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.

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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.

 

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My Walden Pond Cabin in Silnylon

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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My homemade tarp’s maiden voyage: rain and wind remnants of Hurricane Harvey came to the Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina (USA).  September 2017.  The tarp is made from silicone-impregnated 1.1oz/yd2 ripstop nylon (close-up at top of page), often called “silnylon.”

 

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Back to the River: my 40 mile Foothills Trail Overnight

In 2015, I hiked the 40 mile Chattooga River Trail and rekindled my passion for backpacking.

It had been too long since I’d seen that mighty River, so I knew I had to go back.

Let’s get walking!

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Armed with a backpack full of homemade gear (like my brown fleece hat and mittens).  And dangerous. Starting at the Trail’s western terminus at Oconee State Park (South Carolina).

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Lost and Found: my weekend on the 60 mile “Georgia Loop”

For years I’ve wanted to walk the 60 mile “Georgia Loop” formed by the Appalachian, Benton MacKaye, and Duncan Ridge Trails.

It was only recently that I got the bright idea to do it all in 2.5 days of hiking.

Let’s hike (and get lost) together!

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Woody Gap was my starting and ending point for the hike.  September 2016. The older woman that took this photo joked that I probably thought she was too old to know what an iphone was!

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