Appalachian Trail: Day #24

Tri Corner Knob Shelter –> Davenport Gap Shelter:  7.4 miles

Total AT miles: 237.0

Tonight we camp in our last shelter of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. This section proved to be my favorite so far; although, favorite is a very relative term. I tend to live immersed in the moment and love almost every minute as much as the last.

Before entering the Smokies, we were told we would hate it; that we would rush to exit the high mountains as fast as possible. Were the weather bad, this may have been true. Exposed ridges and camps above 5,000 feet could have been hell, even deadly.

Lucky for us, the weather held. We only had a bit of rain. Not enough to soak us. Just enough to add diversity and make for a couple interesting days walking barefoot and splashing through puddles. Lets face it. My shoes, smelling worse than days old roadkill, needed the bath anyway.

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Morning coffee in the shelter. Life is good!
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Most people vacate the shelters early and get to hiking. Us? We play music and dance!

We stop and take a break at a clearing with a view. The rain is holding off. The temperature is perfect for hiking. Mountain Goat finds a snail next to a puddle. Lunch?!

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Hiking through our last stretch of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
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Moss on an evergreen.

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Mountain Goat braiding My Shadow’s hair.

The trail in sections is muddy. Very muddy. Mountain Goat nearly looses her shoe. Flowers are in bloom though. Little white a purple ones that line the trail making it look like layers of fresh fallen snow.

The trail is super muddy and wet. Mountain Goat and me stop to brew some tea and dry our feet out. We hike the last few miles barefoot letting the mud ooze between our toes.

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The Davenport Gap shelter. It’s the last shelter of the Smokies.
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This shelter is blocked by chain to keep bears out. Many shelters here were chained off, but stupid people would feed bears through the chain links. Great idea right? Hungry bear outside and your trapped inside?
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Drying shoes by the fire. Careful. Someone burnt their shoes…
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Mountain Goat writing her nightly journal entry.

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