I Do Not Remember Which of us Made the Suggestion…
“Why Don’t we Walk the Appalachian Trail?” Part 3
Here we go again, but this time we have reinforcements! Jill’s son Joseph is along to make sure his mother survives, he will come along on one other trip before he hangs up his hiking shoes for a family. He is also the one who gave me my trail name, but more on that later.
Rain is pouring down, we have arrived early in the morning and this time our goal is to hike from Fontana Dam south- as far as we can get in a week-end! We have since learned that a good pace is between 12 and 17 miles per day, depending on the conditions, altitude, and topography of the trail. The least and most distance that we covered in a day on the Appalachian Trail, are 8 miles and 21 miles. We are camping out, carrying our necessities and only necessities in much lighter packs! Top Ramen makes a great hot soup and is virtually weightless. Candy bars, eaten quickly, also take up minimal space, the more chocolate they contain, the better!
As we set out Joseph is in the lead, at 21 he thinks that he will never see us again until time to make camp. That evening he told his story, I thought that I would leave everyone in the dust, but every time I turned around Aunt Sheila was on my heels. I am going to call her the Cheetah. That is how I got my trail name, but I must confess, the old Cheetah isn’t so swift as before and has now slowed to a crawl! He also gave his mother and other aunt the nicknames of the Sloths. Speed has never been their main intent, but they have since increased their pace and diffused the name calling.
I am always amazed at the beauty of God’s creation and we were not disappointed this trip. The area around Fontana Dam is really very wonderful to feed the sense of sight, including Thunderhead Mountain, where we had our close encounter with thunder and lightning, but that is another trip and I don’t want to tell you everything at once! More about that later, sufficient to say that we are all still breathing!