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Hiking, Shining Rock Wilderness, Southeast / 26.09.2011

Sept 23, 2011 Slept in the back of the van last night at the parking for the trailhead for Old Butt Knob trail. Rained all night. In the morning I cooked breakfast in the rain, but the rain cleared before I started hiking. Old Butt Knob trail is not as tough as Green Mountain trail, but it does have some very steep sections along a narrow rocky ridge. The sky became absolutely clear blue with a few clouds blanketing some lower mountains and valleys. Just as quickly the clouds moved...

Hiking, Shining Rock Wilderness, Southeast / 16.09.2011

September 9, 2011 - Friday Night Along a dark stretch of road next to Lake Logan I slowed as I approached a car that had run into a ditch. I stopped to ask whether anyone was hurt and I quickly saw that the only "hurt" was the "hurt" that a bottle of liquor can put on a person. This guy and his girlfriend were otherwise okay. He obviously didn't want 911 involved. I told him that I couldn't pull his car out of the ditch and I moved on. Most cars that...

Hiking, Smoky Mountains, Southeast / 23.07.2011

July 15th 2011 - Friday In order to get an early start on Saturday morning, I drove to the Fontana Hilton trail shelter late Friday evening. It was just after midnight when I arrived. I parked, grabbed my sleeping pad and bag, and walked down the path to this double-wide shelter. A lady told me that a Boy Scout troop and others were there. Some had dragged their sleeping bags out into the gravel area around the shelter and were sleeping under the clouds. It looked like a good...

Cycling / 04.06.2011

Last night's camping spot was undoubtedly the best of the trip. The combination of the creek and 4200 foot elevation kept it cool. It had access by trail: no pushing through undergrowth like many others. The whole issue of finding a suitable and level campsite where I would not be disturbed has been a continuing issue on this trip. Although many people bicycle tour the Parkway, rustic camping provisions are non-existent. Compare campsites on the Silver Comet Trail and the Appalachian trail. Bike campers are left to fend...