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My experience on the Appalachian Trail this year has infected me with the hiking bug.  I want to continue to hike on a regular basis and to stay up to speed on what’s going on in the hiking community.  Since I’m no longer “hiking for the homeless,” I thought it might be appropriate to change the name and address of this blog.  Today, I will be changing the address of this blog to http://www.longdistancetrailhiking.wordpress.com and I will be exporting everything from this blog to the new address, so please remember to bookmark the new page.  I will continue to post interesting articles that I find, as well as keep the blog updated with any adventures I might be engaging in.  Thanks to everyone for their patronage and support of this blog, and I’ll see you down the trail.

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May 11, 2012

Slack packed over Pond Mountain today. Beautiful hike and Laurel Falls was amazing. The falls were beautiful, but I’m glad we slackpacked it. I can’t imagine doing the rock hopping down to the falls with a full pack on. Heading out tomorrow, three nights and then I’ll be in Damascus. Still haven’t decided what I want to do about Trail Days.

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May 9, 2012

Woke up and started hiking by 7:45 am. It started pouring rain around 9 and the temperature started to drop. Hiked about 5 miles to the side trail to Vango Abbey Memorial Hostel and decided to wait out the rain. This hostel is owned by Scotty, a former thru-hiker. It’s cheap and simply laid out,but it was a warm and dry night after days of rain. Tomorrow, I’ll hike the 11 miles to Kincora hostel where I have a food drop.

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May 8, 2012

As I noted in my last post, I spent last night at Mountain Harbor Hostel. Last night at midnight, it started to rain, and rained straight through until this morning. During the night, two of the horses from the hostel got into the area where the tenters were and began grazing. At 2 am, one of the horses who was grazing near my tent, pulled my tent stake out, and down came my tent. When I got out of my tent to set it back up, the horse just looked at me, and kept on eating. At 4 am, two cats were engaged in a love fest for about half an hour. When I got up at 7, the hostel owner had prepared a delicious breakfast for everyone. I left the hostel at 12:30 pm and hiked 9 miles to Mountaineer Shelter. It rained most of the day and the trail was a skating rink with mud. The shelter is near Mountaineer Falls which look like this:

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A good day, but I hope the weather clears soon, it’s been raining a lot. When I hiked by the Elk River today, it was very swollen and running fast.

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Dick’s Creek Gap

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Dick’s Creek Gap

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March 29, 2012

I’m at the library in Hiawassee, GA.  Staying at the Blueberry Patch Hostel this evening.  They are very kind people, got me a bottom bunk, a shower, and they’re doing my laundry. They also gave me a ride into town where I can get some decent phone service and internet.  Planned on getting here last night, but Kelly Knob was longer than I thought, so came in first thing this morning.  It’s interesting the things the mind does when hiking, yesterday as I was going uphill, I was counting steps until the next root I could stand on to rest.  I miss my friends terribly.  Now that I have service I’ve been reading everyone’s comments on the blog, thank you everyone for your support.  Had to buy some Deet today, the bugs have been ferocious because of the warm winter.  Hiawassee is a cute little town that caters to hikers and tourists to Lake Chatuge.  They have a $2.00 store where I got a sexy pair of new sunglasses.  I plan on entering into North Carolina on Saturday, I’ll try to get a picture of me at the GA/NC sign.  If you’re so inclined, please donate to Flagstaff Shelter services and save a life.

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March 27, 2012

Camped atop Tray Mountain.  It’s a beautiful view.  Had to climb two mountains to get here, body is tired but not sore.  Getting stronger every day.  Saw my first snake today, 4 ft garter snake.  Dark Age got off the trail today.  He trashed his knee and tried to gut it out for a couple days, but it wasn’t getting any better. Hopefully he’ll get back on when it heals.  Having a nice time hiking with LDog and Kim, we hike about the same pace.  Tomorrow, an 11 mile hike to town and a bed hopefully.

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March 26, 2012

Good day of hiking, very relaxed with less pain. Cold last night but I slept good. Camped at Blue Mountain shelter tonight. Hanging with LDog, Dark Age, and Kim. Two mountains to climb tomorrow. Today was the first day that I felt like I can really do this hike. Really awesome day.

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March 25, 2012

The day started with a bang! Two of the people I was hiking with had their food bags destroyed by bear last night. Ray had to hitch into town to get more and LDog salvaged enough for a couple days.

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