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Album: journal:20070419

19 Apr: Day 69
Start Destination Daily Miles / Total
Beechflat Creek ?? 19.2 today / 863.2 total

It seems the Parkway is still closed or at least parts of it are. There was traffic but it was maintenance vehicles. I'm glad the worst of the wind is over.

A good start plus fairly easy hiking means decent miles for the day. Some of the trail was annoying in that it seemed abandoned. It must get very little traffic.

It took most of the day to get to Balsam Gap which is a deep pass through the mountains. A railroad and US 23/74 use the gap to cross the mountains. The problem it presented me was no place to camp. I had filled up on water but didn't find a level spot anywhere so I continued up the other side. I hadn't wanted to do that because the map gave the impression of scarce camping opportunities because of terrain and private property. On top of all this there had been rain in the area.

At the Orchards Overlook the MST left the BRP and jumped onto a gravel road. I was getting desperate for a place to stay and was checking out the few homes for signs of life. The sun was behind a ridge, the winds kicking up, and a dark rain cloud was growing. I kept thinking back to that rainstorm I was caught in outside of Boone. Fortunately this time after about a mile of hiking up the twisty mountain road there was a ridge extending out from one of the curves and it was flat on top. I ducked off the road and got about 20 feet before I saw a silver pickup watching me from the road. I have no what kind of land this is and all I need is some jackass to call the police. We stared at each other for awhile before the truck moved off. I walked as far from the road as I could.

It got cold quick tonight. I'm glad to be sleeping almost 1500 feet lower. The wind died down and no rain yet. Lets hope it stays that way.

Over the last two days I just about halved the distance remaining. In two more days I'll probably be in Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Album created by album from D. Madison's Marginal HacksSun Apr 8 12:17:12 2018

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