Not all who wander are lost

Day 1 Mountain Harbour Bed & Breakfast to Dennis Cove to Moreland Gap Shelter

  I’m at it again. Back on the Appalachian trail for my 2nd solo hike. 💪🏼. All in all, this hike wil be about 25 miles with 5437 ft ascent and 5067ft descent. The highest point along the route is at 4200 ft above sea level. 

  This hike has been planned for quite awhile. I was supposed to have completed it in April. As some of you know though, my son and I were in a car accident in March. With a broken hand and a messed up back, hiking 25 miles in the mountains (with a 30 pound pack) was not going to happen after a month’s time of healing. Fast forward to October and the hand is healed but back still gets tired some. I just didn’t want to miss my mountain time this year. 

Bed & Breakfast

I headed out Sunday morning to Roan Mountain area, TN to stay at a bed and breakfast that someone told me about 6 years ago. For 6 years, I have dreamed of these people’s breakfast because it is known all up and down the  Appalachian trail as the BEST breakfast spread on trail.  I decided to stay here for the night and start fresh Monday morning. I usually opt for a private room when I stay at these hostels but this time I stayed in the hostel which is like a bunk house for hikers. Multiple beds in a room and we all share a bathroom or two. It wasn’t bad. It, by far, was the cleanest hostel I have ever been in.  The wood floors in the loft area I stayed in literally shined. 

Loft Area

But breakfast…..  OMGoodness!  These folks had muffins, French toast (served with local syrup and pecans), tomato pie, egg soufflé, potatoes, all the meats, fruit, a beautiful braided pastry, breakfast quesadillas, biscuits, gravy, apple butter, coffees, teas, & juices. It was the finest spread I’ve seen except my momma’s holiday breakfast spread!  Let me repeat…. MOUNTAIN HARBOUR B&B if you need a beautiful place to stay on the mountains. Their private rooms looked very nice too if you aren’t into the $30 bed 🙂

Beautiful table settings
The owner’s mother telling us what
is for breakfast

While there, I met a flip flopper  (a hiker who started at the middle of the AT, hiked all the way to Maine, then went back to the beginning in Georgia and will hike back to the middle). His name is Waterboy. Quiet guy with plans to do the PCT trail when he finishes this. Also met Sarge. Ex-Marine who is out here to, as they say, loose his mind and find his soul. Sounds like he has been a mentor to different people on the trail who failed to test gear out at home before coming out here.  This morning at breakfast, met a couple from Missouri. They gave me their real names but she described themselves as June Cleaver & Evil Knievel and now that’s all I remember!  They are about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary!  Congratulations Ms Cleaver and Mr Knievel. 

  The owner of MH, Dave (an ex marine, California native) shuttled me to my starting point at Dennis Cove.

my starting point

I started hiking south and stopped a short 6.4 miles at my first campsite. It’s kind of early but I was afraid if I hiked on I’d be stuck between good sites to hunker down. I had a fire, ate dinner, and hit the sleeping pad by 8pm. 

random building on trail
Part of the trail
Gorgeous views
There are groups & individuals that take care of the trail by clearing downed trees and picking up after others.
Night 1 dinner & cook system

  It was a good night. The frogs sang to me all night, no bears stopped to say hi, and it didn’t rain. However, I did figure out I probably wasn’t ready to venture back out to sleep on a thin air mattress again so soon. 

Day 2 Moreland Gap Shelter to Walnut Mountain

Waking up on a hard ground when your’e over 45, might be ok for some but this lady says it’s for the birds. At least this time around. I was apprehensive about taking this trip anyhow since my accident was just 6 months ago. So much could go wrong and there aren’t a lot of rescue points. I had a scare last night as I was walking for water. The source was 100 yards down hill and I slipped on a small stick that rolled under my feet. Luckily, I went down gracefully and didn’t cause any damage. 

Today I had my coffee (instant) and some delicious oatmeal (pour water in it to set) to start my day. I stopped every hour to take off my pack and rest. 

The views were gorgeous. You’ll see pictures but without feeling the breeze and hearing the stillness, it’s hard to for you to get the full feeling of it. 

This spot had a memorial bench at it. A perfect place to rest and appreciate the beauty.
You can see my Garmin InReach SOS device and my Damsel in Defense alarm on my shoulder strap
Lots of odds mushrooms out today!
Water Source on the trail
Thru hikers headed SOBO (south bound) will have already hiked 1800 miles at this point.

After walking about 7 more miles today, I was at my last bail out point before committing to the rest of the hike. 

 I decided that I’d seen beautiful views, pretty water falls, and recharged enough that sleeping on the ground one more night wasn’t necessary. So I called in the Calvary (a local shuttle) to come get me. 

I’m now back at the hostel chilling for the night. 

Post hike pizza… yum!!

It’s been another great experience. I’m glad I came. I’m also glad I know my body’s limits and know when to push or when to be sensible. 

All in all, it was 14.3 mile hike, 45,000 steps, and one night on the ground. 

Till we meet again, Appalachian Trail. It just might be in my camper next time 🤣

Stay Peachy, friends!

-Charity (or as my new trail friends, who have given me a trail name call me- Peachy!)

Recipes used by the B&B