It has been a very long time since I've sat down like this and made a real post. I'm going to do the "quick" update then probably, maybe, ramble for a bit. Let's see where did I leave off? Sometime around Franklin?
I've written a ton of postcards. If I have your address expect one and if I forget I've sent you one you may be two :)
Ross Beazell and Scott Shipley
c/o General Delivery
Erwin, TN 37650
Please Hold for AT Hikers
ETA - 4/8/15
c/o General Delivery
Erwin, TN 37650
Please Hold for AT Hikers
ETA - 4/8/15
My condensed notes, some stuff in my journal I keep for myself-
Just did the math and we're averaging 8 miles per day. Took a zero in Asheville with Briese to play some cards. It was pretty fun. Didn't play well, but it's great being with friends. We plan to get together for a big event next year. Where will I be then? Will it be possible?? I need to get my resume together.
Briese dropped us off at Tellico Gap around noon. Thank the gods everyday for people like him in my life. I've made a list of people, who in my life have changed it and I can't thank event.
Tonight we're at Grass Gap. We passed through the NOC. It seemed like a resort for rich old people with money, admittedly it was really nice. I could be wrong about that and I'd say sorry I'm wrong. eleven to twelve miles today. Took the Jumpoff and hike down hill for miles, and miles. We're halfway back up at this point. I've just been written love notes in the ashes, learning to separate.
Met Who, What, Crowbaby Geldinstien and Rosencrants who's a Philmont adventurer.
I've decided it's been long enough and I can't quit talking about Philmont and Scouting, so I'm Scout now. Something to remember me by and I like it.
It's raining and I'm wet, but it can't bring me down. 16 miles tomorrow.
Woke up in Grass early and to no rain. Everything was wet. The sun came out right on time. On Swin Bald we saw the best view, in my opinion, to date. We did 11 miles and are spending th night at Brown Fork Gap Shelter. Tons of people here. Knock, Cliff, Heavyweight and the The Germans Hanging out by a fire
The shelter last night was weird. It had a gap in the floor. (drew a picture of it)
Today was went about 12 miles to Fontana Dam. I listened to Eminiem this morning and David Sedaris in the afternoon. Now I'm at the bathroom charging our devices and a having a tasty beverage. There's a crazy guy, but he seems harmless. It's been over two weeks since we started.
Sat around a campfire last night and had some great conversations. One with Turbo who's trying to figure out his next move after this. Slept pretty well with 18 other people in the area. The sun rises through the clouds over this mountain and lake. Birds and squirrels are out down at this elevation.
Spent the day of the 25th in Fontana Village with Clif, Knock on Wood, Turbo, Heavyweight, Mad Matter, and Luna. Met a cool dude named JP who reminded me of Malcolm of Lawrence. Drank a lot of beers and didn't update then because power went off. We played Putt Putt and Cornhole and Guitar Hero with lots of laughs. Thinking about how I associate love and friendship. Linking together too much. With my family I think I have it figured, but outside my circle it's been difficult. Made a pros and cons list... yes, I'm Ben Wyatt.
On the 27th we hiked with Clif and Knock on Wood. The snow came on late and strong Wind and cold in the evening, so much that the metal of the bear bags we freezing to my hands very quickly. At the first shelter we stopped at it was full, so we were forced onto the next shelter five miles farther down. Listening to Enders Game. Stayed at Silver's Bald. Today we cleared eight long, slow, cold 5 inch deep miles. Climbed up Clingmans Dome, bitter wind forced us down from a beautiful view.
Stayed in McCollins Shelter. Short day tomorrow for food resupply.
It was so cold to journal everyday I'm glad I kept it this up to date
On 3/29 we woke up at Collins with the intention of having Knock and Clif pick us up some food in town also we had been told there was an angel doing magic at the Newfound Gap. Once we hot there we were handed food until we had to beg for no more. Hailstone, a fellow hiker, who was taking a breakfrom the trail gave us ride into town and back out. got tons of food. Stayed in a full shelter, Icewater
"I weigh more than you and I'm eleven." big, cool kid to our friend named Heavyweight
Woke up early, the 30th, to watch the sun rise and brighten the cloudy day. The snow has been melting. It's still freezing every night, so the trail was a sheet of ice. Did 12.6 miles and it took forever. Everything is wet. Everything is cold.
Comfortable with being uncomfortable
We're at the Tricorner Gap Shelter. I hope the sun comes out soon. 16 miles to the border of the park with no idea about how far we can get.
Just woke up at Davenport Gap (I'll leave my rain jacket here, fingers crossed I'll get it back.) I spent my night playing solitaire and writing at letter to Grams. I think we may have food figured, but we need a lot of it in this weather. Warm day and we'll stop by a hostel today for some chilling and laundry, shower and supplies. Yesterday was a warm morning at Icewater and had ambition to do 18 miles to the hostel, but stopped at 15 for a free stay and it was a rough hike. Clif we are now calling "Honey Buns" and I think there are two other Scouts on the trail, but don't care.
Woke up in the shelter by other hikers just being loud... meh it happens.
Hoping for happiness for you.
It was nearly all down hill yesterday. We made a stop at Mtn. Crammerer and had an excellent view probably the best because it was sunny and calm. Well I'm going to get up and see if mice chewed through my things. (no mice)
That snow... Ross and I are sitting in our tents remembering it for what it was. Now we're out of the park we can tent again. Had a wonderful fire we are a good family. Sad about losing my rain coat. My lips have been chapped for a while. Staying at Deep Gap, Groundhog Shelter Building.
Woke up with the sun. Hung around the shelter until everyone was ready to go. Hiked at a good pace all day. Made contact with a few people about my coat. Fingers Crossed. Did 17.1 miles today we're staying at Big Rock Spring. It's a long, but good day. Hot Springs tomorrow listened to The Road all day. Dark, Dark night full moon hidden and when it came out I thought it was a street lamp.
"Where men can't live, Gods fare no better. " - The Road
Hiked the nine miles into Hot Springs and spent the day and night getting things organized. Ate some good food and got to catch up with some people. I can't wait to get back out. It's a tiny town, but I need more space. Trail Magic by a couple who is buying a cabin in the area. It was really cute. They bought enough food for twelve sandwiches and we ate them all. So nice and I have their contact info.
Right now I'm in Hot Springs sitting in an amazing little hiker hangout. Much love. I'm feeling melancholy, but I love myself, what I'm doing and who I'm doing this with. Terrible phone reception and wifi is only in certain spots. It's a sunny pretty day and I get to distract myself with some baseball when I'm in wifi.
The views are incredible, the weather hadn't killed me and nothing is keeping me in one place long. It leaves me thinking about where to go next constantly :)
All of my Love