Friday, April 8, 2016

AT 2016 -> Days 6-9 (4/3-4/6) (miles 80 to 144)

The mornings and nights in NC have been cold and clear thus far, with wind on the ridges gusting to 30 mph and night temps in the 20's.  It feels more like fall than spring, which makes for great hiking weather during the day. 

Since entering NC the views have been more expansive with several lookout towers on top of the various balds (mountain tops) that allow for 360 degree views.  

There are definitely a lot of other northbound thru-hikers around but I've still gone 10 miles here and there without seeing anyone else, which is nice.  By avoiding the trail shelters (there is generally a shelter every 10 miles or so) you can have a more wilderness experience.  I always prefer to disperse tent camp away from the shelters, there is less noise and less chance of getting sick. 

I'll be entering Great Smokey National Park after taking a rest day at Fontana Dam Village.

Tunnel through rhododendrons

Camp above Betty Creek Gap

Climb up Albert Mtn

Albert Mtn lookout tower - mile 100

Winding Stair Gap,  Frankin NC hitch

Wayah Bald

Wesser Bald

Bridge across Nantahala River at NOC 

Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) - whitewater rafting hub

Mile 140

Sassafras Gap Shelter mile 144 (hanging food to keep away from mice)