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April 15, 2004


The kids called this afternoon around 1:30, they were having lunch at the Brown Fork Shelter1. They spent last night in Sassafras Gap Shelter2, as they hiked into 6 inches of snow! They plan to continue to the Cable Gap Shelter3 today, and spend the night in the tent near there. Ruth expects that they'll cruise through Fontana Dam tomorrow.

Dad says these last few days have been the meanest so far, with huge elevation changes, "you just spend forever going up."

April 13137.9 miles (elevation: -2110 ft.)
146.9 miles (elevation: +2590 ft.)
1516 miles (elevation: -1450 ft.)

Day 13

They started at Tellico Gap4, and hiked to the Nantahala Outdoor Center5, where they spent the night (267 ft/mile down).

Day 14

Dad said the shelter last night was packed. It was cold, and there was snow on the ground - so a shelter (with 2 decks) that was built to hold 12 spent the night crammed with 19 sleeping bodies.

They reached the shelter around 2:30pm, but the distance hiked covered a climb of 2590 ft. - that's ~375 feet/mile UP! Ouch!

Day 15 - today

They hiked out of the snow today, and into 70 ° weather. Ruth said it was bizarre to hike into the snow yesterday, especially since from where they were calling from today, the weather was warm and sunny again! They're going to push 16 miles today (they'd already hiked 9.1 miles when they called), since it's mostly (finally!) downhill.

Blister Adventures and Hiking Health

Noël wanted a butt blister update - turns out I had the story a little backwards. Dad cut the labels and loops and gorp off the back of his waistband AFTER he got the blister, not before. Mea culpa. In any case, he said after cutting the labels off and putting some moleskin over the blister for a few days, it stopped bothering him (he also apparently has a little callous there now, and just makes sure he hikes his pants up enough before he puts the pack on ;-)).
He also mentioned that his knees are feeling much better - so I suppose those insoles did the trick. ;-)

Ruth is apparently still having some blister issues, though not as seriously as before, it's more likely an issue of getting everything to heal right considering she's walking just about every day. Chris reminded me about his early post on lacing techniques that might help her mitigate the problem - we'll have to remember to take the info with us to Indiana for the resupply/wedding trip.


1 Brown Fork Shelter (3800 ft.) - 150.1 miles

2 Sassafras Gap Shelter (4330 ft.) - 141.0 miles

3 Cable Gap Shelter (2880 ft.) - 156.2 miles

4 Tellico Gap (3,850 ft.) - 126.2 miles

5 Nantahala Outdoor Center, Nantahala River (~1740 ft.) - 134.1 miles

Posted by erin . Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 . 03:38 PM, MDT .


  1. Terrific pictures!
    Thank you for the one of my husband.

    Posted by M.Fast . Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 . 11:15 PM, MDT . #
  2. Hi, M.Fast
    We saw Homeboy, a rookie hiker our first day out on Springer Mt. He has become a hard core AT hiker..!!
    We travelled for about a week at the same pace. He has since become a man with a mission!!! We hope we will see him again in Damascus. A man of true wisdom and humility. We really enjoyed his company and wit. Let him know we are still checking out his register entries and are wishing him safe journey.

    Posted by ruth . Friday, 23 Apr 2004 . 05:13 PM, MDT . #
  3. if you run into hank/henry again, please
    tell him hi from karen and rand.

    Posted by karen kane . Friday, 30 Apr 2004 . 11:56 PM, MDT . #
  4. Spoke to Ruth today, she said Hank/Henry/Homeboy was still about a week ahead of them (especially after the three-day wedding break). But if she has the chance, she'll pass on your regards. ;-)

    Posted by Erin . Saturday, 1 May 2004 . 10:52 PM, MDT . #
  5. Homeboy plans on being in Damascus the evening of May 5th. He wants to pick up better rain gear. He's still enjoying the A.T.

    Posted by M.Fast . Tuesday, 4 May 2004 . 06:49 PM, MDT . #
  6. WAIT FOR US, HOMEBOY....!!!!
    hope to see you some time soon. We won't be in Damascus till sunday the 9th. We will catch you eventually. Wish him good hiking..!

    Posted by ruth . Thursday, 6 May 2004 . 07:58 PM, MDT . #