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.
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.