Start: Hightower Gap
Finish: Woody Gap
Miles: 12.2 Total Miles: 20.8
Much groaning and moaning was heard this morning when someone, a certain thru-hiker wannabe, tried to get out of bed. Everything hurts today. And it’s raining. It’s going to rain all day.
I could have called it a day and holed up to outlast the weather, but if I’m going to hike to Maine, I’m going to get wet, often, and not just from sweat. So I put on my rain togs, covered my pack with a rainproof pack cover, and let Mary convey me to the trail in our heated automotive conveyance. That part was fun. The rest of the day, a twelve mile hike in the rain was much less so. Soon after we arrived, we met a young man who had experienced some serious misfortune, and Mary helped him out, after dumping me on the cold wet trail and leaving me to my own devices. She’s a true trail angel. Her story can be found on her own blog.
The hike itself today wasn’t too bad, if you were in shape, you had your trail legs, and it wasn’t cold and raining. For the rest of us, it was a couple or four miles too long a day, and climbing over Sassafras and Justus Mountains early on in the hike was pretty much the icing on the cake. By noon, I discovered that the only way to stay comfortable was not to stop, but keep moving. So I’d bolt a Kind bar, and start hiking again when I started shivering. If things got too bad I always had my tent and sleeping bag, so it was never dangerous, just uncomfortable.
By the time Mary picked me up in Woody Gap, 12 very long miles later, I had just enough energy to shovel a few bites of barbecue in, and collapse into bed. Hopefully, tomorrow will better, as they’re only forecasting a 30% chance of rain.