Posted by: athike2011 | March 26, 2011



Left Franklin late after doing laundry and getting organized. A church group picked us up in the morning and shuttled us to a free pancake and bacon breakfast and then back to our hotel to get ready to head out. After all was said and done I still found time for a delicious fried fish sandwhich before heading out. We hiked 4 miles to the first shelter in an hour, and though it was 2:45, I didn’t feel right calling it a day, neither did one of the other three guys I was hiking with, so we continued on to the 11 mile mark to wayah (I think…) shelter. Got there as the sun was going down and boy was it cold… Woke up very cold a few times in the night, got into the low 20’s, going to have to pick up another liner before the smokies.

Woke up to everything frozen this morning and it took quite a while to get going, but in the end I decided to hike the 16.3 miles into NOC for the night where it would be warm and dry, I could get my bag liner and a good dinner. After 7 miles going down over 3000ft, I arrived at 5:08 to find the gear shop closed at 5pm and they have segregated bunk houses and there was no more room for men. Decided to ignore that fact and eat a delicious burger and treat myself to a berry cobbler dessert. After dinner I found a few ladies I met along the trail who were willing to let me sleep on the floor of their bunkhouse. I’m just happy to be out of the rain for the night. It’s supposed to rain the next 2 days and get pretty cold and our day tomorrow starts with 7 miles straight back up the 3000 feet we came down today. The biggest bummer is I can’t leave until the gear shop opens at 9, which makes it less likely I’ll get a spot in the shelter tomorrow night and more likely I’ll tent in the rain. I plan to get to Fontana dam by sun night and take a 0 day there Monday before starting the smokies.



  1. Sounds like the past few days have been cold and a little more difficult.
    I’ll cross my fingers for a little warmer weather and some good luck timing.
    It would be wonderful to see more pictures if you have a chance to take them.
    Is Sierra finding any other dogs along the trail?

    • No such luck yet, one of the women here who has thru hiked before said this is one of the worst days she has seen on the trail. Supposed to be over a half inch of rain and mid 30’s as the high, won’t be suppressed to wake up to snow. Sierra has met a few others, but we can’t stop to play

  2. Just want to let you know we are following your travels!
    Joan, Greg, Brad and Rebecca

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