Day 32 – Will It Ever Stop Raining?

Day 32

Start: Painter Branch

End: Brown Gap

Miles Hiked: 7.7

Miles on AT: 251.8


Today is town day! Thank goodness because everything is grimy, smelly, and damp. We need a good cleaning.

This morning we woke up relatively early around 7:00 am, but didn’t leave camp until around 10 am. We lazed about and enjoyed the break from the rain. Hiker logic tells you to start hiking as soon as possible if it’s not raining and there is rain in the forecast (especially if it’s town day), but we weren’t being logical today.

The break in the rain didn’t last long, however. About an hour into our hike, a huge storm cloud blew over the mountain we were ascending and dumped rain on us. It was surreal. We were face to face with the cloud and quite literally watched it overtake us and the mountain. An unnatural darkness gripped us and the rain soon followed.

At the top, there was a lookout tower that I had been interested in exploring, but as I looked in its direction from the trail, I could barely make out its shape. It was completely surrounded by dense fog; imagining the view wouldn’t be that difficult. Not to mention, I wanted to keep moving so I could stay warm in the cold rain.

As we descended, it continued to pour and pour. I was absolutely soaked. My pants, shirt, socks, you name it, it was wet. I was miserable, I had already woken up on the wrong side of the bed because I was so tired of being damp and I was more than eager to make it to town. The 8-ish miles seemed insurmountable. Now, on top of that, I was wet and running through the rain. Well, I guess things could’ve been worse. 

Eventually, the rain stopped and I spotted more of the orchids I had seen the evening before. They were dotted all along the trail. Before I knew it, we reached Brown Gap. I was drenched and muddy, just gross. My dry sleep clothes called me from my pack, and I dashed into the woods to change before the long drive to Hot Springs.

Tonight we are warm and dry and will have a roof over our heads to keep the rain out. It’s the little things.


And that’s day 32.


Follow my journey on instagram (@jenbrownhikes) for more updates!


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