Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 26 (13 miles)
Well, last night was rather shit. I stayed in the emergency shelter rather than pushing on another mile to the normal verify. When I stopped it was extremely heavy rain and the shelter worked great. However, the temperature dropped from mid-40’s F (8C) to low teens (-10C) and the rain turned into snow. The snow then got blown in under my tarp and in through the gaps in the walls and settling on me. The short story is my sleeping bag got wet and I got cold.
The blown in snow was mainly a problem when the temperature started to change and the snow was still wet. But once the temperature dropped enough and the snow dried out I would wake up every 30 minutes or so and brush it off my bivy without a problem.
What was annoying was the normal shelter was completely dry!
The good news was the 2-3 inches of snow the next morning changed the landscape from monotonous hardwood to an interesting winter playground.
I convinced myself to get out of bed at 7.30 and, after taking an extra 10 minutes to try and get into my frozen shoes, set off breaking trail.
I had a fabulous morning, fresh snow and almost all downhill mad for an easy and extremely memorable day. I love how fresh snow settles on branches.
Oh, and I passed into Virginia! 3 states down, 11 to go!
Turning a corner I saw the snow-dusted town of Damascus before me. I walked in and spent quite a while trying to find the only restaurant open in town before heading to a hostel to stay the night, dry my sleeping bag and give my slightly swollen knee a little rest.