Today started out kind of rough. I did not get much sleep last night. I just don't sleep well in hotel rooms I guess. Then my 9 am shuttle back to the trail was running late, so I didn't get started until 10. As soon as I started hiking it became apparent I was going to struggle. I had some stomach issues that had me dashing into the woods most of the morning. Not pleasant at all. I had planned to hike around 12-15 miles for the day. My goal is to hit my next resupply point, 27.5 miles away, tomorrow evening, so I wanted to push it today. With an upset tummy and what I've taken to calling "town legs", I knew I was in for a world of hurt. To make the time pass faster I started listening to my first audio book, Unbroken. So far I've really enjoyed it. It really helped to take my mind off of the discomfort.
After my first 4 miles I came across a day hiker that told me to take a blue blaze trail to summit Siler Bald. After last weeks crappy airplane crash, I was understandably weary. It was .3 miles straight uphill, but I thought,"what the heck, what else do I have to do today"
To make a long story short, this day hiker was spot on. I'm so glad I decided to take the time to check out the views. It was so amazing I called my parents and brother to face time so they could see it.
My pictures are totally inadequate
6 miles later I was treated to another 360 view from atop Wayah Bald. Wayah, comes from the Cherokee word, wa ya, meaning wolf. From the top I could see back to Siler Bald and could also trace the AT back to where I started 3 days ago. I was speechless looking at the trail cutting through 10-15 different mountains. It gave me a whole new perspective on my walk in the woods. Once again, my pictures can not capture the magnificance of the appalachian mountain range.
By the time I made it to the shelter, it was getting late and I was beat. I cooked a quick dinner, 3 bean chili, which was delicious even though I didn't let it rehydrate long enough. Then I did all my camp chores. Now I'm falling asleep in my hammock as I write this. I'm hoping for a smoother day tomorrow, but it looks like a pretty good possibility of rain on and off all day. I'm seriously considering taking a zero day soon. I'm starting to feel pretty beat up. I think my body might need a full days rest. I'll have to figure out if my budget will allow it. The only 2 places to stop for a zero soon are pretty expensive touristy stops.
"The old school of thought would have you believe that you'd be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn't what being in nature is all about. Rather, it's about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us."
Ryel Kestenbaum, The Ultralight Backpacker: The Complete Guide to Simplicity and Comfort on the Trail