The Home Stretch

The remaining 6 miles of this hike was fairly easy but not as easy as I anticipated.  On the map, the last part of this hike goes from an elevation of over 4,000 ft. down to the low point of only 1,700 ft. at the Nantahala River.  I figured it was all downhill so how bad could it be?  Here is another thing I've learned about hiking in the mountains... going downhill can be just as tough as going uphill. Put rocks into the equation and it could be tougher than uphill. Going downhill for several miles is hard on the feet and knees, but my energy was up, I was making good time and I knew the end of this 21 mile hike was near.