Backpacking in Cades Cove, Tennessee – Day 2

Slept very well, minus the frequent waking up. Our tent and sleeping bags kept us very warm in the mid 40s last night. Our stove didn’t work this morning. That sure didn’t stop Steph. She used our morning fire to make oatmeal, coffee for me and tea for her. It was delightful.

I burned my thumb while fixing the stove. I don’t think I’ll die from it. Steph could be a pioneer woman. I think today I’ll see how she does with some snakes and we may pan for gold.

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 2

I worked on the stove all morning. At last, it worked properly. Problem solved.

We hiked for 6 hours and 45 minutes. The day started with a sharp ascent of 300 feet in 3/4 of a mile. But, we kept a 20 min/mile pace. The last 2 miles of the day were almost straight up. This entire day of a little over 9 miles was all up hill. I wanted to stop so badly but Steph kept us going in spite of her tiredness.

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 2

As far as wildlife goes, I was stung by a wasp in my left heel. Steph stepped on a 3′ snake. No deaths so far. We saw the only squirrel today too. You’d think you would see more of them with all of the nuts and acorns on the trail. Tonight’s campsite is known for bears but we haven’t seen any today. In the 1980s it was closed due to too much bear activity. The ranger gave us a heads up that they had been active recently too. We’ll see about that.

Dinner was amazing, as you would expect. Pretty much anything would taste good after this much climbing up hill. But we feasted on rice with stir-fried red & yellow bell peppers, red & green banana peppers, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and roasted cashews. Yeah… try to compete with that freeze-dried meals. Boy am I glad I didn’t sell out and get those meals.

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 2
From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 2

Campsite #5 is great. There is an actual fire pit with a cooking grill which came in very handy because apparently I didn’t fix the stove.

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 2

There is even a sign to lead us to a good spot for the toilet and the nearest water source, a 300′ downhill hike to a dry creek bed where I used a super small puddle 1/2″ deep to fill our 4 nalgenes. A lot of prayer and a good water filter helped out.

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 2

On the trail today I memorized Romans 3:21-27. We talked about Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice and it took on a whole new meaning from those verses. Very thankful for that.

Time to enjoy the fire, dry out our socks, then hit the sack (at 8:30 again).

Today’s Stats:

  • 6:45 hours on the trail.
  • Beard Cane Mountain -> Ace Gap Trail -> 100′ on Rich Mountain “Road”-> Rich Mountain Trail.
  • Campsite #5
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