Smoky the bear says, “Only You Can Make You Happy”

Well Smoky never said that, but I like it and it’s my blog and I can make up whatever words a fictional character says.

Well Thursday (4/15: End of Tax Season) I’m getting laid off and I’m Super Excited. In a previous post I mentioned I was trying to do a cross country motorcycle trip that would take around 30 days. Well due to losing my job I now have the opportunity to do a 5 day backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park with my good friend Matt….Wooo! What do you when you don’t have a job? Vaca!

This trip doesn’t include my motorcycle, but it does involve hiking and camping….so 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. Plus, I still needed to buy a new wind screen for my bike and some decent saddlebags. When I get money…those items are going to happen. There is a road that we’ll be traveling down that I wish I could take my bike on known as Tail of the Dragon. It’s 318 curves within 11 miles!


So what is there to do in a National Park? Wrong question: What can’t you do? The weather is supposed to be great. Highs in the lower 70’s and lows in the mid 40’s. Now that’s great walking and sleeping weather.

Below is the itinerary. When I mention “campsite” it’s the only site around for a few miles. This isn’t  Hannah Park (which is awesome as well, but in its own way. Stayed there 2 weeks ago and had a blast at the beach). It is just a designated clearing with a fire ring  so that the park knows your location. When you check into the park there is no gate. Just a billboard where you fill out a permit and that’s it…you’re on your way to roughin it.

Day 1: Thursday

Day 2: Friday

  • Drive about 30 min. to the park and enter at the TwentyMile Ranger Station
  • Hike about 10 miles until we reach campsite 96

Day 3: Saturday

  • Hike about 12 miles through part of the AT until we reach campsite 113

Day 4: Sunday

  • Hike about 4 miles to campsite 93

Day 5: Monday

  • Matt’s Birthday!
  • Hike about 2 miles back to the car
  • Drive on back to Jacksonville so Matt can make it to birthday dinner

Day 6: Tuesday

  • Look for a job

May look like a boring itinerary, but there is going to be a ton of walking, fishing, and just good ole’ enjoying nature.