Wednesday April 25, 2018
Mom dropped me off at Neel Gap this morning at 7:45am. It was overcast, cold and windy. But no rain! Mom and Berkley started up the trail with me for a short while, before turning back. Berkley seemed to be really enjoying the trail this morning. He was exploring everything.
After they turned around and I hiked on it was pretty lonely. I was wishing I had someone to share this adventure with. I soon began to pass a lot of hikers. I took time and spoke to most of them and my loneliness was soon gone and I was enjoying my day. I met quite a few hikers from Florida. Most of the hikers I met were just section hikers and a few day hikers. There were only a few out of the 25+ people I ran into that were starting their thru hikes.
I’ve seen all kinds of things out here. Most are memorials for people, but some times it is just cute little things out in the middle of nowhere.
I couldn’t believe all the people that I caught up to and passed. I guess time on the trail really makes you a much better hiker. I hiked 18.3 miles for the day. I was pretty shocked when I added up the miles. I feel like I could have slackpacked the whole distance I had planned for two days in one. I had originally planned about 12 miles for the day since I hadn’t been backpacking in more than 6 months and thought I would be out of shape. I sure did surprise myself. There is rain in the forecast for tomorrow so I decided to go further today and have Mom pick me up earlier tomorrow. I’m hoping to avoid the rain.
I stopped at a stealth spot for the night and so far I am camping alone but I can hear a few guys in a campsite not far from me and smell their campfire.
Thursday April 26, 2018
I woke up early this morning…4am early. I had to pee! Which means I have to crawl out of my toasty warm sleeping bag and put on my jacket since it is in the low 40’s and put on my sneakers. I crawl out of my tent and it is light enough that I don’t need a flashlight. As I take care of business I look up and see the sky is clear and I can see some stars and the lights from a town far below. I finish, then proceed to go through the process in reverse ending up in my toasty bag again. As I am laying there I can hear the guys in the camp below me. I wonder if they got cold and are trying to get their camp fire going again. I don’t smell any smoke but the winds are calmer than they were last night. About 5:45am I hear “Dude, make sure you go the right way” meaning when you come out of camp make sure you head north if that is the direction you want to be heading in. Sometimes you can get turned around when you get off trail and may end up heading south instead of north. I couldn’t believe they were headed out so early. It was still dark out. But they may have had a destination they wanted to get to before the rain started today. Yesterday the rain was forecasted to start around 8am, but when I checked radar this morning it looked like it was going to hold off until 11am.
I stayed in my bag until it was light out about 6:15 then started to pack up. I left camp at 7. I made a stop for water and to eat breakfast (granola and carnation instant breakfast drink mix) and was on my way. Mom was picking me up at 8:30. I only had about 3 miles to hike to met her.
The morning was beautiful. The sun was shining and I warmed up quickly. Again I ran into more people and enjoyed talking to them.
I met Mom at the trail head and she let Berkley come great me on the trail. He seemed like he wanted to hike some so I took him back up the mountain I just came down.
We then headed back to the hotel and I got showered up. I wanted to go to one of my favorite outfitters…Mountain Crossings. Going to an outfitter is my kind of shopping. I love to gear shop!!!😃 Babydoll, you will be happy to know I spent less than $100. Now that is some restraint!
As we were heading to the outfitters the rain started. The beautiful morning turned into a cold and rainy day. I felt bad for the hikers on the trail. Hiking is a cold rain is no fun. I was glad not to be in it.