After my visit to the E.R. after the Benton Mackaye Trail, the doctor very sternly told me to “not hike for 4 weeks.” Even though I am as stubborn as they come, I followed her orders and have not hiked. That’s very hard for me to do, especially when springtime is upon us. As of the writing of this post, the partial Achilles tear and rolled ankle have completely healed and I am ready for the year’s adventures.
On this rainy and stormy Saturday, my mind has turned to setting goals for the rest of 2018. In no discernible order, my challenges center on family orientated hiking and accomplishing some long sought trails.
1) South Beyond 6000 – I have summited 38 of the 40 peaks over 6,000 feet in North Carolina (and Tennessee). This June, my buddy Johnny and I will go to the Smoky’s to grab Luftee Knob and Big Cataloochee. Shoutout to Johnny for completing his first thru-hike, the Foothills Trail last week!
2) Bartram Trail – I’ve talked a lot about thru-hiking the 111-mile Bartram Trail from Georgia to Cheoah Bald in North Carolina. This fall (Sept. or Oct.), my brother-in-law Doug and I will hike the whole trail.
3) The Great Smoky Mountain National Park 900 – I won’t be able to accomplish hiking all the trails of the Smoky’s this year, since we live so far away now (3.5 hours), but I will try to go there at least once a month.
4) North Carolina State Park Challenge – North Carolina is a lush, wondrous state with abundant natural diversity. Spanning the state are 40 different State Parks & Natural Areas (and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail) from the coast to the highest summit. This is the event that I am most excited about this year. The family will be involved with every visit and we will see parts of the state that we have never visited with lots of car camping, boating, hiking, and picnics. This is a change from the normal mountain hiking, but it’s sure to expose our girls to our beloved state.