Day 32: Back to the “normal” AT

Miles Hiked: 6.9
Miles Left: 1937.6
Ending Location: Groundhog Creek Shelter

Owl and I ended up bunking with Diesel and Dundee in the cabin over the river. It was pretty neat until we tried to sleep as the over active heating system combined with the rapid cooling of the river left us either in a state of sweltering or freezing the entire night. Also there was a mountain lion in the area, (one of the locals caught it on their game camera and dogs/cats/chickens have been disappearing recently), which was knowledge I wish I didn’t have when getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom outside.

The lack of sleep combined with a steady downpour left us with low spirits in the morning. The caretaker Rocketman recommended we try and pull a 15+ mile day saying that while it was all “up” it was gradual but Owl and I agreed there was no way that was happening so we set our sights on a closer shelter.

On our initial assent we ran across a pair of rain pants lying in the mud. We later found out they were Raven Clouds, but at the time not knowing who’s they were or if we’d run into them we moved them to a branch on the side of the trail as neither of us wanted to deal with the weight or the mess they would cause. Sorry Raven Cloud!

The rain eventually tapered off, but it remained foggy and muddy the entire day. The highlight of the hike was seeing the FAA aviation aid tower on top of Bluebird mountain. It was a big radio array that had transmitters all around the main one that modify the signal enough that planes can tell where they are in relation to it. It was a neat looking system and Owl and I speculated that MITRE almost certainly had a hand in designing it.

While both of us would like to get back to camping, the prospect of setting up in the mud and being rained on weren’t too appealing so we decided to stay in the shelter instead. The shelter itself was soaked which was disconcerting but we speculated that was due to the humidity and fog.

Wow, re-reading the above it sounds like today was horrible but it wasn’t that bad once we got moving. That’s what we aim for on the trail: “Not horrible”.

Later in the evening Journeyman joined us at the shelter. This was the first we met him and he had some interesting stories. He had started hiking in January and gotten off the trail due to injury so now he was back at it. We certainly appreciated the company since our earlier conversations had centered around which one of us the bears would eat first.




1 thought on “Day 32: Back to the “normal” AT

  1. Mark Gregg

    Matt, I feel for you guys in the mud and rain! Nothing looks good in the rain unless you are a farmer. In Vietnam sometimes it felt like it would never stop raining .I swore I would never sleep in a tent again after that and I have kept that promise to myself. But sunnier days and warmer temps are ahead for you guys so mush on. It seems you are making great progress. Stay safe and upbeat!


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