Rain, Rain, Go Away
April Showers Bring May Flowers
Like the beautiful fringed polygala above. But it’s already May! Why is it so rainy? It has rained three of the past four days or nights. Friday afternoon it rained lightly, but the sound of thunder motivated me to reach Little Laurel Shelter ASAP. Soon after I set up my tent, got water, and set up to cook dinner at the picnic table, it began to pour! Nine of us hung out in the shelter or underneath its roof overhang. Thankfully the storm blew over before night.
The next day, it didn’t rain. I took the opportunity to hike Firescald Knob and Big Butt ( I believe the photo below is Big Butt), which both have a bad weather bypass.
I also stopped at the Shelton Graves. During the civil war, an uncle and nephew fought for the Union. When they returned home for a family visit, they were killed by Confederates.
On Mother’s Day, despite ominous clouds, I took a long afternoon break to talk on the phone with my daughter Eve. Before I reached the water source and campsite where I intended to stop ( short of Big Bald Shelter), it started to rain. Fortunately, the rain stopped and I was able to pitch my tent (below with rain gear and pad drying on top) and enjoy dinner. It rained only lightly that night and I packed up a dry tent.
Yesterday morning was FOGGY! From Big Bald, I had a 360 degree view of fog. It was disappointing, but at least it wasn’t raining.
In the afternoon, it rained lightly for an hour or two. I didn’t bother to put on my rain gear because it was warm and I was fairly protected under the trees. But after Spivey Gap, the rain poured in earnest and I donned my Lightheart Gear rain coat and skirt. Then I hiked steadily to No Business Knob Shelter. By the time I arrived, my trail runners and socks were soaked and my merino t-shirt was damp from sweat and rain, but the rain had stopped. Again, I set up my tent and ate dinner in dry weather. But it rained again last night, and I packed up a very soggy tent. Thankfully I had a pair of dry socks as my shoes were still wet.
Although it has been intermittently sunny today, there is a possibility of severe thunderstorms tonight. I am staying indoors! After stopping at Uncle Johnny’s Hostel to resupply,
I hiked another mile to USA Raft, where I am spending the night near the Nolichucky River.
Four of the other five hikers who stayed at No Business Knob Shelter last night are also staying indoors. But as fate would have it, the humidity has dropped and the sun is still shining.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for only 20 % rain, pretty good odds! I look forward to starting out with clean clothes and dry gear!
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