Day 24 (Apr. 14th) – 12.6 miles Fontana Road to Mollies Ridge Shelter. Today we entered the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! It was a good day, I felt so much better than yesterday (some minor foot pain yesterday that dragged me down). The shelter was full and others were tenting out so we are too.
Day 25 (Apr. 15th) – 12.0 miles Mollies Ridge Shelter to Derrick Knob Shelter. Pretty nice hike till lunch, then the uphills started. Hard day but our bodies felt good. We are slow slow on the uphills, but we get there eventually! We hit Rocky Top Mountain, TN. Tenting again, shelter is full. Had some 4-cheese mashed potatoes for dinner – yum.
Day 26 (Apr. 16th) – 13.6 miles Derrick Knob Shelter to Mt. Collins Shelter – our longest day yet! We hit the highest point on the AT today at 6,612 ft, Clingman’s Dome. Also hit the 200 mile mark. Had planned a short day, but turned into a longer day (as thunderstorms expected for Monday, so now we only have 4.2 miles to do Monday where a friend is meeting us). Long day, but we are good! I was chatting with a guy about how there’s always a steep uphill right before each shelter, and he said, “Yep, but if it was easy, everyone would do it.”
Day 27 (Apr. 17th) – 4.2 miles Mt. Collins Shelter to Newfound Gap, 10th day of hiking in a row. Short day today, spent some time hiking in the rain. Hung out with trail angel “Yard Dart” in parking lot, who’s wife is thru-hiking, we’ve seen him for trail magic three times now, nice guy, but haven’t met his wife yet. Then our friends Betty and Robert picked us up – we had dinner and then they took us to this LOVELY cozy cabin in the woods outside of Gatlinburg (Pigeon Forge) that they are generously letting us stay in! It is so cool and private and very comfortably furnished. Relaxation time…
Wow! You guys are amazing.
Good morning! I wanted to let you know I enjoy your videos. I’ve always wanted to hike the AT. The one thing I would like to understand is how do you and others manage to hike the AT and succeed with normal day living? (Based on what an everyday person who works the 40 plus hrs a week!) Please don’t be offended of that question, I’m not sure how to ask any other way. I live paycheck to paycheck I’m a mother of 3 beautiful adult children and a Nana of 5 grandchildren. I just turned 60 and want so bad to hike the AT. One of my friends is hiking the AT right now, I think just behind you (Pam) don’t think she has a trail name yet. But she is retired from a big company and can afford to do this. I guess I’m just envious of all who can do the hike.
I love your videos and taking notes just in case I get to do it before I get much older.
If I had a trail name it would be Rainbow Dove!
Norma – we had saved up the money we needed. Also we quit our corporate jobs in 2013 before we moved to Costa Rica and loved more simply (we are authors of several books and have done other odd jobs here and there). Hope this helps!