Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 27: Davenport Gap Shelter

Hello loyal followers, it's Breeze.

Tonight marks our last night in the Smoky Mountain National Park. While this park and I may have had our differences in the past, we came to an understanding this time around, and I have really grown to love it here. Everything about the past few days can only be described as beautiful. The northern half of the park and the southern half of the park are like two different worlds. Once Wendy and I climbed over 5,500 feet, the vegetation transitioned from rhododendrons and oaks to evergreen pines and furs. The forest floor morphed from dry, dusty leaves to soft moss, pine needles, and ferns. Everything in the woods became a soft and inviting hue of green. The forest just felt so alive. The change in vegetation also brought on some of the most wonderful fragrances I have ever smelled. The northern Smoky Mountains are home to the freshest air I have ever encountered. And did I mention the views! As Wendy stated yesterday, I will allow the pictures to do most of the talking, even though the pictures never do the views justice. For miles, we walked along a knife's edge of a ridge, with views on both sides. Today, Wendy and I pounded out 14.8 miles is less than 6 hours! The threat of thunderstorms was all we needed for motivation.

I loved everything about the northern side of the Smoky Mountain National Park. The views, the sights, and the smells have made it my favorite place so far in my 230 mile journey. As you might can tell, I'm already feeling pretty nostalgic. For anyone that hasn't been, please consider section hiking the AT from Clingman's dome to Davenport Gap. You will not be disappointed. Charlie's bunion alone is worth the hike!!

Now that I've told you about the Smoky Mountains, let me tell you about us! There's only one thing you really need to know: we are hungry! In camp, all the thru hikers talk about food. I dream about food at night. No amount of food ever feels like enough. Once we get into camp, we sit around and make ourselves wait till 5:30 to eat dinner so we can make it through the night. Wendy and I already settled on our first meal once we hit civilization: a large Big Mac with a large fry, a large McFlurry and two apple pies. Can't wait!

See you down the trail!


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