“It’s all about the smiles not the miles!”

I took a zero day in Franklin, NC, to avoid a storm front. The Sapphire Inn was quickly filling up with hikers. Did a Resupply at dollar general. One thing I picked up was more ibuprofen which is referred to as “vitamin I” on the trail. Most of the thru hikers I’ve met eat “vitamin I” like it’s candy, to mask all the aches and pains and reduce inflammation. I’ve never been a fan of pain killers but “vitamin I” works magic out here.

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Turtle at Sapphire Inn in Franklin, NC

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Diesel resting outside Outdoor 76, in Franklin, NC.

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Montana and Diesel posing with hiker painting on a trash can in Franklin, NC.

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Hikers hang their wet tents to dry at Saphire Inn in Franklin, NC.

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Resupply from The Dollar General, lots of junk food for the high calories and fat.

Got a ride back up to the trail at Rock Gap . Hiked 7.3 miles to Siler Bald Shelter. Stopped early to avoid a storm. This was the first shelter that I slept in, because it was freezing out and a chance of a severe thunderstorm. I hardly got any sleep, eight people were crammed into the shelter like sardines and there was very loud snoring.

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Sometimes the A.T. crosses highways and roads.

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Bigfoot sightings near Siler Bald Shelter.

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Food bag at Siler Bald Shelter.

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Siler Bald Shelter

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Montana “Big Sky”

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Siler Bald Shelter

Woke up to a cold, windy and rainy morning. Hiked 12 miles to Cold Springs Shelter. It was a gloomy kind of day. The hike up to Wayah Bald was long and grueling, it was one of the times the trail seemed to go on forever. The view from the top was amazing, but I was soaked with sweat and freezing from the cold wind blowing on top of the bald. I was exhausted and cold all day, by the time I reached the shelter I was ready to crash. It was a cold night and again I decided to stay in the shelter and again didn’t get much sleep.

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Tortoise and Hare

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Siler Bald Shelter.

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Chef, Diesel, Big Sky on Siler Bald.

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Papa Hix, he is panning the creeks for gold and gems.

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Wayah Bald tower.

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Me on Wayah Bald.

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Sticks on Wayah Bald.

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Land, he is hiking the Eastern Continental Trail which goes from Key West, Florida through Alabama, connect to the At in Georgia and continues up to Belle Island, Newfoundland, about 5,400 miles. He is averaging about 20 miles a day, and is a very humble man.

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Cold Springs Shelter.

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Woke up and went up to the ridge to watch the sun rise. It was awesome but cold. Hiked 12 miles to Nantahala Outdoor Center. It was a steep rocky down hill hike for most of the day dropping 2,881 feet in 8 miles. At N.O.C. my friend Scott Duncan and his wife Ann generously came by and brought Diesel, Montana, Chef and I back to there place to shower,eat, resupply and spend the night at their awesome place in Andrews, NC.

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Sunrise on the ridge near Cold Springs Shelter.

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Ray from Germany. This is his second time in America, during his first visit he cycled from San Fransico to New York.

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View from Wesser Bald observation tower.

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View from Wesser Bald observation tower.

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“Big Sky”

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Spring!

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Four crammed in the back seat of a Subaru going to Scott and Ann’s place.

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My friends Scott and Ann Duncan.

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My friends Scott and Ann Duncan.

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Looking over a map of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which the trail runs through soon.

Had a nice night out at the Duncans in Andrews, NC. They are Awesome and very generous! Scott Duncan brought us to Hardy’s for breakfast then dropped us off back up at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Thank you Scott! Applesauce greeted us this morning and passed down some wisdom he learned from his thru hike in 2010 “It’s all about the smiles, not the miles”!

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Scott, Ann and Cory the dog.

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Nantahala River.

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Applesauce 2010 thru hiker from The Nantahala Outdoor Center. He shared some trail wisdom with us “It’s all about the smiles, not the miles”!

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3 Comments

  1. Tammy March 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Really liked hearing where people are from and the cool stuff about them–like the ECT guy and the guy from Germany–that’s amazing!

  2. Jason Shope March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    My old stomping grounds!

    Way to go Jonathan, this is great.

  3. Jeff T March 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Awesome blogging Jonathan! Give me a holler when approach Asheville or Hot Springs. Check yer e-mail.

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