I'm sitting on the front porch of a The Smoky Pines Motel in Gatlinburg, TN waiting for the laundry to finish spinning. We're at 204 official A.T. miles. Popular wisdom maintains that between the approach trail, various side trails, and time spent walking in town the average hiker walks an additional 3-500 miles above and beyond the 2178 of the trail. We seem to be on track for the higher end of that range as we meander through towns instead of getting in and out.
I guess the 'big' news (although it isn't that big to us) is that we've pretty much decided to only do half the trail this season, and pick up next year where we leave off this year. This will most likely be at my sister's place near Port Clinton, PA. We reached this decision after being on the trail for less than 10 days. Basically, we find that we want to spend a lot more time looking at things on the trail than a pace that would allow us to finish in a single season allows for. We've also witnessed firsthand the potential consequences of 'big miles' in other hikers - feet that look like raw hamburger, knee injuries, ankle injuries, and more; all less than a month into this endeavor. This isn't meant as a criticism to people who like to make high miles, we're just going to walk as far as we are comfortable a day and stop. To quote my father, "Maine was there when I was born and will probably be there when I die, I'll get there when I get there."
Until I get around to getting photo galleries on this thing (soon I hope), you'll need to check my facebook albums for the best pictures. I don't like posting my content elsewhere, but since it will be temporary, I'm not too worried about it. I'm taking way too many photos to post them all through the connection I have, but I will try to post the best with captions there a.s.a.p.