Groundhog Creek Shelter
Day: 36
Mileage: 245

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
239.2State Line Branch (1,600') 1600
239.4Tobes Creek Road, Waterville Road (1,400'), Pigeon River 1400
239.8I-40 (1,500')...underpass 1500
239.9Green Corner Road (1,525')?steps 1525
240.3Green Corner Road (1,800') 1800
242.6Painter Branch (3,100') 3100
243.5Spanish Oak Gap (3,730') 3730
245Snowbird Mountain (4,263')?FAA tower 4263
245.5Campsite (4,100') 4100
247.5Deep Gap (2,900') Groundhog Creek Shelter? 10.7mS; 8.4mN 2900
05/20/96 7:20 pm

What a hike here, almost all up here, and it just kept going up and up and up.

Ended up taking a break after Spanish Oak Gap, and my body insisted on a nap, so I got out the Bivey and therm-a-rest and took an hour off.

Good thing too, since it was about 90 today and sunny.

Combine that with the up hill...well you know.

A good hike from Mt. Moma's to here. I hiked with Noodle for most of the morning. She arrived at M.M. right before a local came and said he would take us to the trail head up the road.

Last night, two of the hikers I met were 'Fire Starter' and 'Singe'. They got their trail name when she (Fire Starter) was burning here toilet paper and it got out of hand, and he (Singe) tried to put it out and burnt off all his leg hair. I just put that here since I liked the story.

Had a few sprinkels during dinner, but it did not amount to anything (at least yet. It is weired being back on the trail after so many days off, and I know I will pay for the time off when I try to move tomarrow.

05/20/96 9:15 pm

EZrunner, joined us just a few minutes ago. He is trying to break the speed record of 52+ days. He is on day 8 today and he did 38 miles today. He caries an 8lbs pack. He eats 6 Power Bars a day plus otherfood when he can. He doesn.t have a full time support crew, which I would think he would have to have. I knew he was coming because he was on the AT-L. He said that the ATC dicouraged he journey, but if that is how he whants to do it, more power to him. Neet talking to him!

Roaring Fork Shelter
Day: 37
Mileage: 256.2

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
247.5Deep Gap (2,900') Groundhog Creek Shelter? 10.7mS; 8.4mN 2900
250.4USFS 148A, Brown Gap (3,500') 3500
253.1N.C. 1182, Max Patch Road (4,380') 4380
253.9Max Patch Summit (4,629') 4629
255.7Roaring Fork Shelter (3,950') ?8.4mS; 4.9mN 3950
05/21/96 6:48 pm

WOW what a day. It was THE best day so far. The morning was cool and clear and not too bad for an up hill. About a mile before Max Patch Rd I toook a 1.5 hour break and just sacked out for a bit. Waldo came bye, hiking Southbound. It seems he could not get a ride beyond Hot Springs so he is hiking to Mt. Moma's then hitching back.

After my break, I had the best part of the day. The hike to Max Patch was made more wonderfull by a cool breeze, and the veiws from the top (all 360 deg of them) were WONDERFULL! But there was still more to come. The hike from there to the shelter was along and over stream after stream. I even took another long break by a stream and took a shower and relaxed.

Also just the difference in eco-systems the last few miles was amazing, from pine forests, rododendron tunnels, hardwood forests, grasslands and woodland forests. A lot more deversity than the Smokies thats fore sure.

Even the shelter at the end is great. It was donated by the 'Mountain Marching Mamas' and even has a cook table and sky light. The water is close by. The privey is even very new and a 5 star affair! This is heven!

I think I have run out of ways to describe the wonderful hike today, but it is one I will remember for a long long time.

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** Hot Springs, NC **
Day: 38
Mileage: 270.8

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
259.3N.C. 1182, Tenn. 107, Lemon Gap (3,550') 3550
260.6Walnut Mountain Shelter (4,260') ?4.9mS; 9.9mN 4260
263Bluff Mountain (4,686') 4686
264.6Big Rock Spring (3,730') 3730
267.1Garenflo Gap Road, Garenflo Gap (2,500') 2500
270.5Deer Park Mountain Shelter (2,330') ?9.9mS; 14.2mN 2330
273.7U.S. 25 & 70, N.C. 209 (1,326') Hot Springs, N.C. 28743 1326
05/23/96 2:35 am

Good hike today, but I pushed to much and missed out. I tried, and succeeded, to get my shiip ahead box before the post office closed at 4:15, but in doing so I hiked, at times, a 3.5 mile per hour pace. Also I did not take my mid day snooze, wich today I could have used considering the time it is now.

Once in town it was to the post office, get a room, take a shower, Ben & Jerry.s, groceries, dinner, laundry, Phonecall to Joan W., email and then off to Wingfoot.s for a movie (Edward Sisorhands) and talk on the AT, the Center and the internet. Then back here for some much needed sleep.

Over all a good mileage day, but not a good hike.

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'96 Hike Map