Mile 494—Stealth camp
Sunday, April 28
Weelll… best laid plans, right?
It was raining, windy, and cold when my alarm went off at 4:30. The rain was what did it, though. I just could not—could not—face packing up in the rain again, and carrying that wet heavy mess. So I slept until about 6:30, when it was just getting light. The rain stopped, but the fly was still pretty wet. I got on trail at about 7:45—appallingly late for me.
I just couldn’t get into gear. I may have some allergies or the start of a little cold. The 5-mile climb to Mt Rogers took FOREVER. By 1 pm, I’d only managed 6 miles.
This was complicated by the fact that just up ahead are a bear activity zone, a no-tenting stretch, a remediation area (no camping), and ponies. I couldn’t wrap the spitballing part of my brain around any plan that covered all those bases. If I could do another 12, I’d be out of the no-tenting zone, but I’d have to run, I’d miss the ponies, and I was hiking really really badly. Like… I’d be hiking into the night. And I felt too ungreat for that.
Plus the wind up toward Mt Rogers was terrible again. Like, making me stumble. And a southbounder said the wind up at the next shelter was just awful—like, blow you off your feet awful. I think I have post-Hump PTSD about the wind.
And guess who passed me today? That crew. The big one. So they’d be somewhere, like a landmine of camping rudeness.
Then I jumped off trail to poop and found this stealth site. It’s sheltered from the wind. And I thought, yeah. Yeah. Take the 6, hunker and sleep, feel better, and tomorrow blast through the whole bear zone and the no-tenting areas. See the ponies in the morning, like 8 or 9 am.
So here we are. 😀