Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Waterfall Tour: Transylvania County, S.C.

The day after the Hospital Rock Run hike, Beka and I decided to take a down day and drive to as many waterfalls as we could. Transylvania county is the location of Brevard, N.C., and the land of over 150 waterfalls. We capped out on four beautiful falls for the day. We would have viewed five, but we ran a muck on a "trail to nowhere", when we were looking for Moore Cove Falls in Pisgah National Forest. Come to find out (an hour later), we had taken the "path less traveled", and it had "made all of the difference" (in the words of Robert Frost). We never saw the falls thanks to the darn switchbacks!

Hooker Falls (13 foot)

High Falls (200 feet)

Triple Falls (my favorite)

Looking Glass Falls (75 feet)

Jones Gap State Park, S.C.

Beka and I left our mark on Hospital Rock Run Trail in Jones Gap State Park. We didn't realize the irony behind the name Hospital Rock until we were half way up the side of the mountain, gasping for air, and thinking about nothing except the sharp pains shooting through our aching legs. Thank goodness for the process of Fermentaion (a little science joke for all of you who know the limits of Cellular Respiration).
On the trail we encountered shear cliff faces with cables to aid in climbing vertically, trees shaped like prehistoric creatures, boulders the size of cars, and a beautiful waterfall near the end of our 8 mile/6 hour hike.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Why Not Send Me Some Mail?

Friday was exactly one month from my official last day of teaching this year. My time at J.N. Fries Middle School is quickly drawing to an end. Whether I'm ready for it or not, time is steadily moving on. I have some gear I still need to purchase and test, but for the most part I am nearly "outfitted" for my journey.
It has taken me some time, but I have finally mapped out a preliminary itinerary for the first 46 days of our hike. As Megan and I adjust to the terrain and the weather we may veer from our itinerary, hopefully arriving at our planned destinations earlier, rather than later.
Below are the four major towns that we will be traveling through during our first 46 days. We would love to hear from you as we walk through the first three states (Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee) of our 14 state tour. If you are interested in sending letters, cards, pictures, or packages, you may use the Post Office addresses below. Make sure you include my name and a note on the envelope or package to "Hold for A.T. Hiker", as well as an ETA - expected arrival date.

Leslie Gottschalk ETA - April 24
General Delivery
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Leslie Gottschalk ETA - May 1
General Delivery
Hot Springs, NC 28743

Leslie Gottschalk ETA - May 9
General Delivery
Erwin, TN 37650

Leslie Gottschalk ETA - May 18
General Delivery
Damascus, VA 24236

Don't forget to include a return address, in case the mail misses us as we move through the towns. I will update the blog periodically as I have internet access on the trail.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Nature's Close Ups

  • Pine Cone = Crowder's Mountain (February, 2005)
  • Shelter Sign = Along Appalachian Trail (June 2005)
  • Rhododendren Flower = Smoky Mountain National Park (June 2005)