Today was all about the miles

I made it through the Smokie Mountains uneventfully which is the way we hikers like it. I had beautiful weather for all of my six day passage except last night’s storm at 6000 plus elevation. I was nested safely in the shelter but even though it was a stone structure it vibrated with the rumbling and gusting wind. 

  

I completed two long days of hiking to get out early to be able to spend Easter with Bruce. The boys won’t be here though.  Today was an 18.3 mile day. My longest yet. I left camp at 6:45am with my barely light enough head lamp. The trail was more like a walk in a never ending stream that changed from mud pits, to rocky river beds. It was all about the miles today though. The landscape was clothed in a cloud hiding any view that may have been visible on a sunny day. That was fine with me. It didn’t slow me down with the need to take photos. One hiker I passed was meticulously photographing the ice crystals that formed on the trees. I didn’t even slow for that. I’ve seen enough snow and ice back home this winter. 

I caught up to 4 of my “new” favorite hikers, T, Jackson, Carl and Pops. It was awesome to see them. Jackson told me the other day, I had a nice vibe. What a nice complement. They are all hiking on today. I am meeting Bruce for a zero tomorrow. I actually got to the extraction point before he did. I am enjoying the sunshine that so nicely appeared this afternoon to finish off today’s hike. 

Happy Hiking everyone

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.