#JamesOnTheAT Week 3 Update: Tornado Warning


As I said from the start, getting updates from James was going to be a bit of a work in progress as we figure out the challenges of cell phone connectivity and the limits of James’ physical ability to email me updates after a 15-20 miles on the trail. After last week’s update, where he sent me an email answering a few questions from Facebook fans, James went silent with the exception of a few Instagram photos that did not have description. I didn’t think too much of it until today when James sent along the photo below from the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower in Tennessee.

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In addition to remarking that he had reached the highest point of the Appalachian Trail, James also mentioned that he was experiencing hurricane force winds and tornado warnings.  The rain pretty much speaks for itself in the photo–it looks like he is getting HAMMERED in a way that evokes memories of midsummer cloudbursts. As the Weather Channel map below indicates, James is in the thick of some pretty serious stuff.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.25.14 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.26.58 PM

As of publishing time, James had not responded to my question about whether he’d be staying in a shelter tonight, but I suspect he will be. I also suspect that he’ll have some company from other hikers looking to ride the storm out. When he left, James was adamant about making his Appalachian Trail experience a solo endeavor. So far, he hasn’t relayed any stories about people he’s met along the way, but he HAS sent me some more fantastic photos.

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James sent this sweet pic on April 22nd.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 9.28.49 AMThis one showed up the next day–I particularly like seeing the buds on the trees in the foreground.

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April 26 brought the photo above…along with a text from me in reply asking James for some shots of some of the other things that give us an idea what life on the Appalachian Trail is like–trail markers/signs, his campsite/food, people he meets, landmarks, etc.

What would YOU like James to share in his next update? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to make it happen!


Jim Darroch