Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 40 vanderdeventer shelter

Miles hiked 17.5
Total miles 434

We had a good hike today. There were some good climbs. I am looking forward to flatter terrain tomorrow.  Kaboose

Today was fun. We hiked 17 miles. We hiked mostly uphill  tomorrow is going to be flatter. The weather is going to better.  

Day 39 Kincora hostel

Miles hiked 6
Total miles 416

We took a nero at Bob Peoples Kincora hostel.  It was an amazing day. Bob was the nices guy and they even open up the one grocery store in town for us even though it is closed on Sunday's. The other hikers are great. Kaboose

Today was fun. We hiked a nero into town. We are in a hostel.  Damascus is two days away or three. It was relaxing to just relaxe today. Sassafras

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 38 moreland gap shelter

Miles hiked 17.4
Total miles 410.5

We passed the 400 mile mark today.  It was cold and rainy.  We are dry in the shelter tonight.  We did not seeca lot of other hikers today,  but enjoyed the company of those we met at the shelter tonight.  We hope for Nero at a hostel tomorrow.  Kaboose

Today was fun. We hiked 17.4 miles. We hiked over 400 miles I total for the trip. 6 miles to hike tomorrow too the hostil. Sassafras

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 37 mile 393.1

Miles hiked 18.3
Total miles 393.1

We had another great day.  We did two big climbs over little and big hump and finally finished north Carolina. Two states down and we will be out of Tennessee a d in Virginia in just a few day.

We hiked about 16 miles to us 19 and hitched into the town of roan mountain for resupply and supper. A couple who are thru hiking but taking a few days off visiting family turned around and gave us a ride into town. We then got two days of food at the little grocery store in town. The peaple at the store were very nice. We then went across the street to bob's dairy land and barbeque.  I had a barbeque pork sandwich with coleslaw on top and it was great. Sassafras had a cheeseburger, also very delicious. We then went out side to try to hitch a ride back to the trail and an older gentleman who was in the restaurant  witg his wife came out and told us they would give us a ride to the trail az soon as they were done eating. Sassafras and I had some ice cream and we got a ride back to the trail. They were a very nice couple.  The husband asked if we minded if he ran into the dollar general,  we said of course not, but his wife made him drive us to the trail first. They even picked up two other thru hikers we knew and drove them back to town. I hope the gentleman makes it to the dollar general.  Kaboose

Today was fun. We had town food today for dinner and disert. We hiked 18 miles today the weather is good. We mostly hiked downhill. Four more days to Damascus. Sassafras

Foods I Like (Yes, you read that right)

People tell me that I have a reputation for hating everything.  Though the pages of this blog already show that such criticism is unfounded, I’m devoting this whole post to a bunch of stuff I’ve had and liked recently.  It’s the first beautiful Spring Friday of 2013.  Here’s a little extra sunshine:

Jerk wings and festival from Jerk – Modern Jamaican Grill Food Truck.  This truck is one of the first in Chicago to cook onboard, and they’re doing a fantastic job with a simple menu that uses just a grill and a deep fryer.  Wings are juicy and fresh, and have hot, no-holds-barred jerk seasoning with an especially  potent garlic component.  Hand-cut fries are well-seasoned but a little limp and greasy.  Skip those and opt instead for a side of festival  - crisp, slightly sweet corn fritters that do a great job cooling down all that spice.

Smoked whitefish Caesar salad from Bavettes.  Most of the time when people mess around with toppings on a Caesar salad, they ruin a good thing.  The salty, slightly-smoky fish here was an exception.  It tasted great and had a firm enough texture to hand up to the crisp greens.  This was a well-executed salad with a little something to take it up several notches.  This dish stood out even at a meal where I liked just about everything that was served (except the” creamed spinach”, which had cream and spinach, but was notcreamed spinach).   

Lentil soup at Salam.  The food at Salam is generally much better than at any other local place serving similar food, and this soup is a real highlight.  It has a refined, creamy, extra-strained texture you’d expect at a French restaurant, with lightness and balance unmatched by other lentil soups.  I love it, and it’s my 3 year old’s favorite delivery food (mango lassi is a beverage, not a food).

Smoked salmon at Jam.  I will never understand why Jam serves a piece of frosted chocolate cake as an amuse bouche for dishes like this, but recently I’ve been able to put that incongruity aside and simply enjoy the good things about the place.  The smoked salmon dish is a real standout.  House-smoked fish with great flavor and texture, a brilliant bĂ©arnaise sauce, crisp potato pancakes, gorgeous, gooey poached eggs, and some nice crunch from salsify slaw.  A dish of beautifully contrasting colors and complementary flavors.

Granduca cheese from JP Graziano.  This Sardinian pecorino is incredible.  It’s hard and I suspect intended mainly for grating, but I’ve just been eating it straight with young, cheap Southern Italian wines.  It’s very nutty and only mildly salty as compared with other pecorino cheeses, but what makes it so special is the underlying flavor of high-quality goat milk with complex, but not overpowering funk.

Day 36 roan high knob shelter

Miles hiked 16.8
Total miles 375.3

We had a big climb today. It was up hill most of the day. The last part of the day was a 2212 foot climb to the top of roan mountain at 6212 feet. We are staying the night at roan high knob shelter, at 6194 feet it is the highest shelter on the AT. I have to thank buckeye kornelious for finding my fleece I dropped at the bottom of roan mountain and carrying it all the way up the mountain and to the shelter for my. That is real trail magic.    Kaboose

Today was fun We hiked 17 miles. The trail was good.  The last uphill was fun. We are at the highest shelter on the AT.  Sassafras

Day 35 cherry gap shelter

Miles hiked 17.5
Total miles 359

We had our strongest day of hiking yet, 17.5 miles all most all up hill and even with breaks and lunch averaged 2.4 miles an hour. Sassafras is a hiking machine. The hike today was so challenging many people at the hostel slack packed the section south bound today. The best part is we made it to the shelter 20 minutes before the rain started. Kaboose

Today was fun. With hiked really fast we mostly went uphill too. The trail was good. We hiked in a part that looked like maine too. Sassafras

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 34 erwin tn

Miles hiked 5.8
Total miles 341.5

We took a nero in erwin at uncle jonnys hostel. We read and sat in the sun this afternoon and took the shuttle to town this evening for resupply and the KFC  all you can eat buffet.  We have to do laundry this evening and hike out early in the morning. We hope to be in Damascus va in about a week. Kaboose

Today was fun.  We mostly relaxed today.  We hiked 5.8 miles into town. I got new books for my kindle. It was mostly downhill when we hiked. Sassafras

Day 33 no business knob shelter

Miles hiked 16.6
Total miles 335.7

Today was beautiful.  We hiked over a bald that had the best 365 degree view.  It was a long day and we are ready for a nero in erwin tn tomorrow. I did not mention yesterday that we met another father daughter thu hiking team. Their trail names are gee ansd floater. Gee is 19 and floatled is 57 and they are from new york. Kaboose

Today was 17 miles. The views were great today. We hiked along sides of mountains mostly today. I had fun hiking more in the afternoon.  Sassafras

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jekyll & Hyde at Howells & Hood

If you order the seafood salad at a massive, corporate-looking sports bar at the bottom of a downtown Chicago office building, you deserve the mushy, tasteless fish with gloppy dressing you’re likely to get.  It is a marvel that at Howells & Hood, the dish rivals the best versions at seafood-focused restaurants in places like Boston and San Francisco.  Tender, well-charred octopus mixes with a variety of delicately poached shellfish, all adorned simply but robustly with lemon and oregano.  Eat this and you can reasonably imagine being at seaside restaurant in Sicily.  You’ll have to tune out the very-American couple next to you as they order their burgers to be made without salt, and the very American sorority girl a few feet away as she requests a round of Sex on the Beach for her table.
The good vs. evil theme suggested by my post title is inaccurate.  Howells & Hood is not 2 things.  It’s not 3 things, 4 things or 5 things.  Howells & Hood is everything.  It’s a restaurant for locavores, run by a chef who passionately espouses things like rooftop gardening and hyper-local cuisine.  It’s a sports bar for the heavy-drinking frat crowd, such as the ones who, during one of my visits, did shots of Jack and high fives every time their school’s basketball team hit a 3-pointer.  It’s the place where 14 office workers grab lunch together and ignore the gigantic beer list while they drink diet cokes and make fun of the boss.  It’s where tourists go to lay out their guidebooks before planning their Mag Mile shopping adventures.  It’s the spot for beer geeks who want to explore what must be the city’s largest tap beer list. Howells and Hood has high tops and low tops and medium-sized tops.  Indoor bars and outdoor bars.  Booths, tables, and semi-booth-tables.  It has everything.
Not surprisingly, Howells & Hood even has a burger.  A very, very bad burger.  At about 6 inches tall, this burger is inedible as a sandwich unless you pull some of the parts out first.  I started with the inch-thick onion rings, breaded so thickly that the batter inside was still gooey and raw.  I took out the tasteless tomato next, and then brushed off some of the slaw-like shredded lettuce.  I was barely able to get my mouth around the thing now.  Then I sneezed.  The pepper in this monstrosity was ground very coarsely, and there was so much of it that my nostrils were not able to cope.  The next flavor to hit me was carbon.  The exterior was blackened with a burnt crust that obliterated all other flavor.  I had ordered the burger medium rare and there was indeed a corner of the thing that was cooked that way.  The rest of the burger ranged wildly – parts of it were reddish pink and juicy, but more parts were totally grey and dry and there were some parts in between – signs of a cook that doesn’t understand how to manage a fire.
I’ve been to Howells & Hood several times, and for the most part I’ve liked the food.  The seafood salad is special, and I expect to find other gems as I continue exploring the menu.  Howells & Hood is everything, so it takes a bit of time to sort through it all to find the somethings you like.  I work steps away, and with the limited options for good food around, I will be happy to keep exploring.  One can eat at The Purple Pig only so many days in a row.
Howells & Hood
435 N Michigan Ave.  312-262-5310

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 32 medow mile 319.1

Miles hiked 17.1
Total miles 319.1

Today was a good day. The weather was nice, it was cool and sunny. The perfect hiking weather. We saw some history today. We passed the grave site off to Union soldiers who were killed by Confederate gorillas when they tried to go home to see their family. We also passed an old home site in the mountains of a couple who were born in the 1880s and died in the 1960s. They lived in a log cabin home and had log out buildings. They live by a beautiful waterfall. But it's hard to believe that their life was not very hard.

Today is also our one month trail anniversary. And I think we are hitting our stride. We are looking forward to taking a Nero Tuesday in Erwin  TN. Kaboose

Today was fun. We hiked 17 miles today. The weather was perfect today for hiking.  Today was mostly uphill but I still had fun.  Sassafras

Day 31 stealth site at 302 mile mark

Miles hiked 17.1
Total miles 302

We passed the 300 mile mark today. It was very cold this morning and our wet clothes from yesterday were frozen. It warmed up and we had a good day of hiking. We spent last night with a woman from maine named scout. She is very nice to sassafras.  I think we finally have our frail legs, we even hiked two more miles after we had supper. Kaboose

Today was fun. We hiked around 17 miles. The hiking today was steep at times going uphill. The weather was good. We hiked a rock scramble before we had lunch. Then we hiked  2 more more miles after that. Sassafras

Friday, April 19, 2013

Day 30 spring mountain shelter

Miles hiked 11
Total miles 284.9

We hiked out os hot springs this morning.  It called for thunderstorms.  It spinkled until our last hour and a half when it started raining hard and it got cold. We are now dry and warm in a packed shelter. We at a hot meal and I am listening to my radio and sassafras is reading book three of Harry potter on her kindle. Kaboose

Today was fun. We hiked small miles today to get away from the rain and hypothermia weather today. I read to keep busy today. Sassafras

The Deck

When we moved in one of the things I knew I was going to miss like crazy was the screened porch.  I had the deck extended to allow for the sliding glass door and I had hopes that somehow the deck would be comparable but part of the fun of the screened porch was letting the cats have free access and hanging out with them on the porch.  The deck would just never be like that.

Also, the space is exposed.  There's no cover, it's completely exposed to the elements and two very large trees and their droppings and because of that I wasn't sure really how to decorate this space.  Now that we're going into our second summer here, I can tell you one thing:  buy furniture for your deck that has no cushions. I'm just sharing what I've learned, you will thank me later.

Last spring I had to have this white wicker loveseat I found at Pier One and I also picked out this beautiful yellow cushion that was something crazy like $80 but it was so pretty I bought it anyway.  And the year has not been kind on this cushion.  I have washed it a couple times in the washing machine but it's too stained now to make much of a difference.

I also bought a chair cushion for the wicker chair I already had from One Kings Lane that I just washed and it doesn't come clean anymore either.

I've looked all around for cushions that a) fit my outdoor furniture and b) zip off for cleaning and it appears to not exist for any sort of budget mind.  I was debating replacing the cushions with solid black cushions that I found locally for a pretty decent price but I'm having a hard time parting with perfectly good cushions.   Plus I want that area to be a little more jazzed up than just black and white (though, I still may go in that direction).

What I have decided is to try to make my own slipcovers that I can easily zip off and clean at will.  I decided to go with this fabric that I found on

Fabric Link

I'll let you know how it turns out.  I've done slipcovers like this before and though I thought they were passable someone stole the cushion off the front porch so I must have done a fine job.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 29 zero at hot springs

Miles hiked zero

We had a nice day in hot springs.  We had a nice breakfast, resupplied, did laundry and got some super feet insoles (I think thy will be a good addition to our gear). We spent the rest of the day relxing, sassafras read the whole first harry potter on her new kindle. The kindle was a good buy. We made spaghetti at the hostel, sassafras was happy.  We hike out tomorrow.  It looks like rain and chance of thunderstorms.  But as the old saying goes, no rain no pain no Maine.  Kaboose

Today was fun we took a zero today.  I mostly read today though on my kindle. Ready to hike tomorrow having fun. More to come. Sassafras

Day 28 Hot Springs NC

Miles hiked 15.9
Total miles 273.9

We had a good hike into Hot Springs today. We are staying at the hostel at laughing heart lodge, we couldn't get into elmers sunnybank in were our mail drop and sassafras' s new kindle were, but we really like this hostel.  The hostel is run by Chuck Norris and tigger so it has to be great. Kaboose

Today was fun I ran down the mountain. The trail was easy. Today was mostly uphill.  More to come.  Sassafras

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 27 stealth camp site

Miles hiked 17.2
Total miles 258

We had a great day. Good. Climb up Snowbird Mountain and saw the FAA tower on the summit.  We had great views from Max
Patch. We also had trail magic twice, hotdogs and soda then donuts on max patch. Kaboose

We had trail magic two times today. We had hotdogs, sodas, and doughnuts.the first part of today was mostly uphill, the second part was downhill. I had fun hiking today. The weather was mostly hot though.  More to come.  Sassafras

Day 26 Standing Bear Hostel

Miles hiked 3.6
Total miles 240.8

We had a. Nice relaxing day at standing bear hostel. We washed our clothes in an old fashioned wash tub and hand ringer, Sassafras thought it was fun. The weather was hot, nice to relax in but I hope it cools off. We will be in Hot Springs Thursday morning. Kaboose

Today was relaxing I mostly read all day though. Standing Bear Hostel is very beautiful. Some of the trees are budding in three days we will go to Hot Springs can't wait.- Sassafras

Day 25 Davenport gap shelter

Miles hiked 20
Total miles 237.2

Sassafras decided we should celebrate my 50th birthday by doing our first 20 mile day of this thru hike. We had a great hike and a great day. I am very grateful for this day Sassafras and my wife who is supporting this trip. We plan a nero at stading bear hostel tomorrow. Kaboose

Today was fun. It was papas b-day today. We had fun hiking today for our first 20 miler of our trip. We had great trail today. The weather was great today and the trail was mostly up hill.                     - sassafras

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 24 pecks corner shelter

Miles hiked 14.9
Total Miles 217.2

Today was a great day, the weather was beautiful.  I think the northern part of the Smokies are my favorite, breathtaking views and lots of ridge walking. We have been hiking with some of the Vets doing the Warrior hike. They are very nice guys (and gals). Kaboose

Today was fun it seemed easy for a fifteen mile day. We saw tons of great views on the ridges. We got trail magic today we got soda.     - Sassafras

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 22 derrick knob shelter

Miles hiked 12
Total miles 188.8

We had an early day. There was thunder storms predicted and we are above 5000  ft. We did our 12 miles and spent the afternoon hanging out at the shelter.  There was a nice group of hikers and a ridge runner. We had a nice fire in the fire place waiting for the storm to come. Kaboose

Today was fun for our second day in the smokies. The weather was great not too hot or cold. More to come - sassafras

Day 23 mt collins shelter

Miles hiked 13.5
Total miles 202.3

We hit the 200 mile mark today, we also went over the tallest mountain on the at,  Clingmans dome at 6655 feet in elevation. After thunder storms last night today was beautiful. I felt the strongest today of the whole trip. Kaboose

Today we hiked the biggest climb on the AT. I had fun hiking today. We saw two deer today. The trail was good. More to come.- Sassafras

Day 21 mollies ridge shelter

Miles hiked 12.2
Total miles 176.8

Our first day in the smokies was memorable.  Fontana dam was cool.  We had a hard hike today it ws in the high 70's and we had s big climb with the heaviest packs of the trip with 5 1/2 days of food. It was the first day water was scarce and we had to carry 2 liters of water.  Sassafras had a good time tonight talking with all the other thru hikers here tonight.  Kaboose

Today was fun.It was a good hike going up the big hill. Wd hiked 11 miles today. Our pack was heavy today. Finally I got another sunburn on my arm so both of my arms have sun burns now but still having a good time overall. More to come. - sassafras

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Conference Room Makeover

I forgot to take photos of the finished conference room.  This room is very dark, just to warn you and I was just using my iphone for photos.  This is the entrance from the lobby to the conference room.  As you can see it's a pretty small room and doesn't have any windows.  I decided to go with Benjamin Moore "Moonshine" for the walls.  It's the same light neutral to warm gray I have in my house and I love it.  I was worried about painting this room because paint looks very different in this building than other places I have painted.  But this gray turned out fine, it didn't turn blue or purple or green like grays sometimes do.

You can also see the new ceiling fixture.  I thought this would do a great job of lighting the table and it's fair but even with a 100w light bulb it doesn't give off much light at all.  We are happy with it other than that.

The chairs were a last minute decision.  We went to our local Office Furniture Salvage store to order the conference table and get some chairs.  They had regular used office chairs there that we put on hold but when we went back to get the table they had reserved the wrong chairs and I did not like them at all.  These chairs were laying around for I think $60 for 4 chairs.  The material is old knobby turquoise and they are tufted with buttons and I was smitten.  I know they aren't really right for the room but I looked upstairs for other chairs but couldn't find anything and I love these.  The price cannot be beat and we can replace them later with more boring chairs ;-).  I'll have to find a place for these chairs though, I really do love them.  They are a little rickety (they are very vintage) so we are having our handy man glue the weak spots.

Originally I wasn't going to use hardly any books but I realized pretty quickly that two bookcases need a lot of stuff to fill them.  I ended up using a few sets of my husband's old law books and we used some fancy German mugs he has and I used some stuff from the house I was ready to part with.  It's not the greatest staging but funds got tight at the end, maybe I'll revisit accessories later.  I think it would be nice to have some sort of plant in here, maybe one day.

This is the view from the other end of the conference room back towards the front of the room.  My husband wanted to hang the diplomas in the conference room because no one sees them in the attorneys' offices.  The lamp in the back corner is from Ikea from another trip to get some items for the second office.  She ended up not really liking this lamp, it's pretty modern, and I love it so we brought it back here.

The room still needed more light so I ended up getting a new floor lamp.  I shopped at my usual Home Goods and TJ Maxx but couldn't really find what I was looking for.  I noticed Target had this shiny lacquered white lamp for a really great price.  I was happy to find it holds two bulbs and really helps with the light situation.  This honestly might be the best lamp deal I've ever seem as far as price and quality.  The shade is fabric not paper and it's very good quality and sturdy.  I would use this lamp in my house in a heartbeat.

We looked all around Ikea for bookcases.  I think were were leaning towards the Billy Bookcases with glass doors when we saw these.  We had seen them on a previous trip and loved them and now was the time to buy them.  I love the curving on the sides, it really jazzes them up and gives them a little femininity.

We got the rug at Rugs USA online and I'm pretty happy with it.  I do wish the star pattern was a little smaller, but the quality and brightness I really love.  I seems to be very durable.  Rugs USA has great sales, this one we picked up for 50% off and they run these deals all the time.

The mirror I found on Craigslist.  Home Goods was having a down period for great mirrors, a few weeks later they quite a few I liked but at the time I couldn't find anything.  This mirror was very affordable and I spray painted it black.  In retrospect, I like that the room has something old in it (like the chairs but they aren't permanent), I think all rooms need something old, it helps give the space character and warmth.

Sources: Bookcase, Floor Lamp, Ceiling Light Fixture, Rug

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 20 fontana lodge

Miles hiked zero

We took a zero today.  We still were a little under the weather.  We will start the Smokies tomorrow. 

I am sick of junk/fast food. I am craving fruit and home cooked pasta. Who would have guessed that.  Kaboose

Today we mostly relaxed. Today was fun. We had a zero day Today. I met another young girl thru hiking. - sassafras


So the plea bargain finally happened today in the case for the guy who broke into our house last year.  I went to court this time and got to see the guy who broke into our house.  I've already seen photos of him, I've even read his twitter account, but it's always different seeing someone in person, especially like this.

He's 18 years old with an 8th grade education and he already has 3 felony convictions.  I'm pretty sure, thanks to google and a very odd name, he did some juvenile stuff too.

And I wrote this letter, actually it's the second letter, the first letter was more for the judge, the second was for U, and I'm not sure what I thought, I write, that's what I do, and so I did.  And Brian gave it to the DA because he knew he couldn't read it or he would cry so she read it out in court today.  I was already emotional and trying to will myself to not be emotional, which is pretty hard to do, and I knew I was in trouble when she was going to read it, and she did and I cried and Brian cried a little too.

Then the judge asked U. if he had any thing to say and he just wanted to be sure he was going to get time served in jail towards his prison sentence.  That was all he cared about.  The judge said he would and U. grinned (I know that he grinned because another attorney told us this after the plea). 

There was also a matter of restitution for his other felony that happened before us, he got probation for that case and broke this probation with his new charges so the restitution was being revisited.  It appears U. stole someone's moped and caused a lot of damage to it and then disputed the restitution the victims were asking for.  I just can't tell you how insane I think this is.  Now due to all the new stuff that's going on and knowing that he doesn't have to pay restitution, it only hurts your personal credit score to not pay the restitution, he's agreed to paying the extra amount.

He's been in jail for a while now, I think since October, and I think he has about another year in prison.

It's pretty evident that my letter was pretty moot but I guess the point of it really was to make me feel better and for me to get closure.  So there you go, it's closed now, that chapter can be filed away for good now.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 19 Fontana village

Miles hiked 5.4.
Total miles 164.6

We took a NERO at Fontana village.  We will start the smokies tomorrow.  We stayed at the Fontana Lodge. The lodge was very nice. Kaboose

The view of the smokies is beautiful from our room. Today was fun to hike it was mostly down hill. Most of our hkingike in the smokies will be good weather.  - sassafras

Here I Go Again...

I got a fitbit over the weekend, thanks to a special friend, and used it for two days, Brian made sure we increased the total from Saturday to Sunday (he's OCD with numbers and goals like that).  And the thing is, why would I make such an effort to increase my walking if I'm just going to eat away any benefit?

I was using Lose it last year and I really liked it but I guess My Fitness Pal links with my fitbit so I'm going to give it a try.

My first day using my fitbit I logged in 5551 steps.  That was with 2 walks!  So apparently I don't take long enough walks.

The second day I logged 6058.  That day we made a point to drive to a walking trail with a 1.3 mile loop.  We also walked to breakfast (six blocks) and walked around Costco.  Heck, Costco gave me like 1000 steps.  So 10,000 steps isn't all that easy.  Even so, it's kind of fun to beat my steps and see what each activity does.  We often walk the mall when it gets hot or rainy and I'm curious how long that is.

I don't know if this will work, I'm really quite frustrated with my weight and lack of control, not even being able to maintain.  But right now I'm in a happy place about this new toy so I'm just going to go with it and see where it takes me.

Day 18 cable gap shelter

Miles hiked 11.6
Total miles 159.2

We had good weather today it was sunny and not as hot. There was one big climb today "Jacobs ladder", it was steep but lot that long. There is some kind of bug or flu going up and down the trail, I think we have a touch of it. We both just don't feel 100 percent. Sassafras is still tearing up the trail. I hope we feel better in two days when we enter GSMNP.  kaboose.

Today was easier than yesterday. It was fun just hiking hills today. We ended downhill today. It is relaxing hiking today. -sassafras

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 17 Locust cove gap

Miles hiked 10.3
Total miles 147.6

We were told the climb out of the NOC was going to be our toughest one so far and they were right. 8 miles up to over 5000 feet from a starting elevation of 1700. We are tired tonight resting in the tent. We prayed for warmer weather and we got it, sunny and in the high 60's. The temperatures combined with little foliage on the trees made for a hot day. Remember yesterday we started hiking and it was below freezing and the end of an ice storm.  Tomorrow should be a little less challenging. We are still having fun. Kaboose

Today was a hard 10.3 miles because it was mostly all up hill. It was hot. We had a nice breakfast at the NOC before we started the days hike. More to come Sassafras

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 16 Nantahala Outdoors Center

Miles hiked 11.7
Total miles hiked 137.3

What a difference a day makes.  We started out this morning hiking in the aftermath of an ice storm.  We had on all the dry cloths we had and our wet rain gear. The trail looked like an ice machine exploded.  There were blow downs everywere. It was smart for us tto stop early yesterday.  We talked with a lot of hikeres who got off the trail yesterday due to the weather.  By the end of the day Sassafras was running down the trail in shorts and a t shirt.

Tonight we are in a two bunk cabin at the NOC. We also had a late lunch and supper at the restaurant here. The food was very good and reasonably priced. We plan on having breakfast there in the morning. Sometimes thru hiking can be tough. We have a big climb out of here in the morning,  but the weather is going to be good and that makes a big difference.  Kaboose

Today was mostly relaxing.  We had a great lunch and dinner at the NOC restaurant. The weather is going to get better and that makes me very happy. I tried out a hammock today at the outfitter.  I want to get one, is was very comfortable. More to come. Sassafras

Day 15 cold spring shelter

Miles hiked 4.8

Today was a tough day. We woke up to freezing rain.  It was hard work just packing up the tent. By the time we got to the first shelter I was concerned about hypothermia.  We were wet the trail ahead was challenging.  Sassafras was ready to hike on, but I decided to take a short day and be safe. There was room for us at this shelter and I was not prepared to hike on and have to set up and sleep in our wet tent in the freezing rain. I knew there were many hikers in front of us wanting to get to the next shelter.

My wife reserved a room at the NOC tomorrow. We will hike. The 12 miles and stay the night dry out and eat some good food.  We have been going a little slower but we have a lot of time. Sassafras is ready to hike 18-20 miles a day. I need another week or two before we can pick it up.  I fine on the flats, gradual uphills and the downs, but she is smoking me on the long steep climbs.

We are having a good time and I know we will make it home. Kaboose

We took a nero on the trail. It was cold but I still had fun. Sassafras

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 14 Wayahh bald shelter

Miles hiked 11.0

We had a southern breakfast today in Franklin before being driven to the trail head by Ron Haven. He sure is a hard worker and can tell a story az well. The trail was mostly uphill, but not too steap, and thd weather was not bad, temperatures in the low 50's and overcast.  This being said Sassafras and I both thought it was our toughest day at least mentally.  We both felt a little under the weather and have not been sleeping well. Sassafras said she knew we would have hard days but we needed to hike on. I am so proud of her. We ended the day with beautiful veiws from the stone tower at Wayah bald. We got a look at Clingmans dome the highest peak on the AT. We will be there in several days. Kaboose

Today was funner when  we got to the shelter. More to come.            - Sassafras

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 13 Franklin North Carolina

Miles hiked 3.8

We took a nero (short mile hiking day and staying in town.

We were up at 630am and on the trail at 7am. We were witness to our first sun rise hike of the trip, it was gorgeous.  We had the pleasure of being shuttled around by Ron Haven and stayed at one of his motels (he is very well known on the AT, and has a big presence in Franklin.  We did our resupply at walmart and are eating pizza. Kaboose

Today was fun we mostly did relaxing today though. We went to walmart for the first time this trip so far. More to come. - sassafras

Day 12 Rock gap shelter

Miles hiked 12.1

Today was a great day of hiking.  The weather was nice, temperatures in the low 50's and a few clouds. We had excellent views form Mount Albert and the fire tower. Tonight we are watching the first fire we have had this trip due to the weather. Kaboose

Today only had one big climb wich was albertv mountain. It was fun tohike today too. More to come. - sassafras