View Full Version : Picking the collective brain again

2006-05-02, 22:28
Hi, Guys!

I was a looking for a solid replacement for a long-planned 7 day hike+two travel days in April. My hiking buddy decided to hike 3.5 days, then head for a seminar. That was when I wrote in asking about advie for getting around in April to Springer from the Atlanta airport, etc.

I defaulted to the previously planned trip, hiking on my own after my buddy left, if I chose at that time. We did hike from Pine Grove Furnace SP to the Doyle in Duncannon in the 3.5 days. I was thinking of continuing, but for a lot of reasons, headed home. It probably was a good idea, as I had taken a nasty spill on the third day, whacking my head pretty hard, no visible damage to the involved rocks. Rocks: 2/Rosaleen: 0. Withing a few hours of arriving home, I noticed I was developing two lovely shiners. OOPS! Classic signs of concussion. Fortunately, I am a true hard-headed Irish redhead and am well on the mend.

In fact, I have been planning another chapter in my saga of periodic "running away from home."

One of my nephews is getting married in Huntsville, AL, a few days after school lets our up here in MA. I'm thinking of flying down to Huntsville for the weekend and family stuff, hitching a ride up to Cincinnati with one brother and heading for Dayton to see my parents, then finding a way to Greyhound in Cincy (Two hour layover if I start from Dayton), hopping a bus to Knoxville, getting public transportation as close to the Smokies as possible, and starting hiking south from Fontana about July 2.

Another hiker friend is planner her wedding for July 15 at Walasi-Yi (Neels Gap, IIRC) and I'd like to drag my sorry butt there a day ahead of it.

Yet another hiker friend (sister of my heart) and I will go someplace, maybe the Smokies, for part of her vacation. She will either drop me back on or near the trail so I can hike some more, or at an airport to head home. I wouldn't mind knocking out Neels to Springer, just to have that done. I will probably go home sometime between July 24 and August 1. (Lucky for me the kids are grown and I don't HAVE to take a summer job this year.)

Problems I see-

It will be hot, D**M HOT! I may need to have help from someone caching water, if the predicted drought comes to pass. I will also have to fight to stay hydrated and keep electrolytes balanced. Some ladies I crossed paths with in the Smokies last summer were from near Knoxville or at least somewhere in Tennessee, IIRC. They had some "Dead Hiker Pills" that they swore by, purchased at a local health food store. I belileve they were mostly Potassium and magnesium. I have not found them on the Internet. Has anyone heard of these? Know where to buy? I carry Emergen-C, but I may need more.

Getting from Knoxville to Fontana-I have not had much luck determining where I can get to on KAT, Knoxville's public transportation. I think I will try to call them to see if I can get more info. We have a rather nice MS Streets and Trips program that shows where the MARTA train stops are in Atlanta, but KAT is not showing up in Knoxville on this program. In case I can't get deep info from KAT, does anyone have an idea of how close I can get to, say, Maryville? Can anyone here recommend a reasonable shuttle option to Fontana if I can get as far out to the southeast as possible on KAT or another bus? (I started looking at renting a car to drive from Dayton to the Knoxville area, not reasonable.)

Anyone care to hike any part of the July 4 weekend Fontana-south? I'm looking to take the first day easy, as I will probably hop a bus at 1 AM in Cincinnati, then be travelling most of the next 13 hours or more. there is a campsite maybe 3-5 miles south. That should fill the first day. After that, I'm looking at 12-16 m/day. Ouch! I should put new batteries in my headlamp and hope the trails is easy to spot...

Hubby would refer to my plan as a death march. I'm looking at it as my one chance in a decade to cover this chunk of trail.

Advice/input is appreciated. A list of non-commercial but reliable shuttles would be REALLY appreciated.


2006-05-02, 22:47
A list of non-commercial but reliable shuttles would be REALLY appreciated. Rosaleen


This link will get you access to shuttles which, if not non-commercial, are at least specific as to location.

You will need to register a username to access the page( if you don't already have one ).

Good Luck!

2006-05-03, 00:15
Thanks. I guess that I need to register there, too.


2006-05-03, 01:27
i used to live in knoxville (95-02).

as far as i remember, KAT runs out TOWARD maryville as far as the airport, but doesn't actually go TO maryville... and you still have about 15 miles after that to get to the smokies.

might be better off taking a greyhound to gatlinburg (if they go there still) and then hitch a ride up 441 or whatever it is (newfound gap road) to the AT.

2006-05-03, 02:04
Emergen-C should take care of any electrolyte losses you might have.
Lots of people over-do the sports drinks, salt pills, or etc. or treat them as a wonder drug. While they are a good thing to have in hot weather you normally only need to use them once a day (or in extreme circumstances twice). Most of what your body needs replaced it gets from the foods that you eat.

The main thing you need to do is keep yourself hydrated.
Carry plenty of water and sip on it as you go.
DO NOT RATION DRINKING WATER, rationing only leads to worse problems.

2006-05-03, 07:57
Thanks, Seeker-

Gatlinburg is not recognized as a stop on the Greyhound site. Still digging...


2006-05-09, 19:46
I'm back, again. This trip thing has taken of a life of its own. At least it keeps me off the streets, what with the research and all...

I am going to stop in at a local garage or two and see if I can pay the mechanic to look over my '96 pick up truck (~92,000 mi) very carefully and give me his opinion as to whether or not he'd put his mother in it for a LOOONG trip. (I hope he has a good relationship with his mom!!) For a LOT of reasons, I'm leaning towards taking my truck on this Alabama to the lower AT to Ohio, etc., trip. I have some friends who may be able to hook up for some hiking and some shuttling. I will probably also post to the HammockCamping list, but if any of you guys here will be south of the Smokies in late June to early July and want to hook up for some trail time, give me a shout. I'm always up for some gear show and tell and "campfire stories."



2006-05-10, 12:24
i may be in knoxville visiting in early july... if so, i'll be camping while my wife visits friends... we're trying to figure out how to turn two weeks off into a trip to knoxville to visit friends, NY to visit two sets of relatives, and have some time left as a family to do at least one thing together... i'll let you know the specifics once we figure it out, if we end up going to TN.

2006-05-10, 22:14

It sounds as if you will be far more pressed for time than I. If I'm lucky, I'll be a day or two out of Dick's Creek Gap around July 4. I may come up for air, and other than my nephew's wedding, nothing is actually cast in stone, time wise. I will tailor my plans at least partially to what the collective friends who can meet need to do.




SGT Rock
2006-05-12, 03:09
Dang, y'all have some fun. I wish I could be back there this summer enjoying the mountains too.

I'll see you up in those mountains next year though!

2006-05-12, 07:46
I imagine everyone here wishes you would be able to join us this summer, as well. It would mean you were home...

Stay safe, Friend!