Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Day 35- I Could Get Use To This

Stealth Campsite(407.8) to Pond Flats Campsite(423.7) 15.9 

I really enjoy camping with Airlock and Cherokee. They like to get up early and get going. We were up this morning at 6:05 and on the trail by 7:00, the earliest I've ever started. Cherokee made coffee and brought me my food bag. It was almost like breakfast in bed. We quickly spread out over the first few miles. My feet felt better early in the day, but they quickly turned painful after 7 or 8 miles. 
Not Very Hardcore

The early part of today was pretty easy. Lots of little ups and downs. Cherokee, Airlock, and I had planned to meet up at a resort/hostel 11 miles down the trail. We all needed to resupply for the next leg and Black Bear Resort was the most convenient option. The last few miles before I got to the resort tore my heels up pretty bad. It was a long, rocky decent and my feet have not been holding up well on that kind of terrain. Since I got started so early this morning, I made it to the resort by 12. It was a really nice location with lots of cabins for rent and tons of space for RV's. The camp store had pretty decent resupply options. Airlock and Cherokee made it there right after me. We took a few hours to drink soda and eat Klondike bars and sandwiches. 
Today was really warm and humid again. It's been nice to stop and take extended breaks in the afternoon. I'm sure it will be good training for this summer. 
Old Barn on the way to Black Bear Resort

After our afternoon siesta, I was dragging a little bit, but the next section we hiked was pretty sweet. Laurel Falls was an amazing waterfall. We took our time hiking down to it. It had started raining and the rock path leading down to the falls was very slippery. 
Laurel Falls
Me, Cherokee, and Airlock

The trail leading out of the falls was pretty sketchy in some areas. We had to walk around a slippery edge with the river rushing past. I like terrain like that, it mixes things up. 
Airlock on sketchy edge
Cherokee making his way around

We only had 2.7 miles to go until our campsite, but unfortunately it was all uphill. A long, rocky uphill, but lucky for me, my feet hold up well on the uphill. 

View from the top

Tomorrow should be another long day. I'm still hoping for the best with my feet, but I'm pretty sure that's just wishful thinking. I'll be in Damascus in 3 days and looking forward to making my way to an outfitter. I'm ready to send some gear and clothing home and I need to buy a few new things. 

It's now way past hiker midnight and people are still up talking and being loud. I'm trying not to be irritated, but it's just disrespectful to stand right next to my hammock and keep talking. Most of us have been in our tents for over an hour trying to sleep. I'm pretty sure tomorrow night we will stealth camp again. 

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."
-Harriet Beecher Stowe


  1. Hope you have good views of Watauga Lake tomorrow (Thursday). Hoping your feet hold up ok to get you to Damascus; I see that the AT goes right through town. That is convenient.

  2. Great waterfall! Hope you keep seeing neat stuff like that! Take care of those feet! Enjoying your blogs Thanks for sharing!

  3. Funny how you met up with Airlock! I've been reading her Trail Journal as well. You are both at the top of my AT Thru Blog follows, great reads both.

  4. Katie - love your quotes at the end of your blogs - did you bring a list of them to choose from?