Just passed 100 miles/ day 5, 6 & 7

Just passed the 100 mile mark. The climb up Albert Mountain is a doosey, but absolutely worth it. The tower itself was locked, but I went as high as you could.   

Albert Mountain Fire tower


Day 5
6.1 miles on 2 hours 40 minutes
Pushed past the 100 mile mark today. All the way to long branch shelter. Pushing over that hill all the way to the Albert Mountain Fire Tower was trying. Although the tower itself was locked, I could get up to the steps below the entrance. 
Still some great people at the shelter tonight. Some weekend hikers and some people in my “bubble.”
Don’t think I will go into Franklin but continue to push into NOC
 Day 6
Rainy shitty day. But it was my longest day yet.
18.3 miles from long branch shelter to Wayah Bald shelter. Packing up a wet tent is such an unpleasant experience, I can’t believe there has not been any advancement into this field. Just slogging through mud all day made me question my reasoning behind this whole excursion. I thought It would be the reward of the view from the top. But alas the weather thwarted me. It will be on my list of comebacktos.

inpressive Wayah Bald tower


on my list of things to come back to

It was pouring down rain when I came to the crossing to go down into Franklin. The bus rolled up as I was coming into the gap. 
“Should I go into Franklin after this Nero day?” was going through my mind. But I decided to push and crush those uphills. Besides, I went to high school near the town and hearing the words, “looking forward to getting into Franklin” could only be said by out of town hikers. 
The plan is to make it into NOC tomorrow. It was going to be raining if I went into Franklin and came back, so why not get a head start. It is 17 miles into NOC so another long day it shall be. Not the crazy uphills experienced today, but a monster downhill before I get there. 
Thought I was going to lose my mind at camp tonight. I use my multitool as a weight to toss my bear bag line and physics tried to screw me. Of course it would sail smoothly over the branch, but then to keep with its momentum and wrap itself around the branch 4 times, effectively losing my line and the tool that would be needed to get it down. Through the kindness of some other hikers, we were able to get it down.
The trail delivers. 
Tip to all you fellow hikers: No matter how miserable the weather and terrain is, at the end of the day, talk to the fellow hikers in the shelter. I have a tendency to just live inside my head and internalize every little thing I did wrong or thing that got wet that shouldn’t have. But just remember that all these people feel the same way you do. Their  things are wet and damp as well. Their bodies and clothes smell like a wet dog mating with death too. Just talking with Grizzly 1 tonight about anything other than the typical hiker problems make you realize that we are all in the same boat here, and Katahdin is our intended destination. 
Day 7 
9.2 miles in 3 hours 45 minutes(pace in the morning) 

Not much signal in the Natahala forest. Made it another long day. All the way to NOC. 16.5 miles in about 7.5 or 8 hours. The downhill was just murder on the knees and the swamp like conditions made it longer than expected. I am fortunate to have a friend who was going to pick me up from NOC and extend the best of hospitality. Such a beautiful place to end a hike. Seeing all the paddlers in the river and the hikers walking across the bridge with their suitcase of PBR was an interesting sight. All of my stuff is now dried out and my body and clothes are clean. Another 2 or three days and I shall be in the smokies. 

i was told there would be views


the fog clears


beat my estimate eta by 6 days


panorama of my camp for the night


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Comments 1

  • Jeanne Church : Apr 15th

    A hiker staying at NOC reported a serious case of bed bugs which apparently hasn’t been taken care of and they keep renting the rooms! Pass the word. Be careful.


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