3 Days on the AT

3:42 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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Doing about 36 miles on the AT from Hot Springs NC down to Davenport Gap next week (or maybe northbound, depending on ride/shuttle situation).  This will be my first solo overnight outing.  Hoping for decent weather and cooler temps.  Will report back upon return. 

3:58 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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Nice section Jamie.

If you go sobo the best place to leave a vehicle is the Big Creek Ranger station in the Smokies and will need to walk either the 2.1 mile Chestnut Branch trail or the Waterville Road to connect that parking lot with the AT. I would highly advise against parking under the bridge at the Waterville exit 451 on I40 as tempting as it looks when you get there.

Max Patch is the highlight of that section and you can camp on top but there is no water up there and it’s not convenient to find a bathroom spot. There are a few tree covered spots north of the bald though and that would be ideal even though it’s a short trudge out to the open bald.

If it were cooler outside I would advise going nobo so you could end the trip with a soak in the mineral water at the Hot Springs Resort.

It’s not on the older AT data set that I have but there are some really nice camps on top of Bluff MTN…again no water but if you fill up before getting there no worries.

6:34 p.m. on July 31, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks Patman! My current plan is to drive into Hot Springs, stay the night at Laughing Heart Hostel on Tuesday and get going early Wednesday morning (thus heading south) and leaving my car there.  I'd get a ride back to my car later in the day on Friday. That could all change though.  I want to be able to take my time, covering only about 12 miles per day, give or take, depending on where I decide to camp. Just as a mileage gauge, I was planning for Hot Springs to Walnut Mtn Shelter for night one, to Groundhog Creek Shelter night 2, and then down to Davenport Gap where I'd meet my ride at 32. Appreciate your insight and welcome any more.

November 18, 2017
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