Happy’s notes about our first five days of hiking on the Appalachian Trail:
Sunday, March 10 2019 - Day 1
Stunning start. Misty on and off. The fog settled in the valleys with mountain tops poking out just gorgeous. Great day of hiking. Bad cramping in the legs that night.
Monday, March 11 - Day 2
Overcast with spitting rain in the AM. Harder rain in the PM. Got somewhat wet. Sassafras Mountain was a beast.
Tuesday, March 12 - Day 3
Cold night but bearable. Cold morning with good sunshine. A hiking group took our picture and said they would eventually post it at http://hikingsouth.com/2019hikes/2019hike06.html
It’s not posted there yet. We hitched a ride to a hostel but the supplies were unappealing. While we were sitting in the chairs outside the hostel, Happy realized she was sitting on a chair! Lucky was trying to call for a ride when someone asked if we wanted a ride. So we took the ride to another hotel for the night. We ended up in a Holiday Inn and walked around to pick up supplies; including magnesium and potassium for the awful cramps in our legs. It has been difficult to walk because the calves are so tight on Happy’s legs.
Wednesday, March 13 - Day 4
Late start this morning. Went to Walmart to replace electronic items which were forgotten or lost. Met a 74-year-old man who was making a second attempt to through hike. On his first attempt he was taken off the mountain with hypothermia confusion, losing his stuff (tent poles). People rigged his tent for him. He said his fingers and toes turned brown and looked like plastic. We named him Ice Cube.
We met a man who said Happy was famous on the trail, which puzzled us. He said he heard of us and seems Happy’s sunglasses are unique enough for others to use as a description of us. The sunglasses have a story of their own.
Happy found the glasses at a gas station after we ran down to 2 miles of gas while driving our car to storage. Happy happened to look at the dashboard while Lucky was driving and saw the alert light. The exit was close by, but the first two gas stations we found were closed. Then we waited for the longest red light ever! While Lucky gassed-up, Happy looked around in the gas station, found the glasses to be hilarious and had to have them.
Hiked to Woods Hollow shelter thinking we might be the only people there since bear canisters were required. Ken, another hiker, was there. We could have stayed in the shelter but the wind made us decide to stay in the tent. It was windy. It was cold. It rained and was wet. Our night gear kept us warm; however Happy did have her sleeping bag get wet.
Thursday, March 14 - Day 5
Got a late start - was a wet morning. Hiked up Blood Mountain which was a beast but down was much worse. Down was rock scramble; big rocks; little rocks; lots of rocks. We had fog all day. There were no views, but it was still a beautiful site. On one bald top the clouds blew past us or through us.
Parts of the trail for the last few days has been lined with Rhododendron and Mountain Laurels, which in a few weeks will be an awesome sight to see. Even without the blooms they were gorgeous; a green tunnel. We took very few pictures today because of the cold water which was coming in drizzles and drops when the wind blew the water off the trees. We kept moving. Neel Gap was our destination. Staying the night in Neel Gap and taking a zero day tomorrow due to predicted thunderstorms. We hear the thunder now. We had a pack shake down and lost 11 pounds between Happy and Lucky’s packs. They were so much easier to heave onto our backs with the lost weight. Good news! Neither Happy nor Lucky have gotten blisters on their feet.
More later... http://onin.com/AT
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