Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Zero Days...

Hello from the Nantahala Outdoor Center, otherwise known as the NOC. Originally I was supposed to zip right through this spot but my left calf had different plans for me.

Fist off, my apologies for starting the "day in the life" blog series two days ago and then abruptly stopping without including my afternoon and nighttime activities. My intention was to provide a comprehensive overview of my daily routine but, little did I know, I picked one of the hardest 11 Mile sections from which to profile my activities.

Shortly after my last update on Monday I tweaked my left calf. With five miles and 2,300 feet of steep decent ahead of me I decided to focus only on reaching my destination. I promise to complete the rest of the series soon.

So yesterday I spent the day resting, icing and assessing my calf. Not sure if it was a sprain or something more serious I nabbed a bunk in the NOC's hiker hostel and relaxed.

The good news is that my calf is doing better today(it's just a sprain) so I plan to hike out tomorrow. Hopefully two full days of rest will be enough to get me back on track.

I've made two new friends, Goldylocks and Peru so we may hike together tomorrow. It's sure to be slow going since what goes down must go back up. The next 6.9 miles of trail goes straight up, gaining over 2,000 feet in elevation. I'll admit, I'm not looking forward to it ... but that's the trail and, just like in everyday life, you've gotta take the good with the bad and the ups with the downs.

So the Nantahala Outdoor Center is an interesting place. This is where Team USA's Olympic kayakers come to train. Since the AT crosses the road right at the NOC, it caters to both boaters and hikers. There's also a scenic tourist train that stops nearby. Hordes of people pile off to watch the boaters or eat lunch at the cafe. This afternoon I served as the unofficial AT tour guide to four visitors from Nebraska. They peppered me with questions about the trail and I was happy to answer all of them. They wanted to see a trail marker so I walked them to a spot where the could look at a white blaze.

It's strange to be part of the tourist attraction. I have a new symphony for zoo animals. When I arrived here on Monday evening someone pulled over, rolled down their window and took my picture. I can only imagine what I looked like, with days of trail dirt and a pained expression on my face. I think I tried to smile but I'm not sure that I was able to pull it off. All I can say is that they captured an authentic photo of a thru hiker at the end of a long day.

The gorge that the Nantahala River flows through is beautiful. This was originally Cherokee land so many of the names have tribal meanings. Nantahala, for example, means "Land of the noonday sun," which is very fitting since the light of the noonday sun seems to make everything even more stunning. This is a beautiful place.

Happy Trails Everyone.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone


  1. What a view. Been following you on the map.Trying to guess how many miles you've made so far. Printing out all the pic's to make a photo journal of your adventure. So proud of you. Happy Trails..... Connie

  2. Your doing fabulously my friend !! Do you like hiking w/ others, or do you prefer to go it alone, or is it a nice balance of both ? I love hearing of all these unique trail names of fellow hikers !!

    No worries about systematically jotting down your daily activities, dear. Just be CAREFUL, and post when you can. No pressure from us followers, were just happy to hear from you !

    Big bear hugs to you !! LOL !!


Search This Blog...