Hiked a short, slow day today, 18 miles, to Mountaineer Falls Shelter at mile 400.7. Passed two waterfalls today, one 0.2 miles round-trip off trail. Started the day with yet another climb of two balds! I’m so tired of climbing balds. I get it North Carolina, you have a lot of balds. I finally finished North Carolina today! I’ll be out of TN in just 66 more miles as well, so it’s exciting to see how much progress I’ve made. Pretty excited to get to Kincora tomorrow. My left Achilles tendon has been screaming at me since about noon today, so I’m hoping for a less painful day tomorrow. This is a photo of me at Jones Falls, which is about 0.1 miles off trail.
Started off as a rough morning. I was feeling lonely and had a long day planned. The trail undulated quite a bit, finally going downhill a little before climbing Roan Mountain. There had been a lot of trail reroutes on this mountain, making it an easier climb, but really throwing me off mileage-wise! The climb was really rough, the last mile climbing 1000 feet and having three false summits. When I got to the top, I met with Country, Miles, Davy Jones, and Spools. I walked with Davy Jones for the next two miles and then climbed yet again for the day, three more balds, before finally making it to Overmoutain Shelter. Nitrous pointed out to me I did bonus miles as well… I accidentally did a mile extra, making my total for the day 24. Tomorrow is just 18, but I may go farther depending on how early I get to the shelter. On to Kincora Hostel in two days! This is a photo of Roan Mtn after I climbed it, looking as mean as it truly was!
Day 24 Started strong out of Erwin with Nitrous this morning. We started the day with overcast weather, but it was turning into a nice day about four miles in. We climbed up over Beauty Spot and then moved on to our tough climb , Unaka! It turned out to be not only easier than I thought, but also my favorite mountain of the hike so far. On the way up it was rocky, then more bald-like, finally ending at 5100 feet in a spruce forest. A gorgeous climb and then a hike downhill to the shelter. An easy 17-mile day for sure! Tomorrow we have a long 22.5-miler to get to Overmountain Shelter and climbing Roan Mountain! This is looking up to Mt Unaka from the Beauty Spot.
Today was a super hard emotional day for me. I found out this morning that Bob had to get off the trail. It broke my Heart to lose my partner yet again. Out in the trail, you bond with people so quickly that it hurts when they have to leave. I hope Bob gets back soon. I had a Nero day from 5,8 miles up to Erwin and stayed at Uncle Johnny’s hostel just off the trail. Had two all- you-can-eat meals and then did some grocery shopping, which was overwhelming due to my partner being gone since we had a resupply plan. I hooked up with Brownie (formerly Alyssa) and Wall-e, with Krispy Kreme showing up after the lunch shuttle. Nitrous also came in around 3 and we’ve planned to hike to Damascus together to meet our spouses next week, 125.1 miles and less than 7 days from here. Life must go on I suppose. I really hope Bob is okay though and hope he’s back soon. On to a 20-mile day tomorrow, climbing Mt Unaka!
This is officially my third week anniversary on the trail! I had an easy 20.7 miles today, doing it in about 8 hours with breaks! I got to No Business Knob at around 4:15, just in time for the rain to start! We waited about an hour for the rain to let up and then set up our tents. Alyssa and Wall-e showed up around 7, but no sign of Krispy Kreme or Bob. Hoping they’re both alright in this rain! I wish I would have been able to get some photos today, as I went over two balds, Big and Little Balds, and an awesome rock feature called High Rocks, but with the threat of rain it didn’t happen 😦 Erwin tomorrow for hot showers, clean laundry, and cookies! (and beer too, ha!)
I cannot believe that I’ve hiked 100 miles in such a short period of time! Today we hit the 300-mile mark at Jerry Cabin Shelter at around 11 a.m. Considering I took a zero day recently, we’re all pretty excited with out progress! Wall-e, Alyssa, and Krispy Kreme have been pacing with Bob and me. They started the same day we did and we’re all moving quick. It’s nice to have a little group forming that we travel with. We had some tough climbs today to say the least. I wanted to give a big congrats to Nitrous Oxide today! While Bob and I did 21.5 mile, Nitrous did 32.8 today! He was hiking in memory of those killed at VA Tech in the shooting two years ago. He raised money on his blog today as well, due to his awesome effort, for the Delta Society, which provides therapy dogs for those in need. Congrats to him for sure! Another long day planned for tomorrow, 20.7 at least, and then Erwin the next day for hot showers! I think the thru hiker smell is really starting to set in with this terrible heat, ha!
My first day back hiking with Bob and I was so happy to have a partner on a tough day to say the least. The climbs today weren’t difficult, but the temperature was about 30 degrees warmer than the last day I did a full day of hiking! Bob drank nearly 7 liters of water today and I had 5 and we both got headaches and dehydrated. It was incredibly hot towards the end of the day. We had planned to do 21.5 miles, but cut it short at 19.5 in order to stay at a shelter with good water. After a big dinner and a lot of water we both felt better and we are ready to face tomorrow!
Took a zero day in Hot Springs with several friends today. Bob and I did a lot of errands and ate more food than I care to think about. Ultra Violet, Naked Ninja, and Nitrous Oxide joined us several times today for ice cream and a soak in the mineral tubs just before bed. We had such and awesome day and are planning for a long hike tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure we’re up for it. It’s going to be a tough day, but now that I’ve got a partner to hike with I think it’s going to help with my pacing and get us both the mental support we need. We’re going to try and keep pace with the Georgia Boys for a while as well.
Started a little late today, about 8:30. I got a text from my friend Bob last night saying he had somehow gotten behind me, which was really tough! I was hoping he’d catch up to me today on Hot Springs, about 15 miles from where I started. My sister came into town and I got a lot of great food and trail magic from her as well! About 7 pm, I get a text from Bob saying he was in town and it blew my mind! We’re planning either a Nero or zero tomorrow depending on how we feel. We had an awesome reunion and I’m really excited to have a trail partner again to say the least! These blazes are on the sidewalk in Hot Springs, as the trail runs down the main street.
Had a great night’s sleep at Standing Bear last night and pushed super hard today to Walnut Mtn Shelter and walked over three separate balds today. I got to spend quite a bit of time on Max Patch today and it actually felt like I was standing on top of the world at one point, as there was nothing but a blue, cloudless sky beyond the ridge as I came to the top! I also heard from my friend Bob, who I’ve been trying to catch since Sunday! Ill actually get to see him if I stick around in Hot Springs, so I may zero there. I’m having such an amazing time out here meeting new people and learning about so many different things. I’m very blessed to have this opportunity in my life to say the least. I’m loving the trail! As you can see below, Max Patch really does feel like the top of the world.