[at-l] trip report

Cody Girl codycodygirl at gmail.com
Fri Nov 19 19:37:33 CST 2010

I had a great time meeting Hopeful, Mrs Hopeful and a few of their friends
at Fontana last week.  That night there was one southbounder named Yogi who
I met back in Vermont and two section hikers who had just completed the
Smokies who were from Quebec.  Just like Nina described this morning, I
talked Yogi's head off when the poor guy was probably trying to have a quiet
restful evening!  LOL!  Felt like old friends meeting!  Yogi and the two
sectioner's had stories to tell about coming through the Smokies in some
chilly weather with snow, also seen on Max Patch. Hopeful and Mrs Hopeful
put on quite a feed which I too got to enjoy.  Baked taters with sausage and
SQUASH, most delicious!  Thank you for the hospitality.

My dog Nutmeg and I left and the next morning we met one of my hiking
partners from my thru at NOC.  The plan was to head up to Tellico
Gap with some hiker snacks, hoping to share with some southbounders.  I was
very uncertain about the directions I had, so I asked at NOC and was advised
to head back towards Byson City and go down Needmore Road to Tellico Road,
so that's what we did.  The directions I had pointed me to Wayah Road, but
I followed the advice I got instead.  We met a lot of hunters on the road
up the Gap and eventually found our way.  I was relieved that Tellico Gap
was as I remembered it, haha!  Coulda been a big oops otherwise!  The
weather was super fine so I was content to sit around and yak it up,
watching the dogs play, talking to the hunters.  We took a little hike up
to Wesser Tower and ate lunch up there.  There were lots of dayhikers as it
was Saturday.  About 30 minutes before time to go one southbounder named Two
Speed came through.  Had a great time visiting with him, then he set off
laughing, glad for us that we had seen a "rare" sobo!  We drove out the
other side of the Gap and back to NOC via Wayah Road which was a much better
route, LOL!

It was a splendid day on the AT.

On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 7:41 PM, <hopeful_2003 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Hey y’all, Mrs Hopeful and I just returned from doing some trail magic for
> the sobos at the Fontana Hilton. The first week of November Lastminute
> (GAME03), a mother and daughter from our church and I hiked Newfound Gap to
> Davenport Gap. There were 2 goals. One was to leave word in the logs about
> the hiker feed and the other was to help the mom and daughter get their
> first real taste of long distance hiking. Well, I know there are those who
> don’t see 32 miles as long distance but for newbess it is. They were both
> trooper and never complained about anything. The first day out was 11 miles
> which was enormous for the newbees. Among their first tastes was hiking into
> the shelter well after dark. They were clearly anxious when it became
> certain that the sun would be well down before we made camp. Anxious or not,
> they pushed through showing no real fear. I guess Lastminute kept them
> encouraged. Another first was the snow we woke up to on the second morning.
> Actually, it snowed lightly but none stop for 3 days. By the time we got out
> there was a foot down with drifts deeper. On the second day I began worrying
> whether I needed to form Plan B in the event the snow got bad. I knew we had
> no immediate option but to press on that day and then consider bailing on
> day 3. I told them that Plan B had merit because if we bailed to the Cosby
> campground, they’d get to sleep a night on the restroom floor while I hiked
> on to contact Ox (GAME99) to give us a ride back to my car. They missed out
> on that first :) As it turned out, they were heart set on hiking on to the
> end. Somewhere along the trail on day 3, the daughter turned to me with a
> smile wide as sunset and bubbled out, "I can’t believe I’m living this
> adventure!" From that point on I stopped worrying whether I had got them in
> over their heads. They learned a lot: hiking after dark is not the same as
> being lost, you can keep warm even while hiking in the snow with damp
> clothes, damp clothes can be dried in your sleeping bad, nalgenes full of
> hot water down in you sleeping bag keep the chills at bay, mice don’t ambush
> hikers. It was a wonderful trip and all the more enjoyable watching newbees
> get trail broke and reliving my early hikes through their questions and
> revelations.
> Last week we took grub to the hilton and enjoyed some time with both sobos
> and section hikers. The brother and sister in law of a sobo came to visit
> him. The sister in law could hardly believe that we were there to do a feed.
> She was really taken aback when she learned how many folks who were not in
> attendance had contributed stuff to make the feed possible. They gave
> everything from plates and forks, to soft drinks, to fire wood, to veggies
> for stir frying. A trailer was loaned so we could haul in a rick and have a
> big fire several nights. There was plenty of wood left for hikers to come.
> One of my most enjoyable moment was watching the notion sink into her that
> there are lots of folks in and out of the community who care about the
> community. I can’t speak for anybody else but I had a great time. If all
> that wasn’t enough, Codygirl stopped by and we got to meet face to face.
> I’ll let her tell about her adventures. Hopeful
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