START: Double Springs Shelter, TN
FINISH: Cherry Gap Shelter, TN or NC
DISTANCE: 89 miles (143.2 km)
DAILY AVERAGE: 29.7 miles (47.7 km)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 1824.1 (2935 km)
The Boys from Double Springs: A shout out to River Dog, Fungi & Snowman, whom I met at Double Springs shelter and later hiked with much of the way to Kincora Hostel. Good guys and strong hikers all. Best of luck for the rest of the AT………don’t take too long off for the festive season!
The AT meets the Mediterranean: My latish arrival at the relatively packed, for December that is, Double Springs shelter gave rise to thoughts of what it must be like for hikers during peak season on the AT. I have occasionally chuckled at stories of how some hikers will race to shelters in order to ‘get in early’ and lay claim to sleeping space. Not long after their objective has been realized, other walkers inevitably arrive and by the time the sun has begun to set, you often have a bunch of snoring, smelly hikers packed in tighter than sardines. Sort of reminds me of pot-bellied German tourists in speedos, wobbling down to rocky Mediterranean resort beaches at bird’s fart AM, in a mad rush to lay out their towels on the sun loungers, which they won’t actually be utilizing until some hours later.
Kincora: In the middle of nowhere Virginia lies a hiker oasis by the name of Kincora Hostel. Owned and run by the amazing Bob Peoples, the endearingly rustic Kincora has played host to some 19,000 Appalachian Trail hikers and counting! A big thanks to Bob and his occasional sidekick, ‘Baltimore’ Jack, for their wonderful hospitality and engaging conversation. I think I must have downed five cups of coffee during our lengthy breakfast chat……….I was peeing like a racehorse the rest of the day!