seem to be in an afternoon thunderstorm pattern. I got rained on twice today.

There are about 8 other section hikers at the shelter. All headed northbound. They're nice and asked me about my thru hike and shared information about the trail.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 162

Time: Thu, 12 Sep 2019 18:15:07
Location: Mollies Ridge Shelter mile 2014.3 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Double Spring Gap Shelter. There were about 8 other section hikers there. A group of them got up at 5:30 so they could be at Clingman's Dome for sunrise. A father and daughter were still there and talked about their Minnesota Boundary Waters trip. I've heard that trip mentioned often on the trail.

I had good energy but the climbs and the trail wore me down. I stopped at shelters after 8, 13, and 16 miles for breaks.

I hiked 20 miles to the Mollies Ridge Shelter. Guthook comments and northbounders said there was no water at the shelter so I brought some from the previous shelter. Lack of water is a pain.

I only saw a few northbound section hikers today and there's nobody else here at the shelter.

I have 13 miles to Fontana Village where I'm staying with Helen Friday and Saturday night. So looking forward to it.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 163

Time: Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:15:48
Location: Fontana Village Resort Mile 2030.2 of Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at  Mollies Ridge Shelter alone. When I'm alone I can play music on my phone without earbuds.

I had restless sleep again, but I do like the new foam pad and pillow better than the air.

I was on the trail about 7:30. I passed a couple section hikers. I talked to an older lady from Texas named Elaine. She started from Springer, so she's come a good way. She was thinking thru hike in a few years, but now is thinking about breaking it up into 3 sections.

The trail was overgrown to start, which made it even worse when there were sections eroded with loose rocks. That's also the time when the gnats seem to want to get in your eyes. I rolled my ankle twice but it's ok. Prevent defense. Don't want to get hurt now.

There were also some pleasant sections. It was warm so I was soaked in sweat on the climbs. I really smell.

After a long descent I finally reached Fontana Dam. There was a long road walk over the dam. It was hot but interesting. I met some section hikers headed north into the Smokies and gave them some advice on water. Whew! I'm glad to be done with the Smokies.

The Smokies had a few nice views but mostly it was tough ridge walking. The AT could be routed along much prettier scenery, but is mostly a lot of tough ridge walking.

I finally reached the Marina restroom building where there's a house phone you can use to call the Fontana Village Resort, but the phone was broken. I started to walk the mile and a half but decided to turn around and walk out on the dock to the Marina building. It was nice and cool inside with beer and food. They called the lodge  for me and I had to walk back up before I could get a beer.

The shuttle driver was a young guy and asked a lot of questions about the trail. He likes to run the trails and was familiar with the Smokies AT section.

Thankfully they let me check in early. I went for a nice relaxing swim and cooled down. Then I walked to the Grill restaurant and had some beer and a nice meal.

Flipswitch was at the bar. We said hello but he was on the phone. Two young hikers who started in Springer stopped and talked while they waited on their ride. They're just planning to go to Virginia or West Virginia and get off before the snow.

I went back and cleaned my clothes and stuff and took a nice soaking bath and shower. Now I'm just waiting on Helen to get here and then we'll go have a nice dinner and relax.

The real world has its advantages.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 164 & 165

Time: Sun, 15 Sep 2019 20:14:24
Location: Locust Grove Gap mile 2044.6 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

Helen arrived the Fontana Village Lodge around 7:00 Friday night. We went to the nice restaurant in the Lodge for dinner. Flipswitch was there also.

It was nice ambiance with a pretty sunset view of the mountains. I had the ribeye and Helen had the signature Cajun pasta dish. Our Russian waiter Jerry was fun. He was very knowledgeable and reminded us of the waiters we had on a Disney cruise. We call them Hans and Frans. They always told us what to order.

The food was good not great. They tried too hard by over saucing and over seasoning everything. We only ate about half and boxed the rest.

On Saturday morning we hung out in the nice lodge lobby and drank coffee and ate some snacks Helen brought.

We drove around and checked out Fontana Village. It's a fun place but winding down for the season. There was some wedding stuff going on. That seems to be a big business for them.

I went to the store and got enough food for a couple days until I get to the Nantahala Outdoor Center. We went to the Fontana Dam visitor center and learned about the area. We went to the village gas station for some local beer.

We sat on the porch of our room and ate the dinner leftovers and drank the beer. Helen cut my hair and then we went to the the lazy river pool and floated around and swam. We made it to the ice cream shop just before they closed.

We went to the more casual grill restaurant for dinner and had pizza.

I watched some AT YouTube videos and listened to some Mighty Blue On The AT podcasts.

This morning we went down to the lobby and had coffee again and then went to the restaurant for their breakfast buffet.

We got packed up and Helen drove me to the Marina where the trail crosses. She walked with me some and then we said our goodbyes and said we would see each other on Friday in Hiawassee.

I hiked 17 miles to an unofficial campsite at Locust Grove Gap. There was a big climb out of Fontana. And quite a bit of ridge walking on scraggly rocks. There was a big descent into Stechoa Gap and then more climbing. The trail was narrow, rooty, rocky, often tilted downhill, and overgrown. Generally, not much fun to hike. I was missing my honey and the lodge.

I saw several northbound section hikers and a young couple doing the Southern Appalachian Loop Trail.

I talked to Helen and Adam and texted with Derek about coordinating a day when he can hike with me.

A big climb and a big down into the Nantahala Outdoor Center tomorrow.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 166

Time: Mon, 16 Sep 2019 15:58:10
Location: Nantahala Outdoor Center mile 2055.2 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Locust Grove Gap unofficial campsite. I was the only one there. I actually slept pretty well. I had some oatmeal/grits mix, a Krispy Kreme cherry pie, and breakfast drink/powdered milk/coffee mix.

There was a climb up to Cheowah Bald where there was a a nice view of clouds settled in the valley.

The trail was narrow and winding. In addition to the constant barrage of spider webs the overgrowth was constantly brushing against my face and head. The footing was tough with rocks and roots and more ridge walking over sharp rock jumbles.

I met a nice father and son doing the section from the NOC to Fontana. Then I met a nice couple finishing their section from Springer to Fontana.

I made it down to the Nantahala Outdoor Center about 1:00. The place was buzzing with activity. An older couple from Pensacola stopped me and asked me to take a picture then asked all about what I was doing.

The barbecue restaurant is now a Mexican restaurant, which confused me for a minute. I was all ready for some barbecue. I got a pork burrito. The best of both worlds.

I walked across the river and browsed around the outfitter. Then I walked across the street to the General Store to resupply until I get to Hiawassee on Friday.

I saw the section hikers I met in a shelter in the Smokies and chatted with them. They got out at Max Patch. I sat next to the river and ate strawberry ice cream and talked with one of the girls. She's from Michigan and this is her second section hike. She and her brother were going to go in 2015 but their schedules didn't mesh. He died not long after and she's out here for herself and her brother.

I hung out at the bar, drank a beer, and recharged my phone. I had dinner at the River's End Restaurant. 

I saw Wrongway and Cheerleader hanging out in front of the General Store and caught up with them. They're hiking up to the shelter just south of town like I am.

I talked to Helen and Adam on the phone. We talked about meeting in Hiawassee on Friday and Derek hiking out of Hiawassee with me Sunday.

I hiked up to the Rufus Morgan shelter about a mile south of the NOC. It's too warm down here at lower elevation.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 167

Time: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 19:59:42
Location:Wayah Gap Picnic Area mile 2076.7 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Rufus Morgan Shelter about a mile south from the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Wrongway and Cheerleader camped nearby.

I was on the trail about 8:00. I had a big climb up Wesser Bald. That area was hit by fire awhile ago and the forest still hasn't filled in. I was glad to be climbing it in the morning before it got too hot, although the morning wasn't that cool.

There was another climb up Rocky Bald and the trail turned nicer. That area must have missed the fires because there was a nice canopy and the trail was in better shape. The Cold Spring Shelter area was really nice with good water and lots of rhododendrons. I met a nice couple just starting a section to Fontana.

I stopped at the Wayah Shelter for a break. I walked a good way to get some water but the spring was dry. There was a nice tower on Wayah Bald. There were three northbound thru hikers up there and we chatted while we took in the nice view.

I stopped at the Wine Spring Camp and ate dinner. I thought about staying but loaded up on water and pushed on to the Wayah Gap Picnic Area. It's in a nice grove of trees. There are three old concrete picnic tables. It doesn't look like the area gets much use. Twenty one miles today. Forty six more to Hiawassee by Friday.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 168 

Time: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 19:52:56
Location: Carter Gap Shelter Mile 2098.5 of Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Wayah Gap Picnic Area. There were two owls calling out to each other, "Who cooks for you".

The trail was really nice most of the day. It wound through rhododendrons along nice switchbacks.

The weather was cooler and overcast. I saw a couple section hikers and met a thru hiker named Old School Moose. He got the name because he carries an older external frame pack. He's heading north to Maryland where he started.

In the afternoon there was a climb up Albert Mountain and some rock climbing back down and a serpentine ridge walk. When the trail dipped back into the woods, everything was wet. The rest of the day was spent in a wet rainy fog. I was tired and hoping for some easy trail but it was a bunch of rocky ridge walking.

I hiked 22 miles to Carter Gap Shelter. I'm the only one here. Less than a hundred miles left.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 169 

Time: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 18:42:07
Location: Muskrat Creek Shelter mile 2111.0 (Southbound) of the Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Carter Gap Shelter alone in a dense fog with rain falling on the tin roof all night.

I slept in to let the weather clear and because I was planning an easy 12 mile day.

It was overcast and cooler. I hiked up Standing Indian Mountain. A comment on GutHook said the trail was overgrown and it was to start but got much better. There were clippings where you could tell someone has cut things back, thankfully.

I took a break at Standing Indian Shelter. I met an older guy, Merlin. He's from Atlanta and is doing some day hikes. He attempted thru hikes in 99 and 01. He made it 600 and 800 miles. He has Physics degree from Georgia Tech and we talked about our Tech experiences.

I hiked another 5 miles to Muskrat Creek Shelter. There are 2 guys from Baton Rouge here. They're picking up a missed section before they meet up with a bigger group to finish the Smokies. They gave me some red beans and rice on a tortilla. They stopped by Fox Brothers BBQ in Atlanta and raved about it. Made my mouth water. There's always good eating with Cajuns around.

A group of five lady section hikers got here late. They're nurses from Pensacola. They seem fun too.

Twelve miles into Hiawassee to see Helen. Derek is hiking out with me on Sunday.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

Sent from the Guthook's AT Guide app

Day 170

Time: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:15:33
Location: Henson Cove B&B Mile 2125.9 of Appalachian Trail

I spent last night at the Muskrat Creek Shelter with the two Cajun guys from Baton Rouge and the nurses from Pensacola.

The guys asked the nurses for some good stories around the campfire. They got some good ones. One involving a 500 lb guy and his enlarged scrotum getting stuck in a chair reclining mechanism. They finally asked the girls to stop telling stories.

It was a chilly night in the 40s and a nice cool morning. I crossed from North Carolina into Georgia. It's good to be home. People have said the Georgia section is better maintained and more fun to hike. There are leaves on the ground and it's starting to feel like Fall. It's kinda nice, but also a pain because they hide the rocks and roots that are trying to hurt me.

There were some climbs but overall I had a nice 12 miles into Hiawassee where the B&B owner picked me up. I got cleaned up and now I'm waiting on Helen to get here.

I didn't have any food left, but the B&B had complimentary coffee, cookies, peanut butter crackers, and granola bars. 

Helen arrived about 5 and we went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in town. I had a big margarita and the Cowboy fajitas with steak, chicken, and shrimp. Helen had the carnitas platter and I ate most of that too.

It's a nice cool night.

Love you ❤️ Miss you 😘

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