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  1. Apple Orchard Falls, Guillotine, Thunder Hill Shelter, and "The Guardian Frog"


    This was an outstanding hike. The parking at Sunset Field on the Blue Ridge Parkway is quite large, but also popular. Despite it being foggy, it was very crowded. The hike down to the falls is about 1.3 miles and well worth the descent down ~147 stars near the bottom. The falls are extremely tall and beautiful. You can walk right up to the base of them. There is an upper cascade a couple tenths of a mile before the platform at the end that is also ...
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  2. Day 22: Slack Packing Take 2

    Woke up at 6:45 to have a 7:30 start. Not too bad, but had to be done by 4pm to be picked up by the hotel, so wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to complete my 14 miles to Fontana Dam. Felt great not having to carry out that weight and was moving really well especially uphill. Saw my first real wild life (snakes donít count) 2 deer with really fluffy white tails. Iíve seen my fair share of deer before, but none like these. They ran off too quick for me to get a picture, but I googled it and ...

    Updated 04-14-2021 at 16:52 by aklarsen11

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  3. Day 21: Nice and Easy

    An ok night in the shelter. My sleeping bag is attached to the sleeping pad, which is usually nice because it keeps me from rolling off or sliding down. But last night I kept turning and constricting myself, so I would have to unzip my sleeping bag to untangle myself. Weird. I woke up before the girl next to me and since I was in no rush and would have to climb over her to get down the ladder I decided to watch a downloaded show on my phone. Eventually got my morning moving along and packed up and ...

    Updated 04-14-2021 at 16:47 by aklarsen11

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  4. Day 20: All Uphill

    Slept so well last night I didnít want to get up at all, but I made it back to the NOC by 9:30am. I only have 7 miles today, but over 6 miles of it is straight up hill. It sucked. I broke it up into 3 2 mile sections which helped. Made it to the shelter just before 3pm. My legs feel like noodles. Iím going to stay in the shelter tonight, so I donít have to set up my tent. Luckily, tomorrow is an easy day so I can take it nice and easy.

    Updated 04-14-2021 at 16:50 by aklarsen11

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  5. Day 19: All Downhill

    Had a good night in the shelter. Apparently I snored a little. 😊 It wasnít raining, thankfully, but looked like it could any minute. It was 11.5 miles to NOC, mostly downhill. So I was motivated to make it by lunch and get out of the rain. It didnít rain on me too bad and I made it by 2pm. Had a delicious burger over looking the rapids. Booked a night at Gorgeous Stays to get out of the bad weather. I stayed in a little converted camper that was so cute! 🥰 There was also a school ...
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