17 May 2010
Yin: We thought we were good to go today... Yang and I hit the trail this morning at around 8 or so with high spirits because we were going to experience the Great Smokey Mountains. First things first. It was an entire day of uphill. I hurt more today than when we first went up Springer Mountain on day one. Second: it rained on and off the entire day so our clothes and gear are soaked! Thirdly, the maps we have for this area are completely off when it comes to mileage between points of interest. What we calculated to be an eight mile day turned out to be closer to twelve. How can a map be that off!!??!? Lastly, it is COLD... really cold. We hardly have the clothes to keep our core temperature maintained. On an up note, once we got to the shelter we snapped a couple good shots of a 4-600lb black bear! She left us alone for the most part. Just kept getting close to us to check us out. We are staying at Mollies Ridge shelter and all is well. I am tired and going to bed. I hope tomorrow is better because I don't think I could quite handle another day like today.
Yang: First hiking day of the Smokies! It was rough. We figured on an eight or so mile day that turned out to be twelve or so miles. The maps we have for the smokies are way off. We did manage to get several good pictures of Fontana Dam this morning and some awesome photos of a 4-600lb black bear tonight. This bear is REALLY BIG!! He/she pretty has pretty much left us alone though. It's just stalking around the edge of the site waiting for us to leave so it can see if we left it any food. Not gonna happen! We met a ridge-runner coming up the hill today that told us about the bear. He said that it was the biggest bear he had ever seen! I figure when a ridge-runner says it's the biggest he's ever seen.. it's probably a really big bear! He was right! Anyway, it's time now for bed. I'm exhausted from today's hike.