Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Coal …

Cold Spring Shelter at MM 125.6

Cold Spring Shelter at MM 125.6

I spent last night at Cold Spring Shelter.  When I arrived I was just too beat to set up my tent. Turned out well. I had two shelter mates, Stealth (from Indiana)  and Super Nova (from Virginia.)  This was one of my better nights of sleep.  You will see a little bit of the table and a fire pit on the left side of the photo. All the shelters have a table.

Day 17 NC 3-7-16At Wesser Bald (mm 130.6) I met up with Pinky.  We had met previously at TOG, Muskrat Creek, and Carter Gap.  Pinky is a nice kid from Pennsylvania.

Rhododendron budding!

Rhododendron budding!

The trail is lined with rhododendron and I look forward to sending home pictures of these beauties when they bloom.

It was another difficult day hiking.  Just when I thought I was at the mountain top I realized I still had another 5 climbs to go up!  Leaving Cold Spring we were at 4,926′ elevation.  After several ups and downs, we descended to 1,732′ at Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City, NC.

Day 17 Bryson City mm 137.3

Day 17 Bryson City mm 137.3

A sight for sore eyes was my lovely wife as I descended the trail.  She brought me a new sleeping quilt/bag and food supplies.  After a good review of the quilt, I’ve decided to stay with my mummy bag for the time being. (Sorry Catherine)  I’m not convinced the quilt will be warm enough through the Smokey Mountains.

Dinner was at Rivers End restaurant.  Even though, off the trail I’ve eaten meals like this one, my wife says I look like I’ve lost 10 lbs.   At the trail restaurants, fresh veggie plates seem hard to come by!  (Although I did get some okra at Willies – fried, of course)   At the restaurant, we met Pinky  and it was nice to be able to introduce him to my wife and MIL, Alice.  We also gave him a ride to the local C-store to get some supplies.

MIL Alice on the A.T.

MIL Alice on the A.T.

An A.T. truism, what goes down must go back up. Tomorrow I will hike to a height of 4,391′ before I can call it a day.  This ascent is over a 6.6 mile climb.  Day after that it will still take another 1.2 miles to reach Cheoah Bald at 5,062′ elevation.

Starting  MM   125.6  Cold Spring
Ending   MM   137.3   Nantahala Outdoor Center
11.7 miles for the day.

From The Trail,

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11 Responses to Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Coal …

  1. Michael says:

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Dewey says:

    You look great! Keep it up.


  3. Awesome work! I’m really enjoying your blog- one of the best so far this season!
    I’m going hiking soon with my 72 year old Dad so your are providing some inspiration!


  4. Kathy Deuermeyer says:

    Love the photos ,Lee


  5. Eileen Waddington says:

    Glad you got a good nights sleep and be good to catch up with family again. You are an inspiration 😀👍


  6. Sandy Boyer says:

    Jim and I are following along on your journey. I am so impressed that you have made this decision to act on your dream … something most of us only dream of doing! You’re become a bit of a hero in my eyes … not for the deeds you do for others, but for the deeds you’re doing for yourself! Your messages are such and inspiration! Please know that many are praying for your safe and successful journey. Stay the course, Pilgrim —


  7. Eileen Daugherty says:

    Hi Dad, I won’t call you FIL. I am so proud of you. You are such an inspiration for all of us here in Cali. We are all following your blog. I’m really enjoying reading it and look forward to it daily.
    Be careful out there and listen to what you body is telling you. Don’t ignore or overlook signals from your body. Keep downloading pics. We can live vicariously through you.
    We love you. Looking forward to hearing more adventures.


    • Pilgrim says:

      Thanks Eileen, so glad to hear from you. Does my heart good to know you are all with me! Give my love to Bryan and the kids, kiss the great-grands for me too!


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