Just walked into Hot Springs, NC and am staying the night at Elmer's, which is a very well known hostel on the trail.  Elmer showed me around the house, which is from the 1800's and is really beautiful, there is a whole AT library and every movie made about the trail.  (needless to say, I'm in heaven)  I took a shower and am at the library right now until it closes, which is pretty soon, so this won't be a long one.

The trail continues to be so good to me, I really can't explain in words just what this journey means to me.  It is exactly what I needed at this point in time and wouldn't trade it for anything.  It's been a very healing time for me.  I've listened to "The Shack" a couple of times now and it has helped me a lot in my understanding with God and recommend that book to anyone who is interested in a different perspective on a relationship with God.

I have 271 miles to go and figure that I'll be at Springer Mtn., GA sometime in the middle of September.  Kristin and Guppy if you are still following this blog, any chance you guys want to do a day hike to Springer and pick me up???  Just asking.  It's hard not to start thinking about "what's next", what will interactions with Cassandra be like, what is the timeline for getting back to Washington, seeing family and friends in the Midwest, etc.  It gives me something to think about, but let me assure you, I'm still present on the trail.

I've begun to realize that one reason I enjoy the trail so much is that I have a purpose everyday, so I've started to ask God, what's my purpose?  I often thought it was to be a good husband and to love my family, but that has thrown me for a loop.  So that is my prayer as I finish this trail and continue my journey.

As for the trail, Tennessee has been beautiful, along with North Carolina.  They are well graded and besides the stinging nettles along it, it's been pretty enjoyable hiking.  I'm really looking forward to the Smokies, it's one of the few places that I've backpacked before on the AT.

Hopefully I'll be able to update you once I get to Georgia, but thank you for your prayers and for following my journey.

Jim Belanger
9/4/2011 07:29:35 am

Hi Jason,

It's been awhile since I've left you any messages, like maybe since you were somewhere on the PCT.

Any how I'm glad that you are doing well and that you are just about to the end of this little walk.

Keep on truckin.

See you soon I hope.

Your friend Jim.

P.S. Maybe I should call you Forest. He just felt like
runnin. Or maybe you should just stick with Jason and say that you just felt like hiking

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May cause the Son to shine upon you and a pleasant wind to be at you back always.

Dave Rozman
9/4/2011 10:51:47 am

Hey Jason, I cant wait to see you soon. Abbi is already looking forward to seeing you again. I can post something in Guppy's facebook wall to see if he is still following your progress. If not let me know if you need help, I have a sister in law in Atlanta and a friend who is very active with the AT trail maintenance in the Atlanta area who might be able to help you out. Enjoy the 8 miles we did together on the AT in the Smokies and around Blood mountain enjoy the sections of the trail that Jenn and I helped build.


9/8/2011 10:45:27 am

Still thinking of you and praying for you, Jason.
Love reading your blog and seeing how alive you seem to be on that trail.
Can't wait to see ya.


Kristin Getbehead
9/9/2011 06:02:41 am

Ha! Just read this today.. OPPS! Looking forward to picking you up tomorrow (in all your smelly glory!) What a feat Jason!!


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