Day One by Jaxen
On the first day, we left FMA at the normal expedition departure time. Once at the trailhead, I gave the group our quote for the day, and then we set off along the Appalachian Trail. About halfway through our hike to Dennis Cove, we dropped our packs and had lunch next to Laurel Fork Creek. When we were about a mile from where we were going to camp, we dropped our packs again and went down to Laurel Falls. After arriving at camp, we had evening rally, ate dinner, and prepared ourselves for the next day when Andrew would be our leader.
Day Two by Andrew
Thanks, Jaxen! On the second day we got up and packed, getting ready to go on our next hike. Looking at the map, I thought we were going to have a pretty lazy day. NOPE! Along the way, we stopped at a view point and took a few group pictures and Jaxen, Zoie and I took a few selfies. Next, we dropped our packs and took a nice day hike down to Coon Den Falls, which is a beautiful waterfall. After that we hiked to another view point and had lunch. Unfortunately our lunch was interrupted by an angry swarm of bees. After eating, we hiked for what felt like forever until we came to Moreland Gap shelter, where we met a few A.T. hikers. Once this break was over, we hiked the rest of the way to our camp for the night. We set up our camp and settled in. After our evening rally, I handed the book and map off to Zoie.
Day Three by Zoie
On day three, after singing Happy Birthday to Ms. Chasity, we gave some time to the wise words of James Allen, “All that a man achieves, and all that he fails to achieve, is the direct result of his own thoughts,” and then set out on the day’s10 mile trek. I led our group from Moreland Gap to the Mountaineer shelter for lunch. There we admired the incredible three-story shelter put together by Bob Peoples and his crew. Warning: The water source has a snake! After lunch we headed to Elk River, where we camped and decided to bathe in the freezing cold river.
Day Four by Jaxen
We awoke to a cool morning along Elk River and, after breakfast, had morning rally. After hiking a little, we took a small detour off the A.T. to Jones Falls. We stopped for lunch near Highway 19E and then trudged the final miles up to Doll Flats. At Doll Flats we ate dinner in North Carolina and went to sleep in Tennessee. Back to you, Andrew.
Day Five by Andrew
On the fifth day, I woke up after sleeping without my tent fly, because it was clear and was not supposed to rain, and I really wanted to see the stars. That morning we packed our things and met at the “Leaving North Carolina” sign, where I gave our group the quote for the day, and we looked over the map before getting on our way to Stan Murray Shelter. Through the day, the hike was nice and easy going over the balds, and we had a nice lunch at a really cool barn that someone had donated as a shelter on the A.T. After lunch, we had a short, two-mile hike to the Stan Murray shelter where we stayed for the night.
Day Six by Zoie
Taking down our tents on the morning of the sixth day was bittersweet because it was be the last time this year that we would be taking them down and packing our backpacks. We headed out from Stan Murray shelter up to the Grassy Ridge Trail where we dropped our packs to climb to the top. The Grassy Ridge was the highest point of our expedition and the view was beyond amazing and beautiful. Following our descent, we hiked over Jane Bald to Carver’s Gap where we met Ms. Margaret and Maura for the drive back to the school.