A Grand Adventure, And Wonderful Rest

It looks like spring has finally sprung for us on the Appalachian Trail. I had thought that spring may have started for us when we reached the AT, but mother nature still had a couple surprises for us. When we left Neels Gap (the last place I updated) the rain poured on us almost constantly for the 11 miles to Lowe Gap Shelter where we planned on spending the night. When we got there it was full and overflowing, so we set up our tarp, and crawled in as quickly as possible. In the morning we woke up to dry conditions and thought it might be a better day, and then it started to snow…… We had not planned at dropping down into a town that day, but road into Helen Georgia was only 9 miles from where we had camped, and after getting snowed on all day we decided to hitch in. The Helendorf hotel had an AMAZING hiker rate of $25/night for the both of us, including a simple continental breakfast! So we had a lovely hot shower, and had the chance to explore the cute Bavarian Village the next morning. The weather improved greatly the next day, and so we headed up the trail again.

Now there are plants peeking out along the trail as we hike, especially when we drop to slightly lower elevations. I am like a kid in a candy shop when we come across something blooming. The beautiful flowers bring me such joy! I look forward to this new experience of spring in the east.

We have covered quite a bit of ground since I last updated, much more than my mind can put into type at the moment. But I will share the highlights. As we crossed into North Carolina it seemed like we moved into steeper country. This gave my muscles a really good workout, propelling me to another level.

We resupplied at Fontana Village, a lovely little resort that provided us with a nice partial day rest. We had breakfast at the lodge, yummy, and a very good price! And then we sat on the portch of the General Store and visited with other hikers after resupplying. Our first stop on the climb up out of the Fontana Dam area was Shuckstack, a lookout tower. You could climb all the way to the top, which we did. It was truely a beautiful view from the top, but my stomach had that that amusment park ride feeling. We had the most beautiful weather through the Smokey Mountains, a true blessing. We were often surrounded by beautiful views, highlighted with warm sunshine. There were many different feels to the landscape through the park. I love the Smokey quality to the air in the mountains, it truely makes it feel like a painting when you look out across the layers of mountains dissapearing into the distance. We will have many beautiful photos to share from this section of the hike.

Bernie and I have been enjoying a wonderful break with a beautiful couple we met on the PCT last year. Lindsay and Jordan (or Petal and River if you go by trail names). They have been so kind and loving towards us. First of all they drove an hour and a half each way to pick us up from the trail. We were picked up on Saturday afternoon, and will be headed back to the trail tomorrow. It was a longer break than we thought we might take, but one that our bodies have greatly appreciated! Its been so wonderful to get to visit more with Lindsay and Jordan, and the exciting part is that they are soon moving to the Leavenworth, WA area for a year. So when we are done with the trail, we will get to see them again. They will only be about 3 hours away from Bellingham. I look forward to a beautiful fall hike with them through some part of the North Cascades!

Alright, I am off to watch a movie to enjoy our last evening off, and then we are back to hiking tomorrow. I think my body has fully mended itself, getting plenty of rest and good food! Now we will see what it thinks about hiking again in the morning.  =)   I wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful comments! I am sorry I do not have the time to respond to each of you, but you each touch me deeply with your warm and kind words! Enjoy your spring everyone!

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9 thoughts on “A Grand Adventure, And Wonderful Rest

  1. Stacey, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the eastern spring. Nice to get an update. Look forward to seeing some pics. Enjoy the rest of the trail. Hugs to you both!

  2. Stacey, so glad to read the update and I imagine your photos will be beautiful. I’ve never traveled to the east (I’m from So Cal) so to see photos of your trip will be great.

    stay safe.

  3. Hey Stacey-
    Great to hear you two are having a fantastic time, I’m sure it’ll keep getting better and better, if thats possible! I’ve only got a couple weeks before I head down to Campo, and hearing about your hike only makes me more restless, haha. Tell Bernie hi- enjoy the walk!

  4. Hi Stacey,
    So glad you are well and still enjoying your adventure! can only imagine the sights you are seeing. Can’t wait to see some of the photos! Stay Safe.

  5. Stacey, it’s like we readers are trekking along with you with these updates. Blogging along the way gives new meaning to armchair traveler.

    Sending you and Bernie good vibes for excellent weather conditions, and awesome adventures all the way!

  6. Glad the weather finally straightened out and that the hiking has been good! I’ve not been to Helen in YEARS. What a fun little village. Happy it was there to offer you respite. You all take care and have fun as you continue on your journey Stacey.

  7. Dear Stacey, You may or may not get this but I wanted to stop in and let you both know that I think of you literally every single day. I have the deepest respect for what you are doing and so often feel myself out there with you. It’s funny you mentioned rain and snow. I knew you’d probably get more rain on the AT as the east coast gets quite a bit of rain. But the other day when I was walking up the hill and it was fiercely windy (almost blew me over a couple of times) and then it started to snow just a touch. I thought of you and could feel how brave, determined and persistent you are. I am glad that you have each other out on the trail.

    I also often ponder all the gifts (both physical and energetic) that you and Bernie gave me before you left. They (you) literally changed my life and helped me more fully see the new and unknown path I am currently walking. My connection with you during those days was and remains a one of those singularly beautiful soul connections that is NEVER forgotten. I love how kindred souls connect as if they have always known each other. You are truly a grace-filled soul Stacey. You reflect back to me one of the deepest parts of myself. I am deeply grateful for who you ARE. And I am with you. If you ever wonder if I am thinking of you on the trail the answer is always, yes.

    Also before you left, Bernie’s wisdom and insight helped me to clarify my own journey, the one that I am about to embark on. He helped me to better understand this “calling” and that Earth wants to speak through me. And that even in NY City, I am STILL standing on the BEAUTIFUL Mother Earth. I am still standing on the thing I love most. So in knowing that I am still at/in my “home”. And I STILL feel Earth with me and in me. I need not focus on all the cars and buildings and noise (that is not the right focus for me). I need only remember and focus on Earth and I will feel grounded, safe, present and calm. I will be connected and Loved. I will also feel you moving closer to where I am. I will be north of you. And I KNOW that I will FEEL you walking one step at a time.

    I love you both very dearly. And I REALLY am with you each day. And you with me. Much love to you both, Robin

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