Day 16 – Winter Wonderland

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” – Carl Reiner

Miles hiked 12.1. Total miles 206.8

Went to sleep to rain… Woke up to snow! Getting packed up this morning was something else. The tent was very wet. A couple of stops ago I bought a piece of plastic to put under the tent – it was a great decision.

No time to eat or even drink this morning. In other words it was time to walk, it was time to get warm.

It was truly a winter wonderland out there. And if it had not made my feet freeze, it would have been perfect. But I’m walking in trail runners that are not waterproof, so the wet comes through.

But much of the day it was postcard perfect as far as views. The trail was still very wet and slushy – making it very slippery.

It was snowing at 7 AM when I  got up and never stopped throughout the day. I stayed pretty warm throughout the day with the exception of my hands and feet. The latex gloves over my gloves help tremendously to keep my hands dry.

Unfortunately with the snow the views were not there today. And of course today was the day we hiked the tallest mountain on the Appalachian Trail.

Clingman’s Dome is 6612 feet tall and at the top of the mountain is this monstrosity. A mile or two down there’s a large parking space that allows people to walk up the mountain to the structure. It has a walkway that circles around to allow people to get to the viewing platform.

The wind was fierce at the time, but to the top I went.

Here is a picture of the walkway going up to the top of the viewing platform.

The rest of the day was just making it to Newfoundland Gap to get into Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg means hot water, hot coffee and a hot meal.

This wonderful family from Michigan who were on vacation gave us a hitch into Gatlinburg. I’m telling you the trail angels and the trail magic have been outstanding this trip. I’ve met such great people.

The kids were doing a scavenger hunt that their mom had printed off for them and they had to find things along the way in order to check it off. One of the things was a hitchhiker! They did not have to stop to check off the box, but lucky for me they did!

Two more facts that I want to point out. I have crossed over into Tennessee and am now back in North Carolina.  The trail will weave back-and-forth between the states for some miles. Also just a mile after Clingmans Dome I  passed the 200 mile mark!

Finding me some red meat tonight for dinner,

8 thoughts on “Day 16 – Winter Wonderland

  1. Hope you are warm and dried out. The snow would have done me in. Congrats on hitting 200 miles. You are a girl on fire!!!

  2. What about the rest of your team? Did they hitch with you or find their own ride? Maybe waterproof boots would have been a good idea!

  3. U R Meetinga lot of nice people. Do you still prefer your foursome? Do you read much at night or are U 2 tired?

  4. We were so happy to help, and it was a pleasure to meet you! Thanks for being our personal photographer for a few stops down the mountain and into Gatlinburg. Definitely a fun and interesting part of our road trip. 🙂 All the best on the rest of your journey!!!!

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