Miles Hiked: 10.3
Miles Left: 1758.0
Ending Location: Watauga Lake Shelter
Today Owl and I were some of the first hikers on the trail for once. That may have something to do with the fact that we did not fully participate in the festivities the night before. So yay for being lame I guess?!
The day ended up being quite chilly. I wish the weather would make up its mind so we can send our cold weather gear back home. I shouldn’t complain though as it was the perfect temperature for hiking. That was good as we had a decent amount of climbing to do. The first part of the trail was fun as we got to see a big waterfall and most of it was along the river. It reminded me of a lot of the hikes I used to do up in Northern Virginia. After that we found ourselves going up two thousand feet over a mountain with no views. There’s an AT challenge called the Damascusthon where hikers will start at Kincora hostel and try to make it to Damascus in 24 hours. Lore has it too many people were completing it so Bob Peoples rerouted the trail over that mountain so hikers would be forced to enjoy that part of Tennessee. There may be some truth to that as it certainly seems like every bump had a white blaze going up it. The term hikers have for these climbs is “Pointless ups and downs”, or Puds. That has a negative connotation so there’s now a movement to call them “Temporary ups and return downs”. I strongly support that ;p
I stopped several times throughout the day to make calls and answer emails as I had cell phone signal which was a rare luxury. I didn’t expect the lack of connectivity to be such a big problem but it does present a host of difficulties. I’m hoping as we get further north I’ll find more AT&T cell towers.
We ended the day at Watauga Lake shelter. It’s notorious for its bear problems as day hikers will camp there and leave all sorts of trash lying around. Because of that while the weather was supposed to be nice both Owl and I stayed in the shelter. As the night went on we were joined by Batman, Ramon Shaman, Cheezeits, and more importantly Sheila, Cheezeit’s dog. We figured no bear would mess with her so we were able to sleep soundly.