Sunday, 4/12

AT Miles = 11.0 / 282.8
Other Miles = 0.2 / 14.9
Total Miles = 11.2 / 297.7


Most of the crew of hikers I have been with lately, left Hot Springs this morning. We had a nice breakfast at Elmer's, then headed through town, aqcross the French Broad River on the road bridge, hopped over the guard rail and headsed out along the river. It was a perfect Easter Sunday; warm and sunny and calm. The trail climbed steeply up the hill and gave us some great views back to Hot Springs nestled in its valley. A few miles into the hike the trail crossed a forest service road and there were three women wearing rabbit ears on their heads giving apples and Easter candy to all the hikers.

I had only 11 milkes to cover today so took it easy and enjoyed the fine weather. I took the side trail to the Rich Mountain Fire tower and a few minutes later Sir Richard showed up and we spent at least an hour up on the tower enjoying the views, eating lunch, and chatting about this and that.

We hiked the rest of the afternoon together and arrived at Spring Mountain Shelter in mid-[afternoon. The shelter is an old one and was not at all inviting, but there was a nice spot up on the ridge where Sir Richard set up his tent and I hung my hammock.

After dinner we spent some time chatting with some locals that were there camping for the weekend, and we shared their campfire.

A really nice, relaxing day.

Allen Freeman