Dilemma Time


Nantahala Outdoor Center A New Hike Begins

After reaching Dick’s Gap last night we were faced with a dilemma.  The trail north of Dick’s continues for over 30 miles with no crossroad or a way to get off the mountain.  Typically that would not be a problem except for the weather forecast.  Monday showed rain and snow and lows in the teens. Tuesday’s forecast was the same.  However, Wednesday’s forecast calls for lows in the single digits with wind chills below zero.

We thought we could probably handle Monday and Tuesday but Wednesday will be dangerous on the mountain.  My sleeping bag is rated at 5 degrees but Pilgrim changed to a cooler 30-degree bag in order to sleep better than last year.  So with Catherine’s help, we came up with these possible options:

1) Go for it.
2) Take three or four days off the trail and wait for better weather.
3) Jump on the trail north at Nantahala Outdoor Center and continue as planned to Fontana skipping a significant section in the middle.

Sooo… option one was not happening.  Pilgrim and I do possess one good brain between us (75% Pilgrim and 25% SlimTim).

Option 2 did not appeal to me.  I am here to hike and I’m not crazy about waiting.
So we went with option 3.  Catherine and Pilgrim have some amazing friends who live nearby, Jim and Naomi.  A quick call to them and Jim volunteered (!) to drive up from his home in Sky Valley, Georgia and haul us up to Nantahala.  We owe Jim a huge bit of gratitude and a steak dinner at a later time.

Around noon we were back on the trail climbing up to Sassafras Gap.  The climb was steep.  Here is an elevation map of today’s hike.

We made it to the shelter about 90 minutes before dark.  We set up tents and ate.  Shortly after retiring to our sleeping bags it started raining.  It will be interesting to see what we have in the morning.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see several more inches of snow on the ground.

Time to sleep
Slim Tim

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6 Responses to Dilemma Time

  1. Chris dufner says:

    Keep up the faith and creativity. The weather is trying to be a challenge.


  2. Betsy A says:

    Enjoy, but let first consideration be SAFETY.
    Good to hear from you.


  3. Pingback: Saved By Our Friends! | A TimLee Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

  4. Agent 314 says:

    As they say, discretion is the better part of valor. Well played on the discretion front gents! Watching the weather from fly over country, the east is getting pounded. Momma Nature is playing crewel games with her winter this year. Heads up, be safe!


  5. Avery says:

    Smart move. Keep pressing on.


  6. Jim Davis says:

    I know you guys hated to cut it short, but it was a very smart move. Walking the trail in good weather sounds tough enough.


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