Day 117 (16 July 2013, Tuesday) 9.5 Mi_375.8 Mi/Roan Knob Shelter

EXHAUSTED!  ...after reaching
Top of Roan Mountain (6212 ft ASL)

Pinoy Airman at 6212 ft ASL (Roan Mt)

BJ and grandaughter, Destiny

Would you believe?  A Chimney in Roan Mt
...whatever is left of it.

Roan Knob Shelter (sleeps 15) -- Highest shelter on AT

Sweetheart was tested on her hiking skills today--she not only passed the test but also was courageous and brave; hike was punishing.  I could not ask for any hiking buddy than her.  It all made our AT hiking efforts easy and fun.  BJ was an AF Veteran who loved her country and the Air Force.  She was a Surgery Technician in the AF.  We met her and Destiny (granddaughter) in the Toll House of Roan Mountain.  We will start increasing our hiking miles tomorrow...finishing our plan 14-day hike in a quick fashion.  If our plan materializes, hiking days should decrease to 12 days.  (05:47:01)  "One Step, One Mountain, One Day"
Pinoy Airman

Day 116 (15 July 2013, Monday) 7.3 Mi_366.3 Mi/Greasy Creek Hostel

One of several mountain scenic views

Golden Ragwort - Small flower with yellow
center & small floppy petals.  "Field Flower"
that can create a sea of yellow.  (Trail Guide)

Jason and Pinoy Airman--we met him
at Uncle Johnny's Hostel & in the AT...
...he is a SOBO and sectional hiker.

Greasy Creek Hostel -- Bunk beds inside

Double Cheeseburgers from Mountain Grill

Sweetheart and CeCe

Sweetheart and I had a good night sleep and well rested--READY for another good days hike! It was a beautiful day and we stayed at Greasy Creek Hostel.  The Hostel is highly recommended.  However, we have to go out of our way to find it...really go out of our way (at least .6 mile one way and we have to use lots of instincts to find the place; pls don't doubt yourself when looking for the hostel).  CeCe and Phillip more than made up for the distance for their hospitality.  We ordered couple of double cheeseburgers from Mountain Grill for our dinner; Phillip and CeCe provided us a ride.  The cheeseburgers were huge and for its price, it was a find.  We ate dinner leftovers for breakfast the following morning.  We also had one banana milkshake.  (04:10:51) "One Step, One Mountain, One Day"
Pinoy Airman

Day 115 (14 July 2013, Sunday) 8.7 Mi_359.0 Mi/Cherry Gap Shelter

One of the power lines along the AT...

Drying out some items...
...drenched from the rain today!

Cherry Gap Shelter (sleeps 6)
Notice the clothesline?

Just thinking tomorrow's walk...
will make you???  Long deep thoughts...

It was lousy today!  We got drenched, really wet, with rain today.  It was not fun walking while the rain was keep on pouring hard. As soon as we reached the shelter, we changed clothes and put all wet items to dry--lucky for us the sun came out that afternoon.  Sweetheart was fast and we reached the shelter about an hour early.  We will stay at the Greasy Creek hostel tomorrow--it is .6 mile out of the AT trail.  This will provide us a chance to wash our clothes and get dry. Hopefully, the hostel is not that hard to find...we will see.  (04:57:30)
Pinoy Airman

Day 114 (13 July 2013, Saturday) 8.8 Mi_350.3 Mi/Indian Grave Gap, TN 395

Come across 2nd AT railroad track @ Erwin, TN...

...Sweetheart's 1st AT railroad track. 

"Max" the Turtle--one of many "cute" pics in the AT

Curley Maple Gap Shelter (sleeps 14)
Mama San & Energizer Bunny w/ their kids--
sectional hikers from Elizabethton, TN

One of the trees blocking our way; numerous
obstacles along the trail particularly after a storm...

Our inexpensive tent
Camp at Indian Grave Gap

It was an excellent hike from Uncle Johnny's Hostel to Indian Grave Gap.  We were supposed to stay at Curley Maple Gap Shelter; due to early arrival, we decided to move on and camp at Indian Grave Gap. Water source was down the road (TN 395) outside the curve--had to go over the steel protective barricade along the curve road.  We had a fire last night and Sweetheart was concerned that the fire might spread.  Eventually, her fears subsided because it rained a little bit and killed the fire.  We planned to remain overnight at Cherry Gap Shelter the next day.  (04:59:49)
Pinoy Airman

Day 113 (12 July 2013, Friday) 5.8 Mi_341.5 Mi/Uncle Johnny's Hostel (Erwin, TN)

Wild Blackberries...@downhill to Erwin, TN

Sweetheart harvesting some wild blackberries...

...Pinoy Airman doing the same thing.

Small blackberries...most have been harvested
by the AT hikers; most probably a month ago.

Sweetheart showing Ratatouille nibbled part
of her pants last night (No Business Knob)

Pic with Itsy Bitsy Spider (AT '74) and Helga;
both AT maintainers.  Had fun hiking with them,
while doing some trail maintenance chores

View of the Nolichucky River (Erwin, TN)
Thanks Dr. Craig (Itsy Bitsy Spider)!

Last view of Erwin, TN from the Mountain Top

Retiring?  Yes; its been more than 15 years of service.
We bought this "Raichle" shoes in Switzerland.

In front of Uncle Johnny's Hostel...after biking
total of 8 miles (to/from) to buy shoes at Wal-Mart 

...same.  Erwin, TN has an excellent Bike
route:  SAFE...

Uncle Johnny

Pic with "Country Gold" (AT '10)

Country Gold and "Sarge"

We were glad there were hostels along the AT.  Uncle Johnny's Hostel was a welcome relief after three days of hiking.  Who is complaining?  Nah, we were not complaining.  It was a nice experience to get to the downtown area, biked to Wal-Mart to buy a pair of shoes and got back to the hostel.  This was at least an 8-mile biking trail after hiking in the morning.  Sweetheart's Raichle shoes have been retired; cannot be fixed according to "Baker Shoe Repair".  If we had known Raichle could not be fixed, we would not take the bike and just get a ride to Wal-Mart. No regrets though....  (03:14:20)
Pinoy Airman

Day 112 (11 July 2013, Thursday) 10.6 Mi_335.7 Mi/No Business Knob Shelter

One of the several flowers in the AT
Do you like it?

Resting for a little bit...half-way to the shelter

"No Business Knob" shelter
We're trying to dry some of our clothes...

Sweetheart's 2nd day of hiking.  Still adjusting well to the difficulties ("ups and downs"), literally, of hiking.  We were not drenched today but it rained during the night.  Couples of muscle and heels/feet pains issues while were walking.  Great decision to get water prior to arriving in the shelter because there were no services at the shelter.  We will stay at Uncle Johnny's Hostel (Erwin, TN) tomorrow.  (07:25:14)
Pinoy Airman

Day 111 (10 July 2013, Wednesday) 7.7 Mi_325.1 Mi/Bald Mountain Shelter

Sweetheart is tired; her first day of hiking

On top of Big Bald (5516 Ft ASL)

Diamond Doug--Trail Maintainer/AT Hiker

Bald Mountain Shelter sleeps 10

Sweetheart's first day of hiking ever.  Bob dropped us at Sams Gap and we remained overnight at Bald Mountain Shelter.  We were rained while hiking and we were soaked.  Even though the ground was wet due to rain, which occurs almost daily, we were able to start a fire at the shelter.  We had fire almost the whole night and it rained the whole night.  The rain stopped the following morning.  It was an uneventful first day/night except for the rain.  (05:37:41)
Pinoy Airman

Kincora Hostel (9 July 2013/Dennis Cove Rd, Hampton, TN)

Bob Peoples and Pinoy Airman

Tree House at Kincora Hostel

One of the Journal entry at Kincora

It was surreal feeling to be back at the Appalachian Trail (AT) after a long lay-off.  "Sweetheart" and I drove at least nine hours traversing more than 600 miles to get to Kincora Hostel (our first stop before proceeding to Sams Gap tomorrow).  Bob Peoples is the owner of the Kincora Hostel and an Air Force retired officer with 21 years of service--THANK YOU BOB!  Bob and I reminisced some Air Force stories...compared was fun.
Pinoy Airman