Posted: Sat May. 12, 2012 11:58 am
I have been on the trail for 19 days now at mile 275 in Hot Springs, NC. The Smokies were excellent. I experienced warm sunny weather, and fog filled days of rain and cold temperatures. The terrain was relatively easy after elevation was attained, at which point the trail basically ran along high ridges above 5,000 ft. Lots of wildlife including a Momma bear and two cubs at a brook I was filtering water at. None of them seemed too concerned when we noticed each other. The cubs were climbing up and down trees having some great recreation while the mother foraged. I made sure to make an exodus without getting in between the two. The shelters and trails in the park are extremely nice. All the shelters are made of stone, have two sleeping decks, inside fireplaces, and ample seating. There are quite a few miles of trail that allow pack horses, and the shelters along those sections have grazing areas and tie up stanchions nearby. We all agreed that it would be nice to have a pack horse. I'm looking forward to my fourth state of Virginia that's coming up next.