Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 19- A Break In The Weather

Clingman's Dome Paved Path(199.4) to Ice Water Spring Shelter(210.3) 10.9

Today was a million times better than yesterday. HVAC, Lorax, and I were up by 7 this morning. We were greeted by a giant thunderstorm. We had our morning coffee out front of the motel and watched the storm pass over. We decided to have a leisurely morning and wait out the storm. Putt-Putt, Tumbles, Lorax, HVAC, and I had a delicious breakfast at the local Waffle House. I had hash browns with cheese and onions, a waffle, and 2 eggs over easy. I almost ate it all. We then caught a cab back to the trail. Clingman's Dome was still a misty foggy mess, but we pushed on. The weather quickly cleared and we had a great day of hiking. The temperature was in the high 50's, which is ideal hiking weather. The trail wasn't too muddy either. I hiked with Lorax and HVAC all day. I really enjoy their company. They are a lovely couple that have raised two neat sounding kids. The daughter is a family practice doctor in Billings and their son is finishing up med school now. We were able to take our time since the shelter we were aiming for was relatively close by. The start of the day had us crossing another milestone, the 200 mile mark. 

200 Mile Marker

A few more miles later we crossed into Tennessee. We have been bouncing back and forth between NC and TN for days, but this was the first sign that marked the occasion. 

I posed for a few more pictures at Newfound Gap. My aunt and uncle had been to the same spot last year so I tried to emulate their pictures. 

Right before we got to camp, .3 miles away, it started to rain again. Luckily it only lasted a few minutes. Once again the shelter was full, which was a mixed blessing. I don't like sleeping in shelters, but it's going to be below freezing tonight and I'm not convinced I'll stay warm enough in my hammock. The shelter crowd is very rowdy with a bunch of immature kids. Hopefully they will settle down soon, but since 1 kid hiked in 3 bottles of moonshine from Gaitlinburg I'm doubtful. The shelter holds 12, but there are only 10 inside. It's kind of irritating that they wouldn't make room for more people. It's really bad trail etiquette. Usually, when it's cold or raining, people will put 16-18 in a shelter. 
On the bright side this shelter has an amazing view. 

This is the earliest I have gotten my blog done and I'm looking forward to reading a book in my hammock for a little bit. Tomorrow will either be a 12 mile day or a 20 mile day and the weather is supposed to be sunny. It will be my first completely sunny day in over a week and I'm super stoked about it. 

Fun Section of the trail today

Cool spruce forest
View from lunch break at Newfound Gap

"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost


  1. Sorry to see that your pics didn't post but am sure you will fix that. Any pics of Lorax and HVAC? Your check-in had you at 207.69 but at the same spot as the Ice Water Spring Shelter which is at 210.3 so I wonder if the check-in thing is slightly off some-how. Hope you stay warm enough and hope the rowdy ones settle down. Travel well!

    1. The trail changes mileage every year due to rerouting. I think that's the difference. I go by my guide for 2015 for mileage info

  2. I too was looking forward to today's pictures but I wasn't able to see them either. I am sure they will come up soon. Sorry to hear that the weather has been so awful but it sounds like you have made some life long friends in HVAC and Lorax. I am really enjoying following your adventure through your blog and I am super excited to hear about tomorrow's amazing day in the sunshine! Keep your head up and get some rest (though not necessarily in that order! )

  3. Wish you could have seen our reaction today when we got your email with the pics of where we were last fall! And Liz forgave you for "no feet" right away. Enjoying your adventure and hoping for lotsa sunshine from now on!!!

  4. Nice to have a Dr. with you and glad he got you to stay. You certainly don't want to over do it and end up having to leave. Glad you finally had a day with no rain. Be safe out there!! Love you.

  5. Pictures are posted now. Not enough cell service for them to come through the first time.

  6. I like hiking a lot but honestly, mud is not enjoyable. I think that for me, the best places to hike are places where the soil is dry and firm and there aren't a lot of mosquitoes. I think having at least one good partner makes a big difference too. I am glad that you found people who enjoy the activity with you.

    Refugia Stein @ Container Domes