It was oddly hard to get back into my mental hiking groove after leaving Uncle Johnnys hostel in Erwin TN. I suppose it was had something to do with my pack being weighed down with 20 pounds of food. I went a little nuts at Wal-Mart.
After so long you’d think it would be easier to jump back on the trail. I’ve noticed it usually takes me about half a day to return to Hiker mode. This stretch seemed different and I came up against my first real mental wall. I’ve joked on bad days that I was “this close to quitting” but I never really meant it. I fought through my little mental hissy fit and trudged on, but something hasn’t sat right with me since.
Then Unaka Mountain happened. I camped just before it so I was fresh on my climb up. The top was covered with thick spruce firs making it seem like evening rather than daytime and a mist curled through the trunks. Occasionally spikes of sunlight would shoot down from the treetops. It was soothing and I guess I found something there. Im not sure what, but it was easier going after that.
Rain has been threatening my hike for the past few days because of the tropical storm. It finally hit when I was going up to Roan Mountain. I’m sure it would have been a beautiful walk but I was too concerned with getting somewhere dry.
At some point on the balds after Roan my feet were so wet it was ridiculous to try and walk around the water so I started plowing through the mud. Even with that I fell twice and bonked my head on a fallen tree limb. I suppose I looked like a turtle trying to get up with my water logged pack.
Finally I got to Overmountain Shelter which is a repurposed barn. Predictably it was packed with hikers. When I took off my shoes my feet were wrecked. But luckily I found a dry spot to hunker down for the night.
The last day before going into town was actually quite nice. It started out cloudy but by the time I got to Hump mountain the weather had cleared up and it was a beautiful climb.
This rabbit stayed on the trail for awhile and let me take a picture.
And so finally I got to 19E where my little group went to a hostel with craft beer. Also I’m finally done with North Carolina.
Now I get to go deal with this finger of mine. I think I got a splinter in my fingernail and it’s created an abscess. It’s funny because one guy said I should go to a doctor about it. I think I can handle it. Just have to get all wilderness first aid and boil my knife. What I wouldn’t give for a scalpel and a suture removal kit right now!
I took a zero here in Roan Mountain TN, and honestly Tiger didn’t have to work too hard to convince me. I’ve found I really don’t like walking up mountains in mud rivers. But I suppose I’ll have to be doing more of that soon. Onward to Damascus.