Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 60 (15 miles)
I woke up at Dawn and pulled my balaclava over my eyes and went back to sleep. Or at least I tried to. My natural alarm clock wakes me up at dawn when I’m hiking and that it the end of it.
I wanted to have an easy day so I packed up slowly. The 4-6 inches of snow that was predicted last night never came. There was hardly anymore than the 2 inches that fell as I was walking to the shelter. Still it was strikingly beautiful. Hopefully I never get to the point where I dismiss fresh snow with no excitement.
After half a mile I started to make my descent to the valley. There was plenty of slipping and sliding on the snow covered rocks. I also found 2 inches just enough snow to cover the small rocks that litter the ground.
The other great thing about snow is seeing all the animal tracks. I may not always see them but the tracks indicate that there are a reasonable amount of deer around.
I got down of the ridge and entered fields of snow covered farmland. I wound my way through these fields until I arrived at Boiling Springs.
I made a bee line to the cafe. I ate a delicious omlette as I read the newspaper cover to cover as I waited for my phone to charge.
When it was fully charged I headed off to the supermarket that was a mile away. After only a few minutes an old lady pulled up asking if I was heading to the store and it I wanted a lift. I accepted and when she found out I was Thru Hiking she said she would wait the 15 minutes I took to resupply and then drop me back. What I nice person!
Once back, I eat a second lunch by the lake. The sun was out and it was a pleasant day, with the temperature high enough to have already melted the majority of the snow.
I then hit the trail. There was not a lot to see as I walked across the farming valley, but there were other things to keep me occupied. Chickens clacking, the smell of pigs and the sound of guns as people occupied themselves with target practice.
I also got in a good phone call with my family. But eventually I arrived at a shelter, but all that was there was a no camping sign. I looked at my map and it has a shelter symbol with a note saying no camping – who does that?
It was in the middle of a small lot of houses, so I made my way down to the river and cowboy camped knowing full well that it was a terrible spot and I would have a lot of condescension on my sleeping bag come morning.
- donihleWhat is the purpose of a shelter if it doesn’t allow one to stay there….crazy. I have throughly enjoyed your adventure and wait for your post most mornings. Stay safe and happy hiking.