Day 15

Today was another awesome day of hiking. It was sunny and even hot.

The shuttle bus driver from the hostel in Franklin, North Carolina took me back to the trailhead after spending the night there. I started hiking around 9:30 a.m. I was fully or more accurately over supplied with food for the next leg of the trail.

Last night, while I was in the hostel a thunderstorm rolled over. I was told a campsite I passed by a few days ago got hit pretty hard with serious hail and a tornado. The shuttle driver said whoever was up there went through hell, as he was driving in the area then.

Had a fair amount of elevation gain today, but it was so worth it. On the longest climb of the day, there was a painted rock set off to the side.

At one point on the hike today, I came across a trail angel named My Friend. He was a previous thru hike from New Jersey who came down just to provide trail magic and give back some of what he recieved. He was cooking up hot dogs and had all kinds of other food and drink. Awesome.

Made it up to an old fire tower with amazing views. I took out a tortilla, put a lot of peanut butter on it, added some mozzarella cheese sticks and a slice of Spam and rolled it all up and ate it for lunch. It was so good.

I hiked and set up camp at Licklog Gap. It was a 12.3 mile hike.

While on the hike, I met a 87 year old Korean War Vet named Pappy, who is attempting to be the oldest person to complete a thru hike of the AT. I hope he makes it, he is badass. The first week he was not carrying a tent, just sleept out in the cold shivering. He has completed thru hikes on the AT, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide before. I have never hiked a trail like this before. The AT keeps getting more amazing each day. The trail is not easy, but the sense of community is deep out here with other thru hikers, even with section hikers and day hikers. When people find out I am thru hiking, they wish me well and they really mean it. I wish everyone well too and that they reach whatever goals they have.

11 thoughts on “Day 15

  1. A toast to Pappy! I remember hiking a trail up to Franconia Notch (Liberty Spring Campground) and sitting alongside the trail catching my breath, looking back down the trail watching a young couple coming up. When they approached, I could tell they were thruhikers -I stood and shook their hands and looking into their eyes, said congratulations with a big smile. Her face lit up and she told me no one had done that before. She was so happy and proud. I told her she was almost there and it was already a huge accomplishment! The further north you get, the more handshaking! 😉 Go J!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s pretty cool, thanks for doing that. We hikers look out for each other on the trail for sure. But sometimes out here as in “regular” life kind words and gestures of the smallest variety mean so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad the weather is working with ya, Man love the pics, I get the feeling your like a plane climbing to crusing altitude were you level off and enjoy the ride, Might be some turbulance along the way, but the Hammer is Down! Hell can’t wait till your next post,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man! I expect turbulence, there is no smooth sailing on big trips all the time. It adds variety to the day, builds character and confidence.

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  3. Those mountains are what I remember so vividly. Oh, the sweetness of just one view. Totally breathtaking! Your 87-year-old friend is a trooper for sure! It’s what America is made of, right? What a treat to meet him. Remindful of a man I met on the Kitzbuhel skiing. I could see he was elderly. But wow, was he good! When I finally talked to him in German he told me he loved to ski even at his age. Then he took his ski pole and hit his leg. It was wooden. I was so humbled by that experience. There’s something about the human spirit that encourages us to do challenging things in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a lot of amazing people in the world and all we have to do is take a moment to say hello and talk.

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  4. Maybe that will be you at 87 Jason, you never know. Another trail angel, that just blows my mind, truly angels.
    Love the pictures Jason.

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  5. So great to hear all about your adventure, Jason! You look really good in the pictures, and I’m glad you are having warmer weather. Think of all of us as your angels back home sending good wishes and letting you know we’re proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I eyeballed weather, keep the sawyer close wed ,warms up after that,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzanne Baumann March 22, 2018 — 8:57 pm

    This post made me so happy! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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