Appalachian Trail Section Hike Trip 5

Stecoah Gap (Mile 160) to Fontana Dam (Mile 166)

The Captain and I snuck in another trip.  We did 16 miles today and had our first slack pack experience.

Slack packing is when you do a section without your gear.

We decided that instead of doing 2 reasonable days, we’d do one long day but carrying nothing but our days food & water plus our first aid kit.  That was a big leap of faith as we had no alternative other than to finish the 16 miles and make it back to our car.

Happy to report we did so with no problems at all.  In all we got on the trail at 11 and were done at 5.

We did have a little drama yesterday night though.  I didn’t have a real solid plan about how far we were going to drive before we stopped for the night.  When I decided to stop I found out all hotels within 100 miles of Asheville were sold out.  Fortunately our good friends took us in in the middle of the night.

It has been fascinating for me to watch The Captain’s maturation on the trail.  He is very confident out there – much more than in real life.  For example, when our shuttle guy picked us up Cap asked him if he had through-hiked before. This led to a fifteen minute conversation between the 60 year old man and my son.  He feels like he is part of the Trail community and I guess he is after hiking 166 miles the past year and a half.  On the trail he is absolutely perfect company.  He jabbers away all day and we really enjoy being out there.  I do wish we talked about Pokémon a little less though…

We are at Fontana Dam now at the base of the Smokies.  We are probably done this year, but you never know.



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