Day 38. Just about the same time I posted last night’s blog, I began to regret my decision of passing up the hostel. The rain that started last night didn’t stop until midday … when it turned to snow. It would have been nice to have a dry bed so I didn’t have to carry wet and frozen gear all day, but oh well. That money saved will go towards tomorrow’s celebration in Damascus.
I honestly thought I left the snow in the Smokies but I was foolish to expect such a change in season so fast. Heck, back home in Minnesota they got something like 8 inches this week. It is actually quite beautiful to look out at though, now that I’m safe and warm in the shelter. And it honestly wasn’t too horrible to hike through either … but it comes with cold, and cold is tough to camp through.
I did best done personal bests today though. I recorded my earliest start (7:55) and my longest distance (23.9 miles), which are both due to the bad weather. I simply want to get to Damascus as fast as possible.
Legs and I started off together and hiked through the bear-frequented area quickly. It was only 5 hours of flat hiking around the lake so went quickly. I secretly hoped to see a bear of course, but didn’t spot even a sign. No scat, no scratched trees, no fur remnants. Nada. I also did not get to see much of the lake, as rain and fog covered much of it. Truly unfortunate, as it looked beautiful last night and would have had countless views from today’s hike.
Ridge eventually showed up at the shelter as well, and none of us were keen to set up a tent/hammock in this winter wonderland. So I am once again huddled in my bag on the shelter floor. It will make it easier to get up and go tomorrow I suppose, so that’s also good. Too cold to say more tonight though, peace out!
Hello Neiman (Sharkbait!)
- Start to Mile: 427.7
- Start Time: 07:55
- End Mile: 451.6
- End Time: 18:15
- Miles Hiked: 23.9
- Miles to Go: 1739.3
- Lodging: Double Springs Shelter