And then the Smokies – The Trek

1 And then the Smokies - The Trek

One step at a time


How do I begin to explain the Smokies.  First, I don’t know if I have the enough adjectives to describe the vast beauty.   The picturesque views do not only last for a minute, it last for approximately 70 miles.  With every summit, I would mumble the same words, “Are you kidding me?” “Wow!”

Getting Ready

In the beginning, I thought it would take 6 days to get thru it.   Many  former hikers suggested that I should prepare for the worst which consisted of snow, sleet, ice and wind.  I knew they where much more knowledgeable than me,  so that is what I planned for, the worse!

Beef up the Gear

I knew I needed to carry extra food. As I would be  climbing mountains that would be  over 5500 feet I knew I would be exerting  a lot of energy,  and food is energy.  Food is also weight, and pounds  is pain when it’s on my back.  I bought extra snacks and of course, coffee.

I also needed to carry extra warm gear.  Therefore, at Fontana Dam I bought a shirt and many hand warmers.  I distinctly remember some guy in the store saying, “You from Maine? You want need hand warmers”.  Anyway, I decided to continue with my plan and I bought six packages.   I am well aware that when my  hands get too cold they become dead weight, it’s hard for me  to do the smallest tasks.  I didn’t want this to happen so hand-warmer weight was worth it.
3 And then the Smokies - The Trek
Respect for the Elements

The first night I was extremely tired.  I was actually too tired to even cook therefore,  I opened up my good ole, yet might I add delicious  “dry tuna”. 5 And then the Smokies - The TrekI really just needed something to give me calories to keep warm through the night.  Fail!  I froze, the Smokies decided to dish out a nice little cold snap. The temperature had dropped to 15 degrees which was followed by the mountain winds.  I thought to myself, “Shoot, this is only the first night”.  As I shivered in my tent, I decided to revise my six day Smokies plan.

Plan of Attack

The only way to get out of bad weather when I am  on the AT is to go thru it and get out of it.  After waking up every morning to my water purification lines frozen,  I kept thinking, “Tomorrow it will be warmer!”

Unfortunately, the Smokies decided to share another  storm that consisted of high wind gusts and ice covered trails.  I decided to just hike,  I knew if I moved two things would happen; I’d be warmer and closer to the end, so that is what I did.

7 And then the Smokies - The Trek

Clingmans highest point of the AT and sun?

Tough Love

I wanted to stay in the Smokies because of its beauty, but I had to say “Goodbye”.  After hiking in the pitch dark, stumbling into blow downs and trying to thaw my fingers it was time to bolt.  I prayed that God would sustain my body to push through the 70 miles in 3 1/2 days, and He did.  Thank you, Jesus!

Though I will not forget what these mountains taught me, I am happy to be on the other side.  I now know  when I think I am maxed beyond limits,  Gods super natural strength will always get me through.    9 And then the Smokies - The Trek


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