Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 4 (20 miles)
The rain that started last night, did not stop at all. My alarm went off at 6.30 but I rolled over and waited for the sun to rise.
I got up about half an hour later and packed up slowly. Talking to they other guy in the shelter as I did so. His plan was to wait out the rain in the shelter.
I eventually convinced myself to get going. With my poncho on, as it was surprisingly warm, I started the climb up to 5,000ft (1,600m). The rain was heavy, consistent, and never relented.
As I got higher, I walked into the clouds. This created a haunting visual of the leafless (dead) trees and the fog. The bright green moss created the only break from the gloom.
Unsurprisingly, as I got higher the temperature dropped. I put on my rain jacket and, half an hour later, my rain pants to keep warm.
Near the top, I did poke out above the clouds for 15 minutes. It was both nice to get a great from the rain and also witness the sea of clouds rolling around the other.
Unfortunately this respite did not last long and I descended back into the clouds and rain for the rest of the day.
I had not really stopped at all and was going to have a break at a shelter and then push on and camp for the first time of the hike, but there was a section hiker there and we started talking. I lost track of time and ended up staying there.
On a side note, my MP3 player must have gotten wet in my rain jacket pocket. Maybe condensation of my sweat? I’ve had that little thing for 9,000 miles of hiking. It will be missed.