Taking a 0 to nurse my joints and knee today. G man and Knutt rolled in as Hiker Boy and I were having lunch. Tonight is a big hiker bash with free food. Just taking it easy and Enjoying the awesome weather and the river. One thing I have noticed is that the trail has its own time zone. Minutes feel like hours and days feel like weeks. If my phone is correct today is Saturday the 6th of April. Time to get back to enjoying the 0 day.
I have been doing lots of thinking about the trail and why I began this adventure in the first place. overall in a good place and in a positive attitude and things will work out how they are intended to. Keeping the faith of the trail’s magic.
Very little sleep last night. Lots of noise coming from outside in the dark. Crashing of ice and tree limbs on the roof as well as all around us. If you have have ever been through an ice storm you will know the sound of the cracking of the trees all around you that is best described as a war zone. I was slow to get up and around as it was still cold and lots of ice and branches falling. I was on the trail around 9:30. Today was going to be a long day needing to hike 11 miles to get to the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). There were going to be two big uphill climbs and then a nearly 6 mile down hill decent into the NOC.
The hardest part of the day was the feeling of having to bushwhack my way through the trail due to all the debris that had fallen all through the night as well as while I was hiking through it. At times the trail was covered in ice shards that made me feel like I was hiking inside a cooler filled with the ice you would find at a gas station.
The clouds mist and melting ice finally cleared up some time in the early afternoon which was very helpful as I started my decent down into the NOC. Some of the sections were quite tricky having to scramble over boulders. At times I found myself sitting down on the rocks and scooting on my backside to maneuver on over or around to get off of the rocks. I managed to hurt my right knee yesterday and today managed to tweak it again. Lots of pain with every step.
I made it to the NOC around three maybe even four very tired and was able to get a bunk for the evening. There is going to be a big party here all weekend in honor of the AT Founders Bridge. Lots of merriment, eating food, and just enjoying the weekend. Off to get some “town food” and hydrate. I did not do a good job of keeping hydrated today and I think it might be the cause of why I am not feeling great.
Watching the clouds clear off.
The clouds have cleared.
Woke up in the middle if the night to a heavy rain hitting the shelter roof. Glad to be in the shelter and dry. Fell back to sleep several hours and woke with the rest of the folks in the shelter. We were all moving slowly this morning because of the rain and cold temperature. Someone pointed out that there was Ice on the trees.
I packed up my gear and ate my breakfast. Very reluctantly I hoisted my pack up and on and hit the trail behind Two Sticks.
A nice decline for a few miles followed by a steep and short incline dumped us out into a really nice meadow were a wagon train of tents were circled waiting out the storm. We quickly found where the trail picked up and headed up the mountain to the next shelter. The plan was to stop at Cold Creek shelter to have lunch and continue on to Wesser Bald Shelter. The whole climb up the mountain my coat began to show a nice thin layer of ice forming. At times you could only see a few feet in front of due to the mist in the air.
We got to Cold Spring shelter around 1 and I was soaked from sweating and my pants were soaked. I need to get some rain pants. Fearing that stopping might cause me to become hypothermic I decided not to push on. I got into the shelter as a gal named Hawaii was leaving. rolled out my sleeping pad and bag pulled off all my wet clothes and jumped into my bag to warm up. In the shelter was Caboose and his daughter Sassafras who is most likely Junior High age. Three other guys who were getting a ride from the gap a mile or so back down the hill.
I end up dozing off and wake up just before the 3 younger guys head out. As they head out another thru hiker named Hiker Boy shows up and also decides to stay. Several minutes after Hiker Boy arrives a section hiker shows up and he sets up his hammock in the awning of the shelter.
We talk for awhile but most of time is spent listening to the tree limbs crash all around us. Glad to be warm and dry. Early supper and early to bed.
Back on the trail. Hiked just over 10 miles today to a shelter called Wayah Bald shelter. Some great views and some nice weather finally. Lots of climbing with one section seeming to take forever. A nice cloudy sunset as I ate my dinner and early to bed I am beat.
Woke up with all my joints below the belt hurting but that has been a constant occurrence so I’ve tried not to mention it. Very possible its just my body yelling at me for being so active.
Still have a soggy attitude and lots of people are taking a zero. I do the same to just try to get back into the game and to straighten my head up. Watched some tv and got caught up on my blogging.
I apologize for not doing videos but at this point its hard to contain my emotions and talk about everything that is going on. A lot of why I started this adventure was to find my way back to my old self before lots of drama occurred in my life.
Also its been really hard to hit the miles I want to hit or get to the next shelter or what not and take the time for breaks to take photos and videos.
Took a zero day to rest and dry out both my gear and my attitude. After the storm I’m feeling pretty rough mentally. Lots of challenges have been thrown at me so far and beginning to wear down.
Ran into Jolly this morning and Wrong Way and I decided to stay another day. Jolly is a brit who lives in New York now. Read his blog for some awesome trail stories. jollyontheappalachiantrail.com
We hung out all day had pizza hut and had a great time. Jolly was sending his hammock back home and his wife was shipping him his tent. So depending on when it arrives he might have to take tomorrow off also.
A nice day weather wise feel a little guilty not hiking but spirit needs it.
Gman, Nimble, Icarus, and Knut rolled in later in the day and ran into us at dinner.
Happy Easter everyone.
Woke up in the middle of the night to rain drops leaking into the tent. It was down by my feet so I shifted things around and tried to go back to sleep. Woke up again when the wind picked up and heard a bunch of loud crashes and people running around. I found out later that one of the canopies of the Easter weekend trail angels had collapsed and two of the guys sleeping under then got soaked.
I felt colder than normal and started to look around my tent and my sleeping pad was soaked and there was standing water in sections of my tent. I grabbed my clothes and threw them on and packed up everything I could including my sleeping bag. I abandoned my tent and quickly walked to the canopies where I met two of the trail angels still trying to keep the canopies from collapsing from all the rain. I thew my gear into the back of one of a truck where the two guys Kermit and Grinch were hold up trying to get some sleep.
I found out it was about 4:30 at this time and from then on I would be standing under a canopy where the ground was a small river doing what I am sure looked like a goofy dance to keep warm.
The sun finally rose and the rain turned into a foggy mist. The trail angels were able to get a fire started with the help of some “Boy Scout Water” I was able to go warm up and dry out. I spent the next few hrs debating on what to do. Go to town and dry out or keep going. My heart said keep going but my brain said go to town and dry out more rain was in the forecast all day. Also I did not have any idea how full the shelters might be with people and did not want to risk it.
Amazing omelets and lunches to go were made by the trail angels. I finally made a the call that I was going to try to get a ride into to Franklin NC to dry out. Just as I had finished eating breakfast a lady drove in dropped off a hiker and asked if anyone needed a ride to town. Three of us piped up. Wrong Way, Mike and Myself said thank you shook hands gave out hugs and said goodby to everyone.
Gman pressed on and Scott had called his wife to pick them up because one of his daughters shoes were soaked and decided to call it quits because of the weather.
Wrong Way, Mike, and myself spit a room at the Micotel in Franklin. Wrong way and I hiked down the road to do laundry. We chatted about our trail stories and she has been having some major issues with blisters she got on the first day from boots that were not fully broken in. Once laundry was done We got a ride from the laundry place back to the hotel because it was raining again.
Next door Shoney’s and they are having an Easter buffet. For the price u cant really beat all u can eat. We stuffed ourselves silly. Time to enjoy some cable tv and rest.
Packed up a wet tent. I tried to let it dry as long as possible, but still allow me to get to my destination before dark. Headed out around 10:45am. Scott and hid kids had already headed out as well as G Man. A very tough what seemed like a never ending uphill. I am so glad I did not keep going yesterday. Caught up with G man at the top we had a great chat, amazing view, and a snack. The rest of the day was full of puds. (pointless ups and downs. )
It was warm, warmer than most of the days so far. Glad for the sun. Still lots of mud and melting snow. I am not a big fan of hiking in the slush. Some of the trail had snow that was ankle deep or deeper.
My last mile down hill I met a really nice couple from Atlanta who said that there was trail magic waiting for me at Low Gap.
I got to Low Gap and there was a party going on. A huge spread of food and a nice war fire. It was the 22nd annual Easter weekend on the AT provided by the Omelet Angels.
We ate great food had soda and wonderful conversations. It started to rain and we all ran to our tents for a long rainy night. It down poured all night.