Today’s miles: 11.4
It was an early stop today (around 4 pm) as I found a pretty good camping spot and my feet are sore from hiking (and lugging this load). Only 3 interactions with people today, one late morning when I came across a group of young men chain-sawing the brush on the side of the road, then at the trail crossing near Lauree Springs, I asked a woman if I could get water (“all drained out”) and a man pulled up while I was rummaging for a dollar for a soda and asked if the soda machine was working.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. And I enjoyed it immensely. Bluff Mtn (bald) gave beautiful views towards the Blue Ridge mountains. I saw a coyote this morning around 9:30 am, across the parkway in a field! And lots of deer and wild turkeys, at least 1 grouse, and an owl.
There were a LOT of blowdowns today, mostly pine trees. The FMST have their work cut out for them this spring when they get to their trail maintenance!
I am stealth-camping in the woods off of the BRP mp 250. Two more days to Boone!! One thing that I have been frustrated with on this trail is the unaffordable-ness of hiking it legally. Campsites have been near $15/per site. And we’re not allowed to camp off of the parkway, soooo what is a poor hiker to do? Unfortunately break the law. And in winter, it is literally impossible to abide by those rules, because none of the campsites are open. It’s frustrating – I don’t particularly like breaking the law (and being paranoid about it).
After Boone, I have 300 trail miles to Clingman’s Dome!