Too Wet for Deck Work: my 7th lap on the Standing Indian Loop

It’d been a while since my last backpacking trip in December. My weekends have been spent outside building a large deck that spans the back of our house.

For my next step, I needed dry weather to pour a concrete stair landing and the forecast called for rain all weekend.

This was my chance to get on the Trail!

Our new DIY backyard deck. May 2019.



The Nantahala Loop: 58 miles (in 48 hours) on the Appalachian and Bartram Trails

“The Appalachian Trail’s original concept proposed in 1921 was to preserve the Appalachian crests by developing a great trail traversing it’s length so as to allow city workers to revitalize themselves and escape the mechanization of modern society. The dream was to create a footpath of wonder and tranquility.”

– sign on Wayah Bald along the Nantahala Loop, Appalachian Trail, North Carolina, USA


Don’t Quit Your Dayjob!: 2 nights/ 48 hours/ 50 miles up Clingmans Dome

I wanted to continue exploring the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP).

It had been 13 years since I had set foot on Clingmans Dome, the tallest peak of the entire Appalachian Trail at 6,643 feet, so I knew it was time to go back.

This was a quick trip!  I left the house on Friday/4:30pm and returned Sunday/5:30pm, hiking about 50 miles in between.

On the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, Appalachian Trail thru-hike 2005.


The Rank Stranger: another Appalachian Trail Standing Indian Loop

I wandered again to my home in the mountains
Where in youth’s early dawn I was happy and free
I looked for my friends, but I never could find them
I found they were all rank strangers to me
Everybody I met
Seemed to me a rank stranger
No mother nor dad
Not a friend could I see
They knew not my name
And I knew not their faces
I found they were all
Rank strangers to me
Rank Stranger, Stanley Brothers
My 5th trip on the Standing Indian Loop, Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA.  March 2018.


Walking on Water: another GSMNP Adventure

Our November 2017 trip to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) was an adventure like no other.

Despite 2/3 of us having forded the Maine Appalachian Trail water crossings on our thru-hikes, NONE of us had experience fording knee-to-thigh high, fast-moving creeks.  And certainly not in the freezing cold.

After we reached our first crossing the first night in the dark, we had a better sense of what the next 14 crossings would be like!

Let’s get hiking!

Starting our first “day’s hike” at 5:30pm from Fontana Dam.