Protected: Beach Combing

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There's nothing like a cold sardine during a lunch break while backpacking in the Smokies. I think I'll stick to beef jerky! … [Read more...]

Zombie Apocalypse

This is it - the famed tunnel on the "Road To Nowhere".  It looks more like the zombie apocalypse than a backpacking trip. … [Read more...]

Episode 21: Great Smoky Mountain National Park

In Episode 21, JD (aka Trail Hard) tells us about his passion for hiking and backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park - the most visited national park in the United States. On the show, we discuss his quest for a third map in the "Smokies" - or the completion of every trail in the Park.  While a "map" is technically ~900 miles, a hiker walks roughly 1500 miles to complete it.  And JD is on his third map - dang!  Fewer than 400 can even claim one! So he definitely … [Read more...]

Smoky Mountain Night Hike

Night hiking in the Smokies with a moonrise above and a sunset to the West. … [Read more...]

And The Lackies Return To The Smokies…

We have a long tradition of backpacking the Smokies in the winter, but Brunn and I sit out the tough stuff this year and hike less than half of the ~35 mile route.   While the rest of the crew gets pounded by rain - I fly home from Vegas and Brunn hits the Allman Brothers Tribute show at the Fox in Midtown Atlanta (a worthy choice).  Needless to say, we get a late start on the trip.  Here's Brunn packing at noon on Saturday after the show.       But everything comes with a price and … [Read more...]

Hiking The Dry Sluice Trail – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last weekend, we hiked ~9 miles from Ice Water Springs shelter down to Smokemont Campground in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Here's some video from the Dry Sluice Trail as it crosses the bridge over Bradley Fork. By the time we hit the valley, temps had climbed from the teens to the 50's which made for great hiking this winter afternoon. … [Read more...]

Great Smoky Mountain Snow & Sunrise From Ice Water Springs Shelter

After two days of rain, a cold front pushes through and delivers a dusting of snow at Ice Water Springs Shelter. A bobcat leaves fresh tracks just below this rising January sun and we are slow to crawl from the sleeping bags with temps in the teens at 5800 feet this morning. … [Read more...]

Sunset From The Appalachian Trail (One Mile North Of Newfound Gap)

We left Newfound Gap at 4:45pm for a 3 mile hike to Ice Water Springs shelter. It's early January, and after two days of rain the skies have cleared. Here's a look at the sunset to the west from the Appalachian Trail. With any luck, we'll make it to the shelter before dark ... … [Read more...]

Newfound Gap Road Closed Due To Landslide

Fortunately, we had no delays during our annual winter hike in the Smokies last weekend, but Newfound Gap is now officially closed per the Hiking The Smokies blog: "A landslide along Newfound Gap Road near mile marker 22 has caused an extended closure of the road. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) due to a landslide which undercut the road near mile marker 22 between Collins Creeks and Webb Overlook at 9:40 am. The slide is estimated to be a 200 foot … [Read more...]