Yesterday started out well. The sky was fairly clear but we ended up walking most of the day in the rain. When arrived at our campsite the rain was joined by strong winds. It was very difficult to put up the tents and the dropping temperatures and freezing cold conditions continued through the night. Once our tents were up we got into our sleeping bags to warm up. We started to prepare food but our stoves didn’t work because it was too cold and windy. That meant we had to eat our snack food, nuts, and raisins. Once into our sleeping bags, we both hunkered down trying to get sleep with the wind roaring.
When we got up this morning everything was frozen and dirty from the rain and muddy conditions. We decided to just pack up and get moving as quickly as possible, eating a few snacks along the way. The first part of the hike today was not all that difficult. However, when we reached the peak of Blood Mountain we were faced with very rocky terrain. The snow and the rain made the rocks slippery and made for a very difficult descent. We arrived at Neels Gap a little afternoon and spent the first hour eating everything in sight, loading up on calories, carbohydrates and protein! A moon pie finished off my frenzy eating and it was great!
This afternoon was spent getting our gear cleaned and prepared for tomorrow. Everything was wet and dirty. Our goal is to put in about 11 miles tomorrow arriving at Low Gap Shelter by late afternoon.
Some side notes: Sleep is a bit elusive so far. Both SlimTim and I are working through the adjustment of tent sleeping. Someone else we ran into on the trail has the name Pilgrim, but it fits me well and I don’t plan to change.
This seems to be a bit of a slow start, but we knew beginning our hike so early in the season might require us taking zero days because of weather. Hikers also have to adjust for the unknown event of sickness. We surely didn’t expect my sickness and the big storm one day after the other. But, it is all good. Although today was cold and snowy the mountains were absolutely beautiful. We are meeting a lot of great people!
From The Trail, Pilgrim
P.S. Thanks for following and reading our ramblings. It is encouraging to us to know you are interested!