Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Day 14- Muddy Madness

Undesignated Camp Spot(151.4) to Fontana Dam(164.7) 13.3

In the bible, Jacob's ladder, is a staircase to heaven. On the Appalachian Trail it is a staircase to hell. I began my day the same as yesterday, lying in my hammock waiting for the rain to stop. Around 8, it finally quit long enough to pack up and get going. I immediately hit Jacob's ladder. My first thought was, "this isn't so bad". Right about then the muddy ground laughed at my cavalier attitude and sucked my feet out from under me. I was pretty irritated about falling in the mud, but I pushed onward and upward. If not for the rain and mud, the climb wouldn't have been so bad. I finished the .6 mile climb in 20 minutes and was feeling pretty good. 
First part of Jacob's Ladder
My displeasure about falling in the mud
My Happy Face Upon Conquering the Ladder

I thought I was in for an easy day after that climb, boy was I wrong. After three days of constant rain, my footpath through the woods turned into a muddy nasty slog through the woods. I was irritated the first time I fell, I was downright pissed off the second time I fell, by the third and fourth time, all I could do was laugh. I wasn't hurt, just very wet and muddy. I had 13.3 miles to think about how much I hate mud. I'm now a mud expert. The AT has 4 different types of mud. The first kind is dark black, it's not slippery, it's sticky. The kind of mud that wants to steal your shoes. I'm oddly ok with this type of mud. The next kind is a dark brown mud. It soaks your feet, but also not slick. The third kind is a very light brown, almost tan. It's very devious. Some times it's as slick as ice, and other times you can trudge right through it. Mostly I just slid around. Then there is the reddish brown kind. All it wants to do is ruin your day. This caused 3 of 4 falls. I could see the tracks of other hikers that fell to this demonic substance. I thought I would fare better. I did not. My only saving grace, was nobody witnessed my spectacular falls. They were like something you see in cartoons. Arms wheeling about, feet flailing as they tried to find purchase. 
I no longer dislike the rain.  We have come to an understanding. I get a free shower and the trees get what they need to bloom. Everyday I get to see the effects. The forest is greener everyday. It's amazing to watch the transformation. 
Common site as the grass begins to fill in
Trees Blooming
Forest Coming Alive

I have decided to take my first Zero day. I've noticed the last few days that my legs just don't have any zip. I plan on laying around the lodge all day binge eating and hopefully watching Game of Thrones. Hopefully I can upload all of my pictures and videos as well. 

Black Mud
Demonic Mud
I forgot to mention the slick as snot boulders I had to traverse on top of the mud. 

I'd also like to wish my Dad a very happy birthday. I was able to get a call through to him and as always it brightened my day. I love you Dad!!!! 

"When the going gets tough, get tough and get going" Kyle Williams 


  1. Love your understanding with the rain! Don't imagine you will have one with the mud. Enjoy your Zero day. The lodge looks like a nice place; got ok reviews on tripadvisor. Remember what I texted you about your Zero day. Let me know.

  2. Glad you're taking a zero day, Katie! Rest and enjoy! You have been thru a lot in a short time and your trip really intrigues and interests me. Very grateful for your sharing! When your blog comes in at nite, everything stops at our house and Liz and I usually read it together and enjoy the pics! You write so well with a lot of feeling and are willing to let us know about some of the difficulties too. A friend of mine used to say "You gotta take the shit with the sugar!" and your great attitude and spirit and determination reflects that. Keep on having fun, Katie! Be safe! Godspeed! Love!

  3. The mud is a test to your will. You move on and enjoy your time with the outdoors.
    Just keep on trucking!!
    Enjoy your zero day and rest,eat, rest.
    Enjoy your day and regroup for the days ahead. You've got this!
    One foot in front of the other and it all comes together. Mom LY

  4. So glad you are enjoying the hike so far. I can only imagine all the beauty you are in store for. I enjoy the blog and pictures. I really enjoy the pone calls too. Enjoy you zero day and enjoy the rest.

  5. Katie, your blog has been a fantastic read! Entertaining and informative. I hope to see you reach Katahdin!

  6. Great Katie, you are makin th Kyle's head even bigger! Have was so proud of that quote lol.
    Mud sucks, but at least you were able to laugh about it! Hope you enjoy your zero day!!
    By the way both of our parents are keeping up with your blog. They love it and are very proud of you! They don't know how to comment. Love you!!

  7. Love it! I am always in favor of binge watching Game of Thrones. What is your technology and WIFI set up that would allow you to undertake such an endeavor?