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Katahdin to Kakadjo Road ME October 3-9, 2018 din

4/20/2009 AT#4 TN Erwin to Damascus VA

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AT#4 TN Erwin to Damascus VA

with 2 Mile

Drove up early in morning and arrived at Erwin and had lunch at a local BBQ joint looking at Nolichucky River. This was an astute move because we bulked up!
Day one: 4/18 After fooling around with the shuttle arrangements we started at the Nolichucky River in Erwin and hiked north to Beauty Spot Gap. 11.1 miles almost all uphill. This ended up being a hard day. Day two: 4/19 Beauty Spot to Clyde Smith Shelter. 14.1 miles. One good up and down and lots of little ups. The shelter is old. Plenty of water and views.Day three: 4/20 Clyde Smith Shelter to Overmountian Shelter. 12.9 miles. Overmountian is an old red barn. Very popular and picturesque, often photographed. We initially set up tents but because of an approaching thunder storm went quickly to the shelter albeit crowded with hikers. The flooring on the second floor is poor so be careful picking your sleeping location. Be careful because the upstairs sucks. We listened to our delight a harmonica player who could play anything at will! Day four: 4/21 Overmountian Shelter to Mountaineer Shelter. 16.9 miles. This is a new shelter. Day five: 4/22 Mountaineer Shelter to Walnut Mtn We enjoyed the humps of Roan Mountain range except the cold windy hail storm (the last 6000 plus climb until the Whites).. 18 miles. Here we had the choice of two hostels. Kincora and Laurel Fork. We stayed at Kincora where we tent camped because the shelter was full. We shuttled from there (provided by Peebles) to get dinner and resupply.Met the legendary George Peebles who is famous on the AT. He filled me in on the Camino de Santiago which I later hiked in 2013 with my wife Nan. We later learned that a lot of hikers got sick with intestinal issues there. Glad we tent camped in the side yard! Day six: 4/23 Kincora to Vandeventer Shelter. 17.5 miles. Old shelter and water is done a steep .3 mile trail. Initially we hiked by the Laurel Fork River that has a beautiful Falls and cliff areas. We stupidly hiked past Jones Falls which was on high water off a spur trail which hikers later told us was fantastic. Vandeventer Shelter is in good shape with some closeby views.Day seven: 4/24 Vandeventer Shelter to Abington Gap Shelter. 22.7 miles Long ridge walk, but it gets us close to Damascus. This was a moderately hard hike past Watauga Lake where there is a steep climb the other side of the dam. The views hiking this ridge trail were amazing; you seem to follow the Lake forever. We stopped for a long break to talk to thru hikers at Watuaga Lake Shelter. Day eight: 4/25 Abington Gap to Damascus. 10 miles. Mostly flat and downhill to the state line monument (see pics)and then on to the AT gate in Damascus. See pics. We then took 2 Mile’s old Miata convertible for a ride thru Greyson and Floyd counties on the way home!
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