Winter Appalachian Trail Thru Hike – Day 2 (20 miles)

Last night I went to bed on blood mountain shelter. It was surrounded by clouds and I was fully expecting my sleeping bag to be saturated in the morning. Luckily the weather turned and the clouds moved to a better place.
There change of weather also brought one of the best views I’ve seen in a long time. Blue skies all above and an inverted cloud layer blanketed the valley below.

It was not only this one glorious view for the descent, but just as I was nearing Neels Gap, I entered the very top of the clouds. It created this glowing, mystical woodland. This trail is treating me well, two great views in one morning!

I got to Neels Gap and the Mountain Crossing Outfiters. Here I was lucky enough to catch up with @blother and @stealthmullet, two people I walked with earlier this year on the PCT. It is always great catching up with hiker friends, and this was no exception.

Before I knew it, lunch was already over and I had only hiked 2.5 miles. I said goodbye and hit the trail. There afternoon was fairly straightforward, except for running into a couple of southbound AT hikers. I think they assumed that I was a day hiker and unknowingly dismissed me from the conversation as I filled up water. I was very intrigued by this and I hope I don’t or have not done the same.

I continued on and the sun began to set. I was not done for the day and I continued on into the night. I wanted to make the most of the beautiful winter day. I ended up walking another 9 miles to Blue Mountain Shelter. It was nice to walk at night, but I did find that I resorted to listening to an audiobook to pass the time.

A wild boar! It was standing in the middle of the trail and got all aggressive and stood its ground. I stood there in shock for a minute before deciding to push straight up to the ridge line 100m above me.

As I started to move it charged! I did not know what to do so I waived me hiking poles around like a maniac. The boar broke and ran up the hill.

With that excitement over I continued to walk for another half hour to the shelter. 4 south-bounders were already asleep in there so I unpacked quietly and went to bed.

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Comments 2

  • Ernie Lukacs : Dec 30th

    WOW!!! Keep on trucking dude!! The weather is EXTREMELY cold in the Midwest!! Even for winter campers!!

    • Andrew Sherry : Dec 31st

      It is frigid! I’ve had to get off trail and wait for my full (-20F) winter bag to arrive.


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