4/30/2014 20.7 Miles
Got up and got going dry this morning aaround 9. Had a hood day over Big Bald. Stayed dry most of the day due to a patch of blue sky that followed us. We got to a nice camp spot and debated on going further to be with the group and decided to head on and do 20 Miles. We got to No Business knob shelter by 8 and found the group. Night
5/1/2014 5.8 Miles
Got up and into Erwin at a good time and got a ride with some friends to the other side of town. We all killed the Big House at Huddle House and then went to get a room at Super 8. We ended up spliting 2 rooms between 6 people. Got laundry done at a local laundry mat by a lady who even had our clothes folded when we got back later. Miss Janet, a trail angel that migrates with the northbound bubble, found us and took us to a Mexican place which was delicious!
5/2/2014 8.8 Miles
It was slow going this morning, ate the continental breakfast then headed to McDonalds for more food. Saw Kevin a Guy who started with his son thru hiking and had to stop due to his ankle, but is following his son to maine in a Yukon. SO we got a ride with him back to the trailhead. Stopped at Uncle Johnny's and weighed our packs and picked up fuel. My pack is still by far the lightest of the group Shane had 60 lbs and I was at 22 with food and water for 4 days. Hiked out a little to a good campspot.
5/3/2014 15.9 Miles
Got going and got over Unaka Mountian, which was covered in beautiful spruce trees. Got some trail magic at Iron Mountain gap. Then to a. campsites for the night. Got a good fire going!
5/4/2014 16.9 Miles
Got going slow today but kept up with everyone. Got over Roan High Knob and ate lunch then walked over some incredible balds. Tenting at Overmountian Shelter tonight which is a converted old barn. The stars are gorgeous!
5/5/2014 14.2 Miles
Got over Humpback Mountain early and got to a gap for Elk Park. Walked down to the hostel and got a ride to town for food and beer. Then packed out everything and hiked on another 5 miles to a cool spot by the river. Had a fun night, made quesodilla on a rock by the fire and had chips and queso for Cinco de Mayo. Took a bath in the river too!
5/6/2014 18.7 Miles
Everyone got going late and started hiking at 10. Took a slow day with lots of breaks. Saw some cool waterfalls and the hiking was pretty relaxed. Pushed hard towards the end of the day and made it to Black Bear resort. Tenting with showers,food and a nice stream nearby
5/7/2014 0 Miles
Decided to zero while the group went on. Keeping a large group together is hard when no one can make up their mind. We were sore so we just hung out and watched movies.(Jeff Dunham,Don't Mess with the Zohan, and Scary Movie) Played lots of RummiaKub.
5/8/2014 10 Miles
Took our time getting up and ready ate breakfast with coffee and Rummikub. Went immesiantly to Laurel Falls a pretty respectable falls with a pool. Then onto Pond Flats Mountain which wasn't flat, didn't have a view and didn't have a pond. Descended down towards Lake Watauga and found a campsite for the night
5/9/2014 7.5 Miles
Started late and headed over the Dam and up again in elevation. Got to Vandeventer Shelter which had an awesome view of a cliff behind the shelter of the Tennessee River Valley. Met a few guys Chip and Yetilegs who we hadn't seen since stecoah gap. It rained a little but it was off and on and light.
5/10/2014 12.2 Miles
Got up in between showers and packed up. Hiked some easy terrain into Shady Valley. We went down the road to a deli and got sandwiches for lunch and dinner later. We then met a group called RiffRaff setup giving out trail magic. They are a bit strange similar to a fraternity but they cooked food and had cold beer so we tented there for the night
5/11/2014 0 Miles
We decided to zero at the trail magic so we could roll into Damascus on time for trail days.Played disc golf and Polish Horseshoes
5/12/2014 10.5 Miles
Finally pulled ourselves away from the RiffRaff vortex and headed on but not without sausage and egg sandwiches first! Stopped at Us 421 for lunch and met a trail angel hauling water for hikers since the areas springs were mostly dry. Kept on trucking and found some friends in a rickety old two person wooden shelter then went on to the actual shelter at Abingdon Gap. A long walk for water before bed and Damascus tomorrow.
5/13/2014 10.9 Miles
Got up and going at a decent time. We were moving good for a while as it was mostly downhill. Got to town at 1:30 and walked the trail thru town. Saw a friend from the trail and he said he was staying in a local couples yard for free so we checked it out. The couple fidget and. com were very nice and we are going to tent here for a few days. Went into to town and picked up boxes at the Outfitters (Thank you so much to everyone who sent something!) then on to linner or dunch at the blue blaze cafe. set up the slackline for a bit and then headed to bed.
5/14/2014 0 Miles
Got up and got everything organized in the tent. Walked downtown and got breakfast
then got some rental bikes and a shuttle to the top of the Virginia Creeper trail an old converted railroad. It was all downhill and a really cool way to are the area we biked 17 miles back into town. Walked back to the house and tent and hung out until 5 then walked down to a local dinner for hikers. They served spaghetti, green beans, corn, and toast. Finished and headed back to cook second dinner then setup the slackline in the park and this time a ton of people were interested and trying it out! Played some Frisbee and passed out.
5/15/2014 0 Miles
Walked around town and the vendors were starting to setup.
Went on to tent city and the campground and waited for the showers to open and grabbed the firat two spots. Then walked back to town and got lunch and got in the tent to avoid some long rain. Then we walked back to the church that was doing free gear repairs and I talked an older lady into letting me use her sewing machine to add some baffles to my quilt. Finished that and went to another community dinner that was a bit awkward but worth the food! Then back to the tent due to rain and ended up falling asleep for the night early at 7
5/16/2014 0 Miles
Woke up and charged our stuff on the porch then went to browse all the dealers and got raffle tickets for several giveaways then we were at the Kelty tent and I won a sleeping pad and Lizzy some trekking poles! Then went to tent city to check out the hundreds of tents. Back to town to dollar general to buy stuff for lunch and dinner. Then we cooked on the porch and ate our chicken and mushroom rice. Hung out and talked to some friends. We took one of our friends dogs for a walk around town and then enjoyed the good weather right before it started raining again. Just been wandering town and the vendors all day.