Day 15- 4.5.15
Happy Easter! We hiked 11.6mi today (114.0-125.6). After drinking the bourbon we picked up in town last night, Jimi had a bit of a rough start this morning. We hiked 2 miles then had to stop for Jimi to have a mountainside power nap.
Still covered our planned miles for the day though :). After we stopped, some people hiked by and a dog ended up staying with us. I thought it belonged to someone ahead of us, but it turns out she is a stray. I named her Shadow since she was our shadow on the trail. When we summited Wayah Bald, there was a group of thru-hikers taking a zero handing out trail magic. Sodas, Peeps, Chicken, and Easter eggs. It was awesome. The dog eventually ended up following us again up to the next shelter. Everyone was really nice about it and gave us food to give to her.
There were probably 40 people camping at the shelter. The most packed I’ve see yet. Hoping the rain holds off. BC and Roadrunner both accidentally turned onto the Bartram Trail instead of the AT and went 5 miles out of the way. Roadrunner hitched a ride and left his phone in the shuttle which cost him extra to have the shuttle come back, he ended up losing 140 bucks over the whole situation, talk about one unhappy camper.
Day 16- 4.6.15
Hiked 11.5 today (125.6-137.1). Left the campsite pretty early, but shadow stayed in the little nest she had dug out. We were hiking downhill, so the miles went by pretty fast. Ran into Downhill, 2 Sticks and Don.
We decided to pass the shelter and head to Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). We somehow missed that there was stuff to do there, and only thought there was a lodge. Turns out, Preston and Jessica missed the NOC listing in the guide book too, because our mail drop went to the lodge, which was a $35 shuttle ride away. We got dinner at the restaurant and our server looked exactly like Jax from Sons of Anarchy (trailed to get a stalker picture, but it was blurry). We got some free food from someone else’s resupply box and bought a few things at the general store. It started pouring, so we decided to camp down the river instead of starting the 8mile uphill. The Natahala River was gorgeous from where we were camped and had a great time. Met a woman named Dee from Colorado Springs who encountered the stray dog and decided to adopt her! She renamed her Daisy (she definitely looks like a Daisy).
Day 17- 4.7.15
Hiked 6.9mi today (137.1-144.0). Started the day soggy, but not raining. Packed up and got breakfast sandwiches and breakfast beers as our friend were either waking up of heading down the mountain to NOC.
We peeled ourselves away from the group around 12:30 to start hiking. Don’t let the low mileage fool you. We ascended 3300ft in those 6.9 miles to the shelter. Hot, climbing, intermittent rain, mud, rocks. IT WAS BRUTAL! Slim pickin’s for tent spots and gnats everywhere. Started a fire immediately to keep the bugs away. Camped with Enigma, Brother Tye, Dee and Daisy. We talked to Enigma for awhile, turns out that he had been planning the Appalachian Trail for 5 years, and even gave his work a 5 year notice. Daisy pretty much doesn’t listen at all. She is very tame and not aggressive at all, but does not respond to any commands other name. Dee was wondering if she was deaf, but she is scared of thunder, so she could definitely hear- training might take a minute for this one.