Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 21 (25 miles)
There was rain predicted for the morning with the temperature around freezing. AKA frozen rain.
I woke up at about an hour before dawn and it was not raining, but the wind was up. I packed up quickly and hit the trail using my flashlight.
I hiked over Big Bald Mountain yesterday in the dark. Today I got to go over its smaller sister with a spectacular sunrise.
Little Bald continued the trend from yesterday and had 3 inches of snow, with consistent 6-inch drifts. It made for some interesting scenery and I could not believe how many deer were around. I saw a dozen and so many footprints.
This is when the rain started. It was that slushy sort that sticks and freezes straight away. With my rain gear on, I pushed on in a hurry. Luckily I began to drop in elevation and the rain turned normal within an hour of it starting.
The rest of the morning was spent heading down to Ewin. It was a pleasant trip down with easy trail.
For the final descent into Erwin, I got some great views of the semi-frozen Nolochucky River. It was clouded in and it made the site look eery.
I headed accross the river and straight up the other side. I would be staying in Erwin, but I wanted to make another 10 miles and use the second entrance to town.
The theme of this section was tired legs. I was heading up hill the whole time and I think that the last couple of days have court up to me. It did not help that I was pushing hard to get to the road before sunset and to meet Pano / @stelthmulletfor dinner.
I got to the road and an easy hitch later I arrived at the hiker hostel in town. Not long after Pano showed up and we had a couple of drinks as I heard about his resent Katahdin summit attempt.
Ow, the weather looks great for 3 or 4 days. Yay!