July 8, 2015

Today was my first day on the Mountains to Sea Trail. My dad and I dropped my car off at Sam Knob Trail and drove the two hours to the parking lot at the base of Clingmans Dome. We hiked up the half mile paved trail to the lookout tower, and the view was great, obviously, but I was so ready to GO. I'll say one thing about the MST: it's easy to think you just might be on the wrong trail. After a very strenuous 4 miles, including a lot of "Are you SURE the sign said the go right" and "There's an AT blaze so this SHOULD be right," we made it to the shelter. There were several people already there, a few that were out for the week and a few that were finishing up a 200-mile section of the AT. The shelter was such a luxury - no messing with tarps or worrying about rain, plus there was a privy with real live actual toilet paper. The guys there were great, another father-daughter duo, a couple, two army guys, and a slew of college dudes (hi, Janky Tortoise! hi Lumberjack! hi Sharkbait!) that I stayed up talking with. They told me my trail name was Nerd since I brought a book that I'd already twice along, but it's not very catchy... we'll see. I don't know, I'm here. It's cold. I'm happy.