Well, it’s official, I’m heading back to pick up where I left off. Target date is mid-May, 2010, and the start point will be The Nantahala Outdoor Center, where I left the trail in September.
This time, though, I have company. I’ll be escorting two first-time A.T. hikers: my wife and my daughter. We’ve been through the primary steps of assembling the required gear, and now the tasks left involve obtaining the right food and paring down pack weights to a bare minimum.
My personal goal is to carry no more than 25 pounds. I’ve made a couple of new equipment acquisitions, and because there are three of us, we should be able to split the load of mutually usable equipment, especially cooking equipment.
We’ll be on the trail for a week, and this time out we’ll enter the Smokies and should finish somewhere deep inside the park. There are several jumping off points, specifically Clingman’s Dome, Newfound Gap, and finally, Davenport Gap. I’d like to stroll the entire 100 miles to Davenport, but I’ll have to be cognizant of the energy and pace of my co-hikers. We may go as short as the 68 miles to Clingman’s Dome.
Where I’m headed:
More to come…