From Dutch Roth’s journal, Tales from the Woods:
MARKING THE A.T. AUGUST 18,1929
Many present-day hikers tramping through the Smokies on grade A trails have undoubtedly wondered what adventurer would travel a slippery stream and force his way through miles of wet briars, sleep on the bare earth, with the forest as his bedroom and wild creatures as neighbors.
The identity of these adventures could and would be us, on the Silers Bald trip of 1929. Besides a wild and woolly hike, we marked the A.T. between Buckeye Gap and Silers Bald.
After leaving the cars Saturday afternoon, August 17 we followed an old abandoned logging railway. It was very easy to get lost, since the old rail line branches many times. Oh well, if we got lost we could always follow a stream to the statel line. From there we could follow the state line to Silers. We were lucky; we made it to the end of the railroad bed, but it wasn’t easy, because the old roadbed was overgrown with a dense crop of briars that really could defend themselves with their long sticky thorns. I was glad when we left the railroad bed and started climbing the ridge to the state line. But we weren’t happy long, because then we had to fight the dogfennel, laurel, and rhododendron until we reached the top of the ridge.
We made camp in the woods under the trees, where we fixed our suppers. By this time we were all hungry and tired. Even the hard ground felt good to us as we rolled up in our blankets. Our only lights were candle lanterns. Our poncho over the top of us kept the dew off while we slept.
Sunday, August 18, we hiked on out the A.T. and marked the trail between Silers and Buckeye Gap. I nailed the markers as high as l could to make them clear to see and also help keep the bears as well as the two legged animals from tearing them down.
Used with permision of the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Collection, University of Tennessee Libraries.