Monday, May 11, 2009


Cosby Knob shelter & My spot inside.
April 26

Boy, is this beautiful. Green, green. White trillium blooming on the hill below; wild blackberry canes leafing out.
Hiking-wise, the day was sort of routine, if that's possible. Some up, some down, long but not extreme. Mountains, trees, flowers.
A spruce or fir tree had seeded itself in a hole in an oak tree and had grown to about 3 feet high.
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, tent camping is not permitted unless the shelter is full, and then you must tent within the shelter-yard perimeter. This means your daily mileage is determined by how many shelters you're willing to pass before stopping. They're typically 7-12 miles apart, so hikers have to keep moving right along. This policy is partyl to minimize bear activity and offer protection to hikers, and partly to minimize environmental impact, restricting heavy use to specified areas.
Day/overnight hikers and section hikers must have reservations to use the shelters. three spots are reserved for the thru-hikers. Whether more than three thru-hikers can sleep in the shelter depends on how many campers with reservations there are. If the shelter is full and a "transient" hiker with a reservation shows up, a thru-hiker has to move out and set up a tent, no matter what the hour or weather.
Hasn't happened to me or any of my new friends yet, though.


ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, that does look nice! Glad they do have a policy about who gets to stay inside and who doesn't when it gets crowded. That way there are no arguments if the situation should arise (or less of them).

Jade Lady said...

That shelter looks like luxury (all relative, of course)! Thanks for sharing your trip as you go!