I began day 16 on the trail coming across the rushing waters of this beautiful rustic waterfall. I had a later start than usual, with an interesting ride from Beverly. When she picked me up she said she was on her way to church after dropping me on the trail. She asked if I minded if she stopped and got a burrito for breakfast. Of course, I didn’t, but I imagined this had disaster written all over it as it seemed she was going to eat and drive on the mountain roads at the same time. I offered to drive and she thankfully said “yes”!
I had two really long, hard climbs today. I left from Winding Stair Gap at 3690’ elevation. I hiked up to 5,001’ at Siler Bald summit. The downhill took me to an elevation of 4180’ before the climb started again up to 5,290’.
Another mile down the trail I came across Wayah Bald stone fire tower and footpath at 5,342’ elevation! Wikipedia has this to say about Wayah Bald and the stone tower:
Wayah Bald is a high-altitude treeless open area in Nantahala National Forest, near Franklin, North Carolina. The Wayah Bald Observation Tower is located at the area’s highest point (5,385 feet); the stone observation tower was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937 for fire detection. The Appalachian Trail andBartram Trail cross at Wayah Bald.
I wasn’t finished yet. My goal was to get to Cold Spring Shelter at mm 125.6 which meant another 5 miles up and down with an ending elevation of 4,926’. I arrived late in the day and the sun was setting so I was a bit rushed to set up my tent, get water, cook some supper and head for my sleeping bag.
This is short because I am out of energy for the day. Sweet dreams.
Starting MM 109.8 Winding Stair Gap
Ending MM 125.6 Cold Spring
15.8 miles for the day.
From The Trail,
P.S. Happy 20th Birthday to my sweet and lovely granddaughter, Rachel!