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whats the weather where you are?



Macafee's Knob, Tinker Cliffs: How much snow right now?



Remember Skylab? the Chinese Tiangong1 is coming down in March-April.


Jake Ace

And In Other News


odd man out

What Are You Reading?



Scary stories for around the Campfire



Hiking Plans 2018



Mother Marian's Hostel, Sams Gap NC / TN



Uncle Johnny



College kid skipping town for the AT, need wisdom



the football thread


Wise Old Owl

Caution: Bears and Math Ahead


Jake Ace

Alcohol Stoves



Hiking & Biking


Bo Peep

All Weather AT jacket?



Stalking Tortoise & Smoking Sox Section Hike #33 - Max Patch to Sams Gap (I-26)



Bear spray?


Wise Old Owl

Short Walks with Coach Lou


Jake Ace

Jetboil Jetguage



Pinned Introduce Yourself



Recent Activities


  • New

    No affiliation here except that I used their services during one of my section hikes.

    Mother Marian's Hostel opened in 2012. Retired Registered Nurse Marian was out shopping on a cold and rainy day and came across a bunch of miserable-looking hikers at a nearby convenience store. With her nursing background, she couldn't ignore them without making sure they were OK. She asked them if they could use a warm and dry place to spend the night and they readily accepted her offer. A hostel was born.

    Marian and her husband Fred live in their retirement house in the Wolf Laurel community below Big Bald. They have to fly under the radar of the HOA but there aren't many winter / early spring residents in Wolf Laurel when the majority of thru hikers pass through Sams Gap.

    Per the 2017 Thru Hiker's Companion, contact information is as follows:

    Landline - 828-680-9944
    Fred's Cell - 828-231-2736

    Fred can do pickups from Sams Gap, Street Gap, or Big Bald. It's not your traditional hostel,…
  • New

    The Plan

    The plan was for Smoking Sox and occasional hiker Sheep's Head to fly down to Charlotte on Saturday March 10th then drive to Standing Bear Farm where they would meet up with me and DOT (Daughter Of Tortoise). DOT was driving over from Raleigh and I was driving down from Central PA. A nice three-day hike from Standing Bear to Hot Springs followed by another three-day hike from Hot Springs to Sams Gap. Heck, we even had plans to spend Monday night in Hot Springs so we could enjoy a few brews and burgers. If all went well, we would drive down to Asheville on Thursday night and hit some of the brewpubs before heading for home on Friday.

    Mother Nature doesn't like plans. And my wife is a big fan of Mother Nature. A winter storm was headed towards Max Patch on Sunday night and my wife made it VERY clear that I was not going to be in the woods with our little (24 year old) daughter during a winter storm. As Friday March 9th rolled approached, I worked the phones with Sox…


  • Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus
    Weight - 16 ounces
    Weight w/Pegs - 18.125 ounces
    Material - 30D Silnylon
    Features - A no-frills tarp with a no-see-um skirt perimeter. Uses a single trekking pole set anywhere between 40" (100cm) to hug the ground or 49" (125cm) to provide great ventilation.
    Pros - Weight, Ventilation
    Cons - The setup is slightly confusing. There are 6 points to attach with pegs. Two of those point must be pegged first and are very difficult specify in dark and/or windy…
  • Winter Linville Gorge

    On February 27th, 28th and 29th I did a two night out and back trip from Wolf Pit Road trail-head to Table Rock mountain and back. In typical cafe fashion I planned this trip while driving 80 mph east on I-40 heading back from the Smokies. I stopped at a McDonald's to borrow some free Wifi to get a picture of a the trails and away I went. Going up Wolf Pit road in my 2002 Honda Accord was risky with the amount of ice and snow on the road. The final hill going down to the…
  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park

    On February 25th and 26th I did a nice loop in the Smokies from Big Creek Ranger Station parking lot to Deep Gap along the AT south of Mt. Cammerer fire tower. There was about 6 to 8 inches of snow while going up. I stealth camped due to the amount of snow coming in and the next day went down the Big Creek trail. Overnight there was another 6 to 8 inches of snow and freezing fog.

  • Chicken Jambalaya

    5 grams - Freeze Dried Chicken
    7 grams - Dehydrated Chopped Onion
    5 grams - Dehydrated Leeks
    2 grams - Freeze Dried Celery
    5 grams - Freeze Dried Bell Pepper
    56 grams - Rice (Real or Instant)
    2 grams - Dehydrated Green Onion
    7 grams - Creole Seasoning
    7 grams - Dehydrated Diced Tomato
    7 grams - Tomato Powder
    7 grams - Chicken Stock Powder
    1 gram - Black Pepper
    1 gram - Salt
    28 grams - Dried Chorizo Sausage
    14 grams - Olive Oil
    8 ounces - Water

    Calories - 680
    Dry Weight -…
  • Nestle Nido and Breakfast Essential Based Milkshakes

    Nestle Nido is a full fat powdered milk which when combined with water makes a high calorie milk. I add Nestle Carnation Breakfast Essentials to add flavor and additional calories.

    Chocolate Latte

    1/2 Cup - Nestle Nido
    2 Packets - Chocolate Nestle Carnation Breakfast Essentials
    2 Packets - Folgers Instant Coffee Singles
    16 Ounces - Water

    Calories 580
    Weight 4.5 ounces

    1) Combine dry ingredients in zip lock bag
    2) Mix with water and…