Day 17 Double Spring Gap Shelter to Pecks Corner Shelter (20.7 miles) 217.1 total miles
Double Spring Shelter has 2 springs. One in NC and other in TN. The trail follows the border for a long way.
Steep hike in fog and wind to Clingman’s Dome this AM. At elevation of 6667 feet, this is the highest point on Appalachian Trail. Too foggy, unfortunately, to see anything from up there.
There is a parking area with gift shop one half mile from Done and trail. I was excited to be able to walk down there to get a candy bar, coke, and use restroom. Was there at 9:30. Doesn’t open until 10. Long walk back up hill!
Yesterday’s changing forest floor (grass, flowers) was on south side of mtn. Today, on north side, it is extremely mossy. Moss growing on everything, including other moss.
Next 2 pics are of root systems of large trees that have tipped over. I can guarantee you they make sound waves when they fall, even if no one is here. Notice large boulder entwined in roots of second tree.
I had seen in guide book that I was coming up on 2 “wild hog containment bridges”. There is an area with lots of native species that has been fenced off to protect from wild hogs. Only fence I’ve seen. The bridges are for hikers to get across fence. Walk up one side, down the other.
Finished first half of day’s hike at Newfound Gap. It’s off a major highway to Gatlinburg, TN and has a large parking area for day hikers. As soon as I reach lot I hear “Thru-hiker, want some food.” 3 different people providing trail magic together. It was like Easter buffet. Pulled pork sandwiches, deviled eggs, salad, candy, etc. One of the providers was Yard Dart who I had also seen just before Fontana.
Notice last line on sign. Someone thinks they’re really funny!
First day of 20+ miles. I’m beat.