Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

Interlude: Great Smoky Mountains, Day Two

Posted in art, Backpacking, F-Stop Gear, family, Hike, Interlude, Jason Gray, links, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on October 12, 2016

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Day two had us all up early, as it was to be our most strenuous day of hiking.  Unfortunately, along with enthusiasm for the 8-mile trek ahead, I woke up with a cold.  After coffee/juicepack and a delicious breakfast consisting of fresh eggs and handmade bread (a daily  courtesy of our amazing hosts at Camp GRITS), we were on our way!

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Our first stop was the Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the Gatlinburg entrance to the Park.  This Visitor Center has a little bit of everything related to the Smokies, and is a fun and informative introduction:

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We made it to the Newfound Gap parking lot before noon for what we assumed would be a 6-7 hour hike on the Appalachian Trail to Charlie’s Bunion.  However, between my cold and Harper wanting to be carried for more than a third of the distance (4olb kiddo plus 30lb camera pack), we took at least 8 hours before finally stumbling back out onto the parking lot after dark.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely!  The hike, though strenuous, is really not THAT tough; even carrying H, we would have made far quicker time had I not been sick.  Luckily, this was to be the worst day of the cold for me.

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Mandi and H at the Icewater Spring Shelter, a favorite stop for AT thru-hikers

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Charlie’s Bunion (above and below)

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