Day 1 on trail
*Interact with unpleasant park ranger who informs us we will NOT be walking on the AT (appalacian trail) because we didn't book spots in the shelters 15 years in advance. We may however (lucky us) walk somewhere else in the park as long as we fill out an itenerary so they know where we are at all times. Variation from set itenerary may result in $5,000 fine.
*We fill out form saying we'll be hiking on the lakeshore trail in North Carolina, doing about 10 miles a day.
*Head to AT just to spite park ranger
*Have lunch on AT, then proceed to Bryson City to get on Lakeshore trail.
*Walk for 2 hours, get lost.
*Swear at map
*Find each other again
*Nearly fall in lake, then ford the River Wild
*Copious amounts of profanity ensue
*Set up camp seconds before nightfall in the damn creepiest place I have EVER spent the night.
*Sleep like crap due to nightmares and very lumpy ground
*Break camp, get the hell out of Dodge
*Walk for several hours in what we assume must be the right direction
*Find compass in stream
*See black bear
*Walk a few more hours up damn steep hills
*Take a break
*Wonder where the camp site we were supposed to find is
*Swear at Map
*Walk some more
*Get horribly sunburned
*Give up on camp site a few hours before dark and just set up on the only flat spot in a 10 mile radius
*Worry about $5,000 fines
*Start a fire, attempt to dry out
*Run around mostly naked
*Sleep much better out in the middle of nowhere than at previous established campsite
*Worry about car back at trailhead
*Decide we have no idea where we are and head back
*Swear at Map
*Get back to creepy campsite around 1 or 2
*Sun comes out with a firey vengeance
*Walk uphill for 2 hours
*Have near nervous breakdown
*Keep walking anyhow
*Finally get out of the damn woods
*Windshield wiper falls off
*Drive to a pay campground
*Use real toilets and see selves in mirror for first time in 3 days
*Discover that I have seriously infected skin on my shoulders
*Sleep okay considering bumpy ground
*Drive to Deep Creek Trail
*To hell with $5,000 fines
*Head northeast on supposedly long strait trail
*Come to 4-way fork in trail
*Swear at Map
*Try right hand trail, leads to bushes
*Left hand trail goes directly up in a southwesterly direction
*Take middle trail going right up the side of a mountain
*Head more or less north
*3 hours later...
*... trail dead-ends on the top of a mountain...
*... where there is a very small family cemetery
*scream name of family in frustration
*WIGGINS becomes battle cry
*half laugh/half cry all the way down mountain
*give up and check into hotel
*sleep like the dead
*leave packs at hotel
*leave map at hotel, resist urge to use map as toilet paper
*Drive to Clingman's Dome (highest point on AT)
*Walk about 5 miles total at CD
*Get eaten by bugs
*Have a great time
*Get some pizza and a 6-pack
*Spend rest of night in hot tub watching "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
So, that's the ultra-brief summing up. I'll tell you more after LUNCH.