Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Following the fence

The AT follows the NC-TN border for a gazillion miles, and much of that is along old fence line that hugs the high-line of whatever ridge is handy. I don't know how they decided on the border. It may have been a matter of many individual local decisions, but the common theme is that it follows the most inaccessible, rugged, high ground. Yet even here the land was once grazed and farmed right up to the ridge. In the section shown above there are actually *two* fences and two sets of fence posts lined up a foot apart, each in its own state. Wonder what the story is behind that.

I'm showing that photo because the hike today (27 Feburary) was short, and there weren't many photogenic subjects. I crossed a pretty meadow near Street Gap, advertised as having a great view of Bald Mountain, but the 'payoff' summit section was buried in a deck of cloud as I passed. The shot shown here is looking the other way - a better pastoral view of the meadow.

I haven't shown many shots of shelters here, though I've visited and photographed every shelter from southern PA to here. This one, called Hogback Ridge Shelter is a nicely constructed 'retro' log cabin, built in 1986 to look like it was built in 1886.

What else? Well, there's the touch of full-bore civilization I passed today - the AT underpass of I-26 at Sams Gap. So here's a look at that.

Other than that, my attention turned to the recent obsession with the AT logo when I passed two different log steps emblazoned with the logo using a chain saw. So when I passed this fourteen-foot A-frame blow-over near Street Gap, I couldn't resist 'helping' it a little:

I chose to make today a short hike (twelve miles) in order to take care of end-of-month business, but instead I decided to scout out the next Trail Town south - Hot Springs, NC. It's tiny, compact, but packed with hiker-friendly businesses. The AT passes straight through town on the central street. And the town has embedded AT logos on what look like granite stones, a foot across, every fifty feet along the sidewalk through town. They all point northbound. Being only 270 miles from Springer, I imagine this place will be buzzing with NoBo thru-hiker wannabes in about two months.


As always, here's the route of today's hike shown on a map. Click the link for more detailed information and more photos.

AT Day 52 - Sams Gap and vicinity at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Tennessee

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