Days 23 through 27 on the Appalachian Trail
The morning after my zero I felt refreshed and antsy to get back in the woods. I had felt stressed all day during my zero because I felt like I had so much to do and not enough time in one day to do it. I left the hostel and headed towards the trail which was a short road walk through town. Once I was back in the trees I felt myself relaxing; similar to how I felt after Gatlinburg. It was a warm and sunny day and I took my time enjoying the views at all the look out points. Three miles into my hike I stopped and stretched for ten minutes. I have decided to make an effort to take care of myself in small ways. So my goal is to stop and stretch for ten minutes everyday after three miles. I felt proud to be taking care of myself and when I continued hiking my legs felt a lot better. After hiking for eight miles I walked up on Ramen who was taking a lunch break I sat with her and we enjoyed our fresh resupply foods for an hour break. I continued on and got to a blue blaze which was a fire tower. I dropped my backpack to walked up to it. The views were stunning and the wind felt amazing after a sweaty day of hiking. Me, Bug, Ramen, and Beatle sat at the tower for a while taking pictures and being in the moment. When I arrived at the shelter after 11 miles I decided to set up my tent in order to have my own space and get some alone time.
When I woke up and put on my hiking boots I found five cashews inside. I laughed out loud thinking that a mouse was trying to find a good place to store them. Sadly I had to dump them on the ground in order to get my boots on but I hope the critter is able to find them again. It was a foggy morning and when I got hiking I felt groggy and slow. Once again I stopped after three miles to stretch. The sun started to come out as I was stretching which boosted my mood and helped me continue on. I got to a shelter for lunch and hung out with some thru hikers for a while. Me, Bug and Beatle went up and over an open ridge line together that had some fun rock scrambling and great views. Shortly after the ridge line we arrived at the 300 mile mark!! I hiked two more miles to the shelter which made my day a total of 16 miles. It was such a fun day because I got to hike alone and with others.
I once again woke up to a foggy morning. I left the shelter first and went through a big field which looked creepy with all the fog. The terrain was really flat so I was flying through it and felt really strong. Soon the fog blew away to a stunning sunny day. I arrived at a creek and took a lunch break and filled up my water. It was relaxing listening to the sound of the creek while I ate. I soon arrived at the shelter where I had planned on staying at. I was 16 miles into my day but still feeling strong so I decided to push on. Beatle, Ramen, and Dream decided to come with me and we found a stealth campsite next to a small stream. It was my first time not camping at a shelter and I was really excited. I thought that the day had been 20 miles but I did some bad math and it ended up being only 19.5. I’m sure I’ll hike a 20 mile day soon!
I slept really badly since my sleeping pad kept deflating during the night so I was glad to get up and hiking when the sun came up. I knew it was going to rain so I started the day with my raincoat and rain pants on. Two miles in the rain started. I caught up to Bug and we hiked over big bald together. The rain was gusting so hard that I had trouble standing up straight and the sideways rain stung my cheeks. I was glad that I wasn’t alone because it was so scary. We got back down below tree line and took a short break at a shelter in order to get out of the rain. Me and Ramen left the shelter together because neither of us wanted to hike alone. We had a really good conversation which kept my distracted from my rain coat completely soaking through. At the top of a mountain we stood under a large rock to escape the rain for a few minutes. As we stood there shivering a huge clap of thunder rang out. We looked at each other and then started running down the mountain. The thunder continued as we got to a lower elevation. Once we got down to a gap we stopped and took a break. The trail went back up a mountain and we were nervous to go up to a higher elevation again but we didn’t want to keep sitting at the gap. We decided to continued and when we got close to the top of the mountain we ran over it in order to lower the amount of time we were up high. After a long 17 miles we arrived at the shelter and sadly it was full. I had to set up my tent in the rain which was the last thing I wanted to do. The people at the shelter were really kind to me and they built a fire so I could warm up. They also gave me a bivy sack to line the bottom of my tent with since it had already soaked through. I went to sleep nervous that I was going to wake up in a puddle and frustrated that my sleeping pad was broken.
I woke up to the sound of the people packing up in the shelter. It was still dark out but I was ready to hike the six miles into town and get everything dried. My sleeping bag had gotten pretty wet overnight and all of my hiking clothes were soaked from the day before. Luckily it was a warm sunny day so I knew I would dry out quickly. I packed up and headed off, thinking about all the food I would buy in town. The six miles went by fast and I was so relieved to see all my friends sitting on the porch of the hostel.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.