NOC NOC, Who’s there?

15 May 2017
Cold Spring Shelter to the NOC


AT – 137
Day – 11.7
Time – 7 hrs
Speed – 1.67mph

ME..I’m at the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center).  With the whitewater rafting, kayaking and SUPs, I could easily be distracted from continuing my hike.  Just sayin’

I also ran into Late Start here at the NOC.  Last time I saw him, he was killing the miles.  However, he took 3 days in Franklin to get new shoes and heal his blisters.  Outdoor76 put him in shoes 2 sizes bigger…WOW

He was only making a water stop here and was headed to Sassafras Gap Shelter for the night.  You keep on truckin’ Late Start.


I’m not sure what happened today, but I petered out in the afternoon.  My morning hiking was easily pushung 2+mph, but I missed my water source and started conserving water most of the afternoon.  I guess being dehydrated isn’t good to keep on trucking.

The morning started off beautiful.  Nice cool morning temps helped the first 5+ miles just fly by.  Then I reached Wesser Bald and the temps began to rise.  Additionally, my feet were feeling pretty normal most of the morning.  It must have been the pain relievers I took last night. 

Anyhow, my ankle pain returned this afternoon with the multitude of downhills.  I don’t like going downhill.

  • This is Larry
  • Larry likes trails that are flat
  • Larry likes trails that are curvy
  • Larry can deal with trails that go up hill
  • Larry doesn’t like trails that go downhill

 So after two days of hiking, I decided a night at the NOC was in order.  The only downfall is that the bunkhouse is Up A Hill.  Like I need more hiking besides what I’m doing on the trail.  But I guess you put the cabins where you have space!  These just happen to be on the side of a mountain.

The views were stunning today.  As I walked through areas that had been scorched by fire, the smell of burned wood lingered.  It’s amazing to see the burned trees and right below new growth taking hold in the soil. 

Finally, I forgot to mention yesterday that I had an equipment malfunction. I’ve heard stories about the Swayer Sweeze bags tearing.  Well, it happened to me.  I tried to make a field repair with duct tape to no avail, so score one for the Swayer Team.  I just wish they’d fix this issue. I was using it as designed.  Worst thing is, I just switched over from gravity feeding to squeeze.  Maybe I should have stayed with what worked? 

So now, Swayer has another $10 for my replacement bags.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to make it a short day to Sassafras Gap Shelter.  The only issue is that it is straight up all the way.  I’m planning to slow my pace and mileage over the next few days to save my feet and legs for the Great Smoky Mountains.  I should be entering them within the week.

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