finally made it to pigeon forge!

garneska

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
Wrapping up Thursday, it was rainy, it was windy, it was cold. We worked all day and had leftovers for dinner, knew it would not be a day to cook so cooked a lot on Tuesday. Went to bed early the plan for Friday was to wake at 6 am. Head out by 7am. Be hiking by 8 am. We were headed to Crosby to hike the Mt Camerrer loop. We started hiking at 8:20 so pretty close to plan. It was going to be 16 miles and the first 5.5 miles a grind up Camerrer. It was 38 on the car temp at low gap, it was cold.

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Snow on the ground but it was beautiful.

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After hiking we ditched our buffs, eventually Bret ditched his puffy but I did not. I had tights and pants on, a baselayer turtleneck, an under amour running long sleeve zip then my puffy. I did stick to thin gloves and hat, though my fingers were not happy about that.

As we climbed we got warm but the temp was falling and there was more snow. Just before connecting to the AT.

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Me on the AT closer to the top.

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Cont on next post
 

garneska

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
About 3 hours in we made it to the lookout. It was spectacular, better than the bunion. We were above the clouds. It was heavenly.

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We spent some time there taking in the views and snacks. We were 6 miles in and had 10 to go, mostly down.

Here was some drudgery. The sun started shining and the snow on the trees started melting. We were getting rained on. My feet got damp but not cold, my hands struggled mightily with the cold.

Cont next post
 

garneska

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
About 10 miles in I get tired normally hiking 12 miles so I can muster for the last two, but I had 6 more and I was not happy. I was cold, tired and wanted to rest. The problem was no sun, if I stopped I got cold. It was all wet too, so no place to sit. I finally got a little break about 11.5 miles. Horse station so I could rest against it and put my back on it and it was in the sun. I moved on.

Then the trail changed conditions, it got dryer and sunny. I looked up and saw this.

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It was pretty and the sun warmed me and it lifted my spirits. It was about mike 12.5 so only 3.5 to go.

About 1.5 in with 2 miles to go there was an over look. So we went up that, why not?

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Now it was time to finish this thing. It was 16.2 miles with 3700 ft of gain. Total time with stops was 8 hours and 40 minutes. We finished at 5. It was spectacular. Came home to left overs. We were starving. Took care of Mallory, took showers. Now in bed. Why, because we plan to hike Gregory’s Bald tomorrow. Same plan, let’s hope weekend traffic does not screw with us.
 
  • garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    The second day of hiking is always much harder to wake up for, especially bert. I struggled too but not as much as him, I would say I have a tiny bladder, but he was up at 2 am and I was not. It was colder this morning. Car had frost on it. Being late only bothered me because it was Saturday and I was afraid of traffic. We left the campground at 8 am. We were hiking to Gregory Bald. The issue with this is the trailhead is off Cade’s cove loop road. While I wanted to do the drive, it definitely slowed us down to the trailhead. More on that debacle after the hike.

    We started our hike around 9:30. We made this a loop by hiking on a closed road. This also meant we had no idea exactly how long the hike was. We expected 13 miles based on the map.

    It was colder at the start today compared to yesterday. I was dressed the same except I used my heavy gloves. The gloves did not help when I start my fingers get painfully cold regardless of glove type. We did finally see some wildlife, two young deers. By mile 2.5 bert and I had both dropped our puffys. Unusual for me but we were climbing the first 5.5 miles so I got hot. This was about where we dropped the puffy.

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    I think the cold and being tired from yesterday had me taking less pics. Next we climbed and climbed. We did a total of 3300 ft of gain and 3100 feet was mile 2 to 5.5. Near the top it was cold probably in the 30s maybe 32 since snow was still there. I could not believe I was hiking with no gloves, a light ball cap and no puffy. Sorry I freeze so I was working climbing that mountain. When we got to the top we planned snacks so I did put puffy, gloves, and hat back on. The view was beautiful.

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    Looking at Cade’s cove and having snacks/lunch

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    Bert looking the other way

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    Then looking to fountana damn

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    Now was the descent. Everything was fine till about 6.5 miles in. My hip was hurting same thing happened yesterday. Though today it hurt more. I slowed to a crawl. At least it was drier. Around mile 8.5 I took a break. I dropping my pack and instantly my hip felt better. Was like ugh could be the pack. Bert really wanted to keep moving since I was going slow. He carried my pack for half a mile. I walked a lot better and had some recovery. I knew we had a lot more to go so I took my pack back. Plus I wanted to see if it affected my hip. Yep it did. However he gave me enough break that I had a little over a mile and the trail would turn into a closed road. I survived but I hurt.

    Now we were on a closed road. We still climbed and descended but it was easier. My hip was ok. Here is the road, we had no idea how long it would be.

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    We found the end. 13.5 mile hike. Total gain 3300 ft. I need to do something about my pack.

    The Pringle’s in the car were spectacular. Then we hit Cade’s cove loop road at 4:50 pm. We knew this would be bad. It was bad at 8:30 but this was stupid. Plus our legs were toast. Omg it took an hour to finish the Cade’s cove loop and we were at the half way point. I am glad I can say we did it, but never again.

    The good thing I have a real hiking pack at the RV, verses the daypack I have been using. I switched to it tonight. I will try it out tomorrow. Tomorrow will be tough but planning the alum cave trail to my leconte.

    Wish us luck! And hat we can wake tomorrow. BTW it is Bert’s birthday tomorrow too!
     
  • garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    It’s Sunday, bert’s Birthday. I let him sleep in a little. We tried not to adjust to time change but did not work. Thankfully because of time change we only left 15 minutes late at 7:15. It was cold similar to the day before. We got to the trailhead saw a lot of cars but found a parking spot in the lot. Got started at 8:15. The hope was to get in 12 miles today. I was worried about my hip but was using a different pack today. Again dropped our puffys early on and I climbed in the cold with just long sleeves.

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    This trail while popular is very beautiful. We thought about rainbow falls loop but it was longer (worried about the hip) and description said nit a scenic. Glad we did alum cave.

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    Birthday boy

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    He had a great day. We climbed and normally my hip has been fine on ascent, it’s the descent that kills me. Well 3.5 miles in an that hip hurt not as bad but I was like no way going out to myrtle point. I need to finish getting up this mountain and oh boy I have the descent. I was very worried. As we climbed we had some ice.

    Got to the top. It was magnificent.

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    As we were coming up there were a lot coming down. I was wondering how they got up so fast. Till I found out the slept at leconte lodge. Made me feel better. We went to the dining hall to warm up, I sat down on bench and dropped my pack. This helped recharge me. Oh and puffy back on once at top. Need it once you stop moving and go downhill. I also really lifted my pack and winched it down, I was highly concerned going down, but this adjustment seemed to help. My new challenge was all the ice. I did not like that. I was slower going down but my hip did not hurt so I was able to keep going. Stopped at alum cave have a snack, then finished. It was almost 3000 ft of gain and 10.85 miles, but it was before 3 pm. This meant time to go slack packing at Clingmans dome.
     

    garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    Omg I thought Cade’s cove loop road was a debacle so is go8ng to Clingmans dome on a Sunday at 3 when the weather is clear. We never made it to the parking lot, we turned around and found a spot on the side of the road. This was a good decision. It was .75 mile walk to the sign to start the half mile hike to the top, but worth it to not deal with traffic.

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    It was awesome and an additional 2.85 miles. Yes it was slack packing, yes it was paved but counting it as part of our 100 miles. We are up to 80 miles now with one more big hiking day tomorrow and a short day on Thursday. We are working today.

    Hopefully get Mallory outside at lunch time she needs some outdoor time.
     

    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Happy Birthday Bert!

    I somehow missed that yesterday. The pics are gorgeous. I don't think Clingman's Dome is any better during the week, especially this time of year with the color coming out. Still a nice walk and great view. The last time we were there, rain had moved in and the clouds dropped. We were in fog most of the way to the parking lot. We decided to walk up to the overlook anyway. There was one little clear spot on the trail up where you could see down into the valley, but everything else was 1/2 mile visibility.

    Enjoy the rest of the trip. Making the 100 is in sight now.

    j
     

    friendofeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2014
    Chris, Enjoying your trip & pictures. We want to take a trip into Tennessee, so beautiful the last we were there. We are @ the Fort until 11/11. Arrived on 10/23. Be safe & give Mallory a hug from us. Hope she is doing better.
     
  • garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    @PaHunter ugh 24 hours been there only a few times, hate it but sometimes you just gotta do it. I was thinking about you with all my crappy iPhone pics, but honestly with all the miles I would not want the weight of a dlsr camera even if I knew how to use it :)
     

    garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    Today, Tuesday, was the last long hiking day. We got up at 6:30 and on the road at 7:17, a little late but not awful. The plan was Rocky Top and Thunderhead. Unfortunately hiking up my hip started hurting. Rest stops helped. At mile 5.4 we hit the AT. According to maps Thunderhead was at mile 6.2. Well we hit Rocky Top and my watch said 6.5. I told bert I was not going any farther. My hip was too bad and I still needed to get down. When we got to Rocky Top, the clouds came in but I needed to rest so we waited long enough to get some views.

    These are from Rocky Top.

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    We headed down and the struggle was real but I plodded along. I was determined to get my 14 miles in. Finally at 13.5 we saw them, mamma and two cubs. Here is the pic, the black spots are the bears.

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    We covered 14.2 miles with our biggest climb yet, over 4200 ft of gain. Our total is 95 miles. We are planning chimney tops and some extra trails on Thursday to go over 100. Tomorrow another rest day we work.

    Final pic was from early in the hike. I am actually on the bridge.

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    garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    Wednesday left us doing work. Mallory really wanted to go outside, thankfully it was sunny today and temps in the mid 60s. The rig was open and everyone was enjoying fresh air.

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    Well kind of, about 4ish we smelled sewer but our neighbor was cleaning tanks so thought maybe he was dumping, but then he was done and at 4:30 it still smelled almost worse. I was outside and that was bad and inside and that was bad. We started to think it was us. Also started a campfire because we are stupid. Walking around though we are like it wreaks. Rotten eggs, next thought propane leak, shut the emergency valve off and about an hour later seemed to be gone.

    What did we learn? We must have a propane leak. Ugh. Thankfully we were home and everything was open so nothing bad happened.

    Tomorrow we hike but even today hip was noticeable so probably be lucky to get my 6 miles in, which makes the total 102. I might slack it without my pack, if I think it will help, it also supposed to rain all afternoon. Should get our hike in but means breakdown in the rain. Then cold for the drive home, hopefully not icy.
     

    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Hang in there.

    Do it without the pack so you can hit your goal. The hip will get better. 100+ in a week is an impressive accomplishment.

    Hopefully the gas leak is something simple.

    j
     

    garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    Last day hike, actually got an early start because we decided to do a different trail. We chose curry mountain trail. It was an out and back, with turnaround at an old cemetery. It would be about 6.8 miles (I thought) with about 1300 feet of gain. Most importantly it was about as close as we could get from the campground to a trail. We left at 7:11 and started hiking by 7:45. The hiking was a good 45 minutes earlier than usual.

    I carried my pack but since it was shorter and warmer I carried less weight. I managed to get to the turnaround before I had to rest but my hip was bothering me. By mile 2 I was struggling a bit but the trail leveled out some and that helped. It was quiet and pretty. No exciting views.

    The pretty forest views.

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    The cemetery where I rested and we did the return.

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    We turned at mike 3.66 on my watch. We needed to hit 4 miles to be over 100. Took the selfie just past that. Pic is upside down but posting anyways. I worked hard for that.

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    Going down was only slightly easier. We were really trying to beat the rain that was coming.

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    We finished and just as we were driving out it started to rain. Perfect timing.

    The complete garmin total for miles was 103.61. The elevation gain was 24,494 feet. If I knew I was that close I might have tried for 25,000 feet, but my hip would not have liked that and the rain was coming. Plus the goal was 100 miles distance, we had none for elevation.

    We got home a lot sooner than expected, to start closing up, but the issue was the rain. I did let bert nap for an hour so I am very kind, but he is out in the rain flushing tanks. We will do final flush in the morning since there are no restrooms here. The drive is shorter than Disney so we don’t need to pull out at 7 am. Going to be cold tonight but even worse tomorrow.

    Now I need to fix my hip. I have half marathon training to get back to.
     

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