Trail Zealot

Colorado hiking, Appalachian Trail thru-hiking, and more...

Day 102: Erwin, TN to Bald Mountain Shelter

Appalachian Trail
September 22, 2013
Mileage25.2 (1860.8) mi
Elevation gain11008 ft
Elevation loss9290 ft

I started today by bidding adieu to the two section hikers at Uncle Johnny's, T-Rex and Dad. After that, it was time to head back up to the trailhead at 395. It was downhill all the way into town, making me think maybe I could have done it last night. But that would have been about 35 miles on the day, so maybe not. I picked up my resupply and put it in my pack, making it oh so much heavier. Lately, I've been really noticing the difference between a light-food pack and a full pack. This one hit hard, because I had a big climb right out of town. My legs were protesting, but I'm past the point of listening to them. They will get me where I want to go. No point arguing. I stopped at No Business Knob Shelter for a standard snack break. It was one of the standard Tennessee jobs, with cinder block walls and a dilapidated wood floor. Lots of graffiti, kind of a prison feeling. Needless to say, I was glad to move on.

A gradual climb, a drop, a steep climb, a drop. Why couldn't I just keep the elelevation that I had accumulated? By the time the day was over, I had done approximately 5000 feet of climbing. Bleh. I really got my butt kicked today for the first time in a while. I've gotten to wondering if a zero in Hot Springs is on my horizon. On another note, when I crossed US Highway 19 West, I entered the domain of the Carolina Mountain Club, leaving that of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. What does this mean for me? I have no idea. There's a privy at this shelter, though, so that's a start. All the other Tennessee shelters had a distinct lack thereof, making me wonder where to do my business. I'll be living large tomorrow morning! And I'm high up, around 5000 feet, so I can expect a cool night. On top of that, my weather forecast for the Smokies looks great! Please don't let it change! Life is looking good for this barnyard animal.

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