Sunday, April 10, 2016

Southbound on the Appalachian Trail 2015: Tennessee

Moosie, Flyboxer, and H2Camo reach the Virginia/Tennesee border.

Morning in camp.

Watuaga Lake

Laurel Falls

Cold, wet hitch out of Roan Tennessee. We were picked up by a man in a pickup truck. Nearly froze to death riding back to the mountain in the bed of the truck!

Camo taking a break and rehydrating...

Jones Falls
Moosie, H2Camo, and I left Damascus Virginia, and entered Tennessee on November 3, 2015. There are 94 miles of the AT in Tennessee, but the trail runs along the Tennessee/North Carolina border for an additional 160 miles according the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Many times, it was hard to know which state we were in. The 94 miles we were definitely in Tennessee, we experienced a mixed bag of weather. It was probably close to 80 degrees the day we passed Watuaga Lake, Camo actually went for a swim during his lunch break. When Camo, Moosie, and I went into the town of Roan for resupply, it was quite cold and rainy.

The highlight of this section was meeting the legendary trail angel named Bob Peoples. His name traveled up and down the entire length of the trail. By the time we reached his hostel, I was familiar with the name, but couldn't place where or when I had heard it. Shelters within 50 miles from his house are covered in graffiti idolizing the man, often in jokes in the same vein as Chuck Norris. I wasn't sure what to expect when we finally met the man, as his legend is larger than life. I was surprised to realize that Bob Peoples is actually a very soft spoken, humble, unbelievably generous person. He had recently adopted a dozen or so kittens who lived outside of his house. He has set aside half of his property to take care of hikers, and seemed to genuinely enjoy meeting each of us. He had just returned from hiking the Israel Trail, a path that travels through the Holy Land. Moosie, Camo and I spent one night there, and shared the space with a few other hikers we had seen from time to time.

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