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Tag Archives: AT Hikers

High Season for AT Hikers

High Season for AT Hikers

Three Young Hikers
Three Young Hikers

If you follow this blog, you know that I enjoy volunteering to help shuttle Appalachian Trail hikers between Gatlinburg and the Trail. I love to get up early, pick up the hikers at their hotel, and head up the mountain. Everyone has a story, and they are all happy to be off on their adventure. It’s fun to see them head down the trail, sometimes in rain or fog, sometimes in snow, but always in high spirits.

This is the high season for Appalachian Trail hikers. The “through hikers” have started in Geogia and are attempting to make it all the way to Mt. Katahdin in Maine before cold weather sets in. See the sign below … 1972 miles to go before the trail ends in Maine!  There are also many “sectional hikers” who are doing segments of the trail, and many of these hikers have a goal of completing the entire trail, one section at a time.

This week I have made two early morning runs up the mountain, both to help out folks doing sectional hikes. The three gentlemen in the photo above are from Houston, and they started in Georgia with a 5-week time allotment. They will complete the entire 70-mile traverse of the Smoky Mountains, plus some more.  The couple below have been Appalachian Trail hikers working on their sections for 15 years, and are nearly complet. This was their first hike in the Smoky Mountains.

Whether you’re a serious hiker or a vacationer in the Gatlinburg area, please consider a trek out to the William Britten Gallery. I’m located on Glades Rd along the historic Arts and Crafts Loop.  My complete display of photography from the Smoky Mountains is on display. There just might be a special memory of the Smokies for you to take home.

Another Section Hike
Another Section Hike
AT Hiking Adventures

AT Hiking Adventures

Gary, Rachel, Lisa and Blake
Gary, Rachel, Lisa and Blake

Readers of this blog know that I enjoy volunteering to help Appalachian Trail hikers shuttle between Gatlinburg and the trail. Most of these folks have spent a lot of time planning and dreaming of their adventure, and it warms my heart to assist them in some small way.

This week I was scheduled to give a ride to the family pictured above. Lisa was in quest of a Girl Scout badge, and her family joined in on a hike to LeConte Lodge and then on to one of the back-country shelters.  The group gathered at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, and ran into Candy and Wendy, pictured below. They were former college pals, also headed up the trail to LeConte for a special time together.

As always when you take a break from hiking, the welcome mat is out at the William Britten Gallery along the historic Arts and Crafts Loop on Glades Rd in Gatlinburg.  All of my Smoky Mountains landscape photos are on display in lots of sizes, framed and unframed, and magnets cards and mugs too.

Candy and Wendy
Candy and Wendy
End of another Smoky Mountains Day

End of another Smoky Mountains Day

Smoky Mountains Sunset
Smoky Mountains Sunset © William Britten use with permission only

I made a late-evening run up to Newfound Gap to deliver a hiker to the Appalachian Trail. This was Moises (pictured below), who had called me from Chicago. It was his first AT hike, and he’d been on a bus since 4:00am!  As darkness was fast approaching, we decided to ride a few miles out Clingmans Dome Rd to get him a little closer to the nearest shelter. I dropped Moises off at Indian Gap, and continued on to Clingmans Dome to see if there might be an opportunity for a sunset photo. Nothing but fog up there, but on the way back down a coyote ran out in front of me. I pulled to a stop, and we stared at each other before he bolted into the brush, before I could get my camera.

Coming down off Newfound Gap the prospects for a sunset looked a little better, so I pulled over just below Mortons Overlook and walked back up to where the construction crew has taken over this choice view location. I set up my tripod next to a couple of other photographers, and we all enjoyed a very pretty end of the day.

Sunset after a clearing storm
Sunset after a clearing storm © William Britten use with permission only

If you are on a Smoky Mountains vacation, please come out to the William Britten Gallery on Glades Rd. I’m on the historic Arts and Crafts Trail, in Morning Mist Village. The Gallery has my complete display of Smoky Mountains photos.

Moises ready for the trail
Moises ready for the trail
Appalachian Trail Hiker

Appalachian Trail Hiker

Appalachian Trail Hiker
Ulli on the Appalachian Trail

Say hello to Ulli. I gave him a ride from Gatlinburg up to the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap early this morning. Ulli is a television producer from Berlin. His plan is to hike for 10 days, then come out of the woods and make it somehow up to New York City where one of his productions has been nominated for an Emmy. Ulli has climbed in the Andes and the Alps, and now he’s off for a stroll on the Appalachian Trail.  Good luck Ulli!

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