Day 32: (G)Roan Mountain

Tired But Happy

I started out tired. I finished more tired. This one beat me up.

Today’s section had less climbing and fewer miles than yesterday’s, but I wonked on the climb up Roan Mountain. I made it, and kept my pace, but I took no pictures, recorded no video, and did nothing but put one foot in front of the other.

Roan Mountain is capped with a beautiful mossy conifer forest, but I barely noticed it. The ruins of a once-huge resort hotel lie atop the peak, but I walked right past them. (I intended to fetch Northstar and drive back up to tour them, but found out later the Forest Service has closed the road).  There may have been views, but I can’t say for sure.

A Bit of My Bubble

I probably would have taken a nap before hiking down the mountain to Carver’s Gap, but I bumped into PhD and Bree just below the summit. PhD somehow discovered that I went to college in their hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. By the time we got to the Gap, I’d gotten a PhD in Michigan outdoors information. The guy has been everywhere. Nice to see them again.

Why So Tired?

I have no idea why this hike beat me up, but I have some likely suspects. I didn’t sleep well. I didn’t eat enough. And I had a long one yesterday.

I can do something about the first two. I’ll be asleep in a few minutes, well before the sun goes down, but only after I finish eating everything and anything in the van. There might be an Advil PM in my future as well. We’ll see if taking care of the first two overcomes the third.

Last night, we drove up a gravel side road a few miles to escape a weedy trail magic crowd at the Gap. We found a great spot and had a nice, quiet evening in our lawn chairs watching the sunset. But after we went to bed, the wind came up and rattled the bike rack all night. We’ll camp a little lower tonight to avoid the wind coming in with the weather. That should help me sleep.

Now THAT’s Quiet

Speaking of quiet, when I started walking this morning the woods were so still, I actually heard a spider web stretched across the trail snap when I broke it with my face.

Off to bed. Tomorrow is another long one.

Daily Stats:

  • Start: Iron Mtn Gap (Mile 364.5)
  • End: Carver’s Gap (Mile 380.5)
  • Weather: Send a postcard, this is it.
  • Earworm: Hosanna (JC Superstar)
  • Meditation: Jn 17:3
  • Plant of the Day: Chicken of the Woods (seriously, look it up)-
  • Best Thing: Hiking with Gus
  • Worst Thing: Dog tired

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Comments 7

  • Smitty : May 11th

    College in GR? I know a bunch of evangelical Calvinists from that town. I’ll bet we have mutual friends. You’re doing great, it must be tough dodging the autograph hounds and paparazzi now that your a big thru hiker. Enjoying your posts walk on brother

    • Jon : May 14th

      John Calvin’s college, for sure. I can play Dutch bingo with the best of them… Meanwhile I’ll keep scouring the hills for TULIPs.

  • thetentman : May 12th

    Mama said there would be days like this. Mama said.

    More power to you. Hike on! And thank the Mrs.


  • Britannica : May 14th

    Calvin and GVSU grad here. How did I miss the GR meet up? We hiked Carver’s Gap to 19e on May 11-we must have passed on the trail? We’re hiking south now, so happy trails!

    • Jon : May 14th

      Small world! I saw a few Dutch looking folks and almost asked…

    • Jon : May 14th

      Hmm, I had a suitemate named Dan Ritsema in the late 70’s.

      • Britannica : May 23rd

        Yep that’s my brother. He says hi! Double sad we didn’t meet on the trail.


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