Day 67 – A Beautiful Sunset on the Appalachian Trail

Day 67

Start: Jenny Knob Shelter

End: Radio Tower Campsite

Miles Hiked: 19.4

Miles on AT: 623.3

 

We stuck to the plan today! It was difficult, but we did it. The first step was to get out of camp early. Because I knew my slow morning starts would give Janitor time to catch up, I left at 8 am as he cooked his breakfast to eat on the go.

The morning climb was pleasant, with smooth switchbacks making the path easy. Once on top, I slowed down and waited a bit for Janitor catch up. A few minutes later, he appeared, breakfast eaten. Together we continued along the ridge, eventually moving down to a cool suspension bridge. This bridge was pretty big compared to some of the other ones we’d passed so far. I set up my camera and tripod on one end and started walking to the middle to get a shot when the bridge started swaying. I was completely taken by surprise. I got the shot, but then gingerly made my way back before the bridge swayed too much and sent my phone into the creek below.

We then crossed a road and came upon a trail register. There were so many familiar names scrawled on the page and, of course, many unfamiliar ones. Stopping and reading trail logs is such a treat for a thru hiker. It’s kind of like catching up with old friends even though they’re not right there with you. It’s so fun to see the progress that everyone is making. After adding ourselves to the tally, we moved on.

The trail is starting to get pretty dry now that summer is almost here. The creek we crossed wasn’t a recommended drinking source, so we had to push a few more miles to find one suitable for lunch. Eventually, we reached a perfect stream and campsite where we could relax and lay out all of our things.

Refreshed by the crisp, cool water, food, and an hour’s rest, we continued on with more energy. For the next few miles, the trail was pretty flat and cruisey, a rarity on the AT. We saw another snake as well as fish in a stream. We even came upon the most perfect little pond that had clear water and a sandy bottom. It was a bit too hot and sunny for Janitor to be comfortable going in the water, plus we still had several miles to go, so we skipped it.

All we had to tackle now was a big climb. At first it wasn’t that bad, but then it just got steeper and steeper. I huffed and puffed up that section and took an embarrassing number of breaks. At the halfway point, we reached the last spring before our campsite. We had about a 3.5 miles water carry. Ugghh! I definitely wasn’t going to carry a full 3 liters the rest of the way, so I drank what I could and filled my 2 water bottles up. 2 liters would be more than enough.

The second half of the climb was an improvement over the first, but we had even heavier packs now. Once at the top of the ridge, our only goal was to keep moving. We were both tired and getting hungry (at least I was), so it felt like we were taking forever to get to our camping spot.

But, eventually we made it to the radio tower and were gifted with an amazing sunset view. Dinner and a show tonight! Watching the sunset over the towns and mountains below us brought the evening to life. All of our hard work during the day had paid off. After sunset, we found a stealth site nearby. It definitely going to be a chilly one tonight. Janitor says it will rain, but I don’t think so. Let’s see what the night brings.

 

And that’s day 67.

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Comments 1

  • Professor Jellybean : Jun 21st

    Hi, Jen! I’ve been following your blog since the beginning of your journey. I was so glad to read that you HIT YOUR PLAN today, despite it being hard! Taking that zero to re-evaluate your plan was a great idea. Take one day at a time. You (and Janitor) have got this! 🙂

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