I woke up to frost on my tent (on the inside, from condensation) and another incredible sunrise, this time from the Wayah Bald tower.
It gets better…
This is the gear explosion inside my tent most mornings. These cold temps exacerbate this problem as almost every piece of gear is being worn or packed while trying to stay inside my sleeping bag as long as possible.
This is how you collect water from a trickle into your water bottle using a rhododendron leaf. It tasted great!
The view from 5000′ with Great Smoky Mtn NP on the horizon.
The very cool viewing tower on Wesser Bald (but those steep stairs were a bit sketchy!) A great lunch spot today.
This is my favorite pic of the day (from the top of tower). The clouds are incredible and Double Time is soaking in the fruits of his labor from the steep climb to the top of the mountain. Zoom in and you an see the giant sweat stain on his DT’s back from his pack…nice!
Double Time is a big guy from Arkansas and has been dreaming of hiking the AT for a long time (he kind of reminds me of Larry the Cable Guy). He started from Springer Mtn. w/ a 57lb pack…ouch! But thinks he’s lost ~20lbs of body weight so far (and 15lbs of pack weight). He got his name b/c it takes him double the time to get his miles in each day…but he’s getting it done.
After a 3000′ descent (miles 10-17 for the day) I arrived at the the famous N.O.C., the Nantahala Outdoor Center, an East Coast epicenter for kayaking and rafting. Plus they have real food, a small general store, laundry and cabins for rent.
Our bunkhouse for the night up
In the trees…
This is PBR’s and Grizzly Adams from Otis, MA. getting settee in for the night. I’ve been leapfrogging with them on the trail the last several days and we shared a bunkroom tonight. It was fantastic getting a hot shower and not having to wear a hat to bed.
It’s late now…time for bed 💤💤