Talk about a rough night, temperatures plummeted and we had rain, sleet, and even a little bit of snow. I managed to stay very warm in the hammock until around 4:45. The winds picked up to around 30-40 mph and I got pretty chilled. I woke up around 6:25, but couldn't drag myself out of my warm sleeping bag until 7:25. I was greeted by frost covering my tarp.
I quickly broke camp and hurried to catch up to HVAC and Lorax who left about 30 minutes before me. It didn't take very long for me to begin to shed layers of clothing. That was the theme of the day, stop and take clothes off, then stop and put clothes back on. The day was sunny, as was forecasted, but the high was 50 and very windy. Even with the frigid temperatures today was majestic. We had big views all day long. HVAC and Lorax hike much slower than me, so I would hike ahead and then take a break and allow them to catch up. On one of our lunch breaks we had a spectacular view.
Today was either 12.6 mile day or a 20.3 mile day. I could have easily done 20.3, but I would have lost HVAC and Lorax, so I kept my mileage low. It was a very easy hike, with lots of miles along ridgelines. It was easily my favorite day in GSMNP, but all the other days had pretty horrible weather. I plan on exiting the park tomorrow. I am happy to have it behind me. The weather has been lousy and I'm not a fan of the restrictions. I have had some pretty incredible views even with the weather and I can see why so many people love the park.
Tomorrow will be a 18 mile day, so I'm planning on getting a early start. I'm staying in the shelter tonight so I hope to stay warm and get some sleep. There are 14 of us packed shoulder to shoulder, so a good nights sleep is doubtful. I'll leave you with a few random pictures from today.
Luke: "Thats's impossible"
Yoda: "And that's why you fail"