Day 69: June 22, 2022 Trout Creek to Dragons Tooth Elevation Profile +2445/-2164. 7.8 Miles; Total 704.5 Miles

As I went to bed last night, I told Sid that we needed to get up early to beat the heat. Well, he must have taken it to heart because at 4:30am, Sid was at my tent ready to go. Wow, I’m impressed but it’s still dark so go back to sleep. I’ll wake you up at 5:45am. I rolled over and woke up at 5:30am. I made my coffee, packed my stuff and Sid and I hit the trail at 6:15am. Much more appropriate time for hiking. But I love his Can-Do attitude.

Me with my Morning Hiker

Dragons Tooth is one of the iconic parts of this trail. Sid has heard many rumors and tales of the approach. It’s terribly difficult, it’ll take all day, you best approach it from the north and not the south! It has been this allure of trail mystic! But in reality, it is just another climb on the AT.

Dragon’s Tooth

We followed Sid’s advice, due to his expertise and experience, that he has gained in these past weeks. Every hour on the hour, we will take a break. Ugh, this is so against my school of thought but I’m always open for new ideas. We hiked one hour and took a lounging break. Then another hour and took a break. However, it worked out perfectly because by 10am we were on top of Dragon’s Tooth! It was wonderfully executed. Sid climbed the tooth while I watched! And took awesome photos and videos of him.

Assumed Position for Breaks

After it was all said and done, we grabbed our packs and headed down the rock face, fully equipped with ladders and white blazes. It was a bit more than I had signed up for and was quite steep for my little feet. Sid was a gem and hung tight to make sure Noni stayed alive and well.

Sid On Top of Dragon’s Tooth

Once we made it to Lost Spectacles Gap, we followed the Dragon Tooth Trail which had access to water. We had been sipping nothing but drops of water. I thought this might be a better option. We followed the Blue Blaze and within a half of a mile, we found a spring that was spitting out a small amount of water. It was more water than we had and we were overjoyed! Sid filled up and so did I. Afterwards we continued down the trail and I zeroed in on a loud rattle. It was a huge rattlesnake that apparently consumed a small hiker or large mouse. It’s belly was bulging! She slithered off the trail and into the brush, but still scared the life out of me! I don’t like the excessive amount of snakes out here. We have had much more than our fair share of encounters.

Heading Down to Dragon’s Tooth Trail

Sid and I continued to the parking lot and took a hard right turn to Catawba Groceries. As always, the scariest part of the trail is the Road Walking. The motorists zipped by at 50-60 mph as we attempted to pretend we weren’t too phased! But we were. After 20 minutes or so, we were inside an air conditioned grocery store and purchased everything we had been dreaming of. Hamburger, Onion Rings, Pizza, Soda, Kombucha and Water! Food never tasted so good.

Appalachian Trail will Miss this Kid

Today was a bittersweet day. I can say that I have had the best two hiking partners ever. Blue was right at my level, willing to try just about everything and anything, hiked through crazy weather and endured much that the trail could dish out. Sid was a bit more aloof, and not too thrilled about hiking. He believed this was more punishment than enjoyment. But in the end, he embraced it, learned to find some joy and thrill from the trail, and was a great partner! We laughed a lot, we tested each other’s patience, and we even threw sticks at one another. Yet in the end, we accepted the trail for all that it was. Sid and I are much better because of this incredible journey we shared as partners.

Me & Sid On Day One
Blue and I Many Miles with Smiles

We sat and decided that this was the final leg for Sid. He has covered over 150 miles, climbed up and down more trail than he signed up for, experienced more snake, lizard and other reptile encounters than most kids have in a lifetime and had a little bit of fun along the way. We went to just about all the Hostels in Virginia, met pretty close to every shuttle driver in the immediate radius and had a darn good time! When it was all said and done, I think Sid may have enjoyed his time on the trail after all. I know I sure did!

Final Leg for Now

Today Sid and I are both leaving the trail. I have always known that the only thing that would take me off the trail was injury or family. My dear father has endured much during this past year. He had open-heart surgery the week I started hiking and just last week, had another procedure done to help his heart continue to pump effectively. Unfortunately he is not as healthy as we all hoped and prayed for. It is time for me to go home and relieve my beautiful sister so she can be with her family. This is a blessing for me to be able to spend time with Dad and I so look forward to being home with him. So Friday, I will climb aboard a plane and fly home. My husband George and Sid will start their journey home, driving cross country from Virginia to California. That should be another great adventure for the two of them, and our wonder dog Zoey.

Sister Kari, Dad and I

Sid, Blue and all the other wonderful people that I met on this trail have enhanced my life. The Appalachian Trail will always hold a special place in my heart and I will definitely return to walk it’s incredible dirt, rock and roots again. Until I return, may it’s beauty, luster and lure remain. Thank you Jesus, my true partner of the trail, for giving me this opportunity to experience a once in a lifetime journey and to be the daughter you designed me to be. I have loved each and everyday that we have walked side by side. This was your calling for me and I am grateful to have been commissioned! Until we walk again, I will treasure this time we had together. What an incredible and wonderful God I serve!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

9 thoughts on “Day 69: June 22, 2022 Trout Creek to Dragons Tooth Elevation Profile +2445/-2164. 7.8 Miles; Total 704.5 Miles

  1. Sid is right…..hourly breaks are relaxing !

    All good things comes to an end as so is the trail………………

    Praying for your Dad.

    Jesus have mercy on me a sinner !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry to hear about your dad. Sad to see you leaving the trail, however, home is where you need to be. I am praying for your dad and family. Thank you for bringing us on this journey with you. God Bless. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God bless Kelly! I have enjoyed your journey on the AT, with God leading the way and providing you wonderful hiking partners . I have looked forward to each post. I love watching how God has provided for all your needs and you acknowledge His partnership with you daily. It was do fun to hear about Blue and Sid and blessings and challenges that you faced daily together. I had some great chuckes reading about Sid. What beautiful and lasting memories you have made together. There is something so precious about sharing your experience with your grandson.
    I pray God now blesses this very special time with your dad. I’m so sorry your hike has come to a halt but know you will definitely never look back and regret being with your dad. Praying for you 🙏 both❣️
    God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kelly, what a trouper you are. I love your posts I read them everyday! Thank you for taking us all
    On your amazing journey.
    Praying all is well with your father.,
    Blessings Barbara ♥️😘🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have loved reading about your adventures on the trail! My husband and I are now both retired and are planning to hike portions of the trail soon.?Praying for your dad 🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the prayers. We are looking forward to Dad being released from hospital and going to Rehab for a bit of time. God has answered many prayers. Thank you and hope you and your hubby get out on the trail. It is life changing 😊


  6. Ohhh Kelly …. You are the light at the end of tunnel … your enthus n courage have drawn so many souls to follow your great outdoor adventure … and I’m one of them …

    Liked by 1 person

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