Roots and Stones and Beauty Spots

Day 52

Curley Maple Shelter to Cherry Gap Shelter 12.9 miles – AT mile 361.7

Card of the day – XII the Hanged Man

I could not settle and hardly slept all night.  If the trail doesn’t kill me (and at least the wildlife has stopped trying) the lack of sleep might.  This was mostly due to a mix of being to hot and hearing a branch fall, which I thought was either my bear bag (round 2) or a tree about to fall on my head.  Neither of which were optimal outcomes.

I put too much water in my oatmeal!  Instant oatmeal is a staple for breakfast, I have it every day, and there is nothing worse than watery porridge.  After 52 days surly I should have the measurements right by now?  All in all it was turning out not to be a good start to my day.

The rain came in around 930, but at least I got my tent away dry.  I don’t really mind hiking in a bit of rain to be fair.  If you hike much in the UK then that is fairly standard.

Today can be mostly described as Roots and Stones and Beauty Spots.

There was Trail Magic Indian gap, I got a coffee and banana cake from DC, who has been doing it for a decade.  He just loves to meet hikers.

My wild life count has been relatively low, with the exception of those that are trying to kill me, so it was a pleasure today to see an Orange lizard.  He was just sat there chilling out, watching the world go by.

Unaka mountain is 1000ft in 1.6 miles but at least the cloud broke and made for some pleasant hiking, that would be if it was not for all the stone stairs.  I should really be more thankful that at some point in time a group of people broke their backs to labour to put those things in, I am grateful I promise.  The top of the mountain was an ancient feeling pine forest that was soft on the feet.  Those soft parts of trail really come as a blessing, and you just seem to bounce along.

In camp I was just chit chatting whilst having dinner.  There were lots of new people around which was nice.

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Comments 2

  • Kelli Ramey : May 9th

    Your little red friend is a salamander. Likely a red eft…which is one part of the life cycle of the Eastern newt. In the Appalachians there are many unique and beautiful salamanders. You will find them in creeks, springs, moss. They are more aquatic than terrestrial. The eft is the terrestrial stage for the newt.

    Happy journey,
    Tree witch

    • Craigen “Cool Breeze” Smith : May 10th

      Thanks for letting me know. They are beautiful that’s for sure!


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