[at-l] 1225

Felix J AThiker at smithville.net
Tue Dec 25 20:24:17 CST 2012

12/25/98  Tricorner Knob Shelter, Smoky Mountains NC

I woke up to find that the temps had dropped drastically 
through the night.
Into the lower 20s or less.This was a good thing as the mud 
puddle in the
middle of the shelterfloor had frozen and it was much easier 
to walk around
in the shelter. (The shelters in the Smokys have a 6'xSW 
walking area with 'SW'= shelter width)
It was also a good thing because there usually isn't much in 
the way
of clouds, or fog, when it's that cold. So, just after 
daybreak I headed
up a crunching, frozen Trail. I like crunching better than 
  The sky was actually clear above, and the valleys below were
full of the 'smoke' that is the namesake of these mountains. 
At one
point I saw what I thought were bobcat prints. I don't know 
if there are
bobcats here, or not. It could have been a fox. I don't know 
if there are
foxes here or not.

I made really good time this day. I was surprised to find 
the Trail
crowded from Icewater Spring to Newfound Gap. It was a 
beautiful day.
Mid-twenties and clear. I got to Mt. Collins shelter a 
little before 5.
That shelter is a beautiful place just before sunset on a 
crisp, cold
Christmas evening. The fire the two boys from Cincinnati had 
built was a
beautiful thing, too. I'll never forget the one who looked 
at me and
said "That fire'd cost you $8,000 if you bought the wood at a
convenience store." I laffed then. I laff now.

I had an enjoyable evening with these two guys. They didn't 
practice some of the LNT techniques the way I'd have liked 
for them to.
But, they were harmless, overall. They gave me my first-ever 
(and, last)
drink of Jaegermeister. "Nyquil from the liquor store" I 
call it. They
also gave me hair-covered cheese and salami that I didn't 
want to eat...
but, couldn't throw away. In the dark, it all tastes the 
same. I smoked a cigar.

Felix J. McGillicuddy
ME-->GA '98
"Your Move"
ALT '03 KT '03

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