Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 2- My Perfect Spring Day

Hawk Mt shelter(8.1)-Woody Gap(20.8)

Today was my perfect spring day. I awoke this morning to clear skies and the  sun peaking above the mountains. It was absolutely perfect, although my picture is very crappy 
As most of you already know, I am not a morning person. I got a late start, so instead of eating a proper breakfast I got packed up and ate a poptart on my way out of camp. 
The day started with a steep decent of 560 feet spread over .40 mile. Then a very rapid ascent. My legs held up surprising well. I was blowing past the hikers that left an hour before me. I was very pleased with myself. So far I haven't had any issues with blisters, which is very rare. I think it's the combination of my new Brooks Cascadia 10 trail runners, darn tough socks, and Iniji toe socks. 
Morning views as I climbed Sassafras Mt. 

As I summited Sassafras I decided it was time to cook a proper breakfast. I cooked oatmeal and coffee and as I looked out at the Appalachian Mountains, it dawned on me how truly blessed I am to have the opportunity to do this trek. 
As I descended into Cooper Gap I heard several hikers call out, "You just missed trail magic". I wasn't even disappointed. I had trail magic of my own, looking out at the mountains as I had a hot meal and my morning coffee. 

I've been trying to keep my daily mileage low for the first few days. I don't want to push things too hard too fast. Today did not work out the way I had planned. I arrived at my planned destination, Gooch Gap shelter at 2:00. I knew I couldn't just sit around all day, so I had a quick lunch and pushed on. At 3:00 I hit Gooch Gap and I saw a few people I had met yesterday, camped out there. They invited me to stay, but I was in the zone so I pushed on. As I crossed the gap I saw some amazing wood works. They really made me smile to see something so beautifully hand crafted out in the middle of nowhere. 
At this point I was beginning to doubt my decision to push on. I was at 9 miles for the day, and had a big climb to get over Ramrock Mt. The next decent stopping point was still almost 4 miles away and it was getting late. I had no choice but to push on. As I was climbing Ramrock Mt I met Photo Guy and Eric. I would stick with them for the rest of the climb, but quickly outpace them on the downhill portion(I'm kind of a beast on the downhill). I arrived at Woody Gap a little after 6:00, breaking my rule if stopping by 5 every night for the first week. Oh well, rules are made to be broken. I meet a few other cool thru-hikers at the gap, Katie and Adam?, Kellen, Chuck, and a guy I'm calling Austin, because that's where he is from and I can't remember his real name. Eventually Photo Guy and Eric showed up as well. Once again it's late and I've had a long day. 
I'll leave you with this shot of me on Ramrock Mt. 
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity
John Muir, Our National Parks


  1. I love reading your updates! It sounds awesome so far!

  2. Love the bear pics and how you describe what you have seen and who you have met. Travel well.

  3. Wow. Sounds even better that what you thought it would be.

  4. I enjoyed your descriptions of what you have done so far. Enjoyed the pictures. Keep them coming

  5. Katie, you write beautifully! What a great adventure! Enjoy! Thanks for taking us along!

  6. Keep stepping Katie. Thanks for sharing your experience💜