If I had a hockey stick and puck I could have played a game of hockey on myself. It the worst night ever and that includes the Frozen Hike two years ago. The wind howled and the new equipment was not enough to compensate. I wasn’t alone. Everyone had problems and I bet there were more than one who cashed it in. The tree in front of Top of Georgia and well as the rail in front of Mountain crossings at Neels Gap were loaded with abandoned footwear by those who have “hung up their boots”. Free food is not hard to come by in hiker boxes as those who have quit leave it the boxes or along the trail.
Silver said his cover was so bad that he was basically “Cowboy Camping” so he was up at the crack of dawn and began hiking just in an attempt to get warm. I never saw him all day until 15.1 miles later in the next camp.
No Name and I stayed hunkered down in our bags in a not so successful attempt to avoid the air outside the tents. It said that it was 19 but the windchill made it much worse.
I opted to eat a protein bar for breakfast instead of cooking. It allowed me the chance to stay in my bag. Dirt would have tasted better. As a matter of fact I’m considering marketing dirt bars since I know they taste better than many bars on the market. Lord knows I’ve eaten a pile of dirt on this trip.
No Name got on the trail just before me. I saw him s couple of times but basically ended up solo all day. I was passed by one young solo girl, who was flying, and saw one spring break couple out for s few days…. that was it. Everyone else that we have known seem to have disappeared.
The hike was tough today. The beginning was straight up and I was wearing a full facial head cover which protected everything but my eyes but I felt like I was suffocating. My fingers were so cold I put double gloves on while curling them up in a ball.
By noon I was starving. The dirt bar hadn’t lasted and I was only 4.7 miles in on the 15.1 mile trek. I found a giant downed tree and crouched down behind it as a wind break. Out came the cookware and soon I had a double bag of oatmeal and cocoa.
That, of course, put me further behind the others. I want a hamburger. No I want vegetables!!! And Scott’s chocolate frappe. And Twizzlers. And an orange soda. And a steak or a pork chop! Heck right now a can of Spam would be a five star meal!
I managed to conquer Sassafras and Standing Indian Mountains. Once at the top of Standing Indian I had 6.1 miles to go and it was 4 PM. I would have to book it on bookless legs. I found myself singing nonsensical songs to myself just to create a rhythm. My legs responded. At two miles I rewarded myself with a Twix. At four miles I took a break at a spring and had three glasses of water poured from a rhododendron leaf someone had placed to create a funnel. The best water ever, I found my groove and walked into camp at 6:45. Silver and No Name met me at the door and offered me a pice of dirt next to theirs to set up my tent.
It was ten degrees warmer… no phone service…but the pasta went down well. All in all a tail whooping day but 15 miles along the trail and now well within North Carolina.