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.

It was time to walk the Standing Indian Loop again.

My 5th trip (March 2018):

  • 27 mile loop slightly different than my previous trips , starting/ending at Rock Gap, Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA.
  • Day 1: 2pm-9pm, 16 miles, sunny and warm
  • Night: measured low approx. 40 deg F; rain in early morning; Beech Gap 4,460 feet
  • Day 2: 8am-1pm, 11 miles, cool mist/rain
  • I walked southbound on the Appalachian Trail, passing many prospective thru-hikers about 100 miles from the Trail’s southern terminus in Georgia
  • I hauled 8.7lbs of gear; 3.5lbs of food (1lb too much!); and never more than 1L/qt (2.2lbs) of water at a time




On top of Albert Mountain, NC, 5,250 feet: Almost as TALL as Katahdin, the Appalachian Trail’s northern terminus.


1923 Albert Mountain Firetower.  A Nantahala National Forest Ranger (left) and the builder of the cabin/firetower (right).  Photo from sign in picture above.


Old Snow.  March 2018.


Beech Gap tenting area, Appalachian Trail, NC.  March 2018.  Gear Review (here) for this trip.


High elevation ridge walk.  March 2018.


Misty morning on the AT.  ALWAYS happy to be back following the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail! March 2018.


With so much water flowing on the Trail, I got in the habit of only half filling my bottle when I knew other sources were nearby (using the AWOL thru-hiking guide), saving a little weight on my back/legs.


American Beech leaves (orange) don’t seem to drop during the winter, creating beautiful winter/early spring landscapes.  Kimsey Creek Trail, NC.  March 2018.


Thank y’all so much for stopping by!  Please check here for other hikes of mine.


5 thoughts on “The Rank Stranger: another Appalachian Trail Standing Indian Loop

  1. I sure liked this post Ryan! It’s amazing to me the great photos you take with just an iPhone. I looked back in some of the old posts and especially like that sort of eerie pic of Jonathan at night. I think with your great captions and great photos, a book is in your future. I’m not biased at all🤣🤣 Luv~mom

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Standing Indian Loop – Birthday Girl Hikes

  3. Pingback: Testing the homemade backpack. – Ryan M. Ignatius

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