Day 27: Spring Mountain Shelter to bald near Bearwallow Gap

Today’s mileage: 12.1
Total mileage: 297.0

What did we do to deserve such a long stretch of nice weather? Oh yeah, I remember. Snowstorms, ice, and subfreezing temperatures.

Today certainly did not turn out as expected. We went into the day ready to do 21.3 miles to Flint Mountain Shelter. Instead, we were forced to stop early because of a controlled burn near the trail. A forest service ranger was on the trail letting hikers know that the trail was closed for the next six miles. We had three options: skip the 6 miles and have a forestry employee shuttle us to another trail head that was 5 miles off of the trail. We could backtrack over a mile to the last campsite. Or we could stay on a bald near where we were stopped. We chose the third option after backtracking a bit and realizing that we really didn’t want to do a section of the trail three times total. Us and about 18 others chose to camp on the bald tonight where a forest ranger brought us all water since there was no water source up here. It was nice of them to do since they cut our day short.

It was another hot, sunny day in the 80s. I put on sunscreen, but I think I sweat it all off because I still burned. We had a steep uphill to Camp Creek Bald, but other than that, the hiking wasn’t bad. I’m really bummed that we couldn’t put in a longer day because I felt physically ready to do the long day and the weather was so nice, we could have hiked ’til at least 7. The good news is that the delay really shouldn’t put us behind.

The wind is picking up and it’s looking like rain tomorrow. It’s dark and getting colder and Miles has been gone for over an hour hanging with some hikers and has neglected the fact that his clothes are blowing away. He can thank me later for saving his socks. I do wish he was here to help me set up the rainfly. I’m too warm in my sleeping bag to get out at the moment.

A group of teenagers just drove up to the bald we’re on. The girls were discussing doing some mud wrestling soon. Guess they really do do that kind of stuff down here.

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8 thoughts on “Day 27: Spring Mountain Shelter to bald near Bearwallow Gap

  1. Gail Rowe says:

    Hang in there, guys – you’re doing great. Every day has different challenges.

  2. Sharon Tirrell says:

    You may have been saved getting a virus. A news release Tuesday advised avoiding the following shelters: No Business Knob, Big Bald and Hogback Ridge. A number of hikers have been sickened by a severe 24 hour virus. G and G

  3. Sharon Tirrell says:

    There is a local fundraised in Hendersonville called the Mud Run. The race is conducted in mud.

  4. Lisa says:

    I enjoy your post so much, love the positive energy!!
    I really hope you folks miss the virus..

  5. great to hear of theprogress and the strength. Next year, when I walk the AT…. I love doing the AT vicariously with you young and old folks. love to you and good wheels. following along, your new friend, Pocomoonshine treehouseman.

  6. Barbara 'Mamaw B" Allen says:

    Be clean with your hands when eating. Don’t shake hands with people either. Stay away from shelters for awhile. Avoid sick hikers and they are stil contagious several days after recovering from the norovirus. The Forest Service and CDC are issuing warnings about this illness and are sanitizing shelters. Be care when at the hostels also. I do hope you avoid this thing, I did. I think my being in good health helped also-strong old woman. Love you both and take care. Love reading your blog. Spreading the word to folks that you are a couple to watch!

  7. Elizabeth R. says:

    Love, love, love [vicariously] hiking the trail with you guys! Almost 300 miles already…congratulations! Now that you’ve got several hundred miles under your boots, just wondering how your gear is holding up? Tent, pack, etc.

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