Day 28 – Stealth site right past Beauty Spot to Home

Just to dispel any concerns if you missed my last post, only home for a zero tomorrow. Plan to be back on trail on Saturday where I got picked up today.

So last night was a doozy. The storms that were supposed to roll in today came early and started hitting us around 12:30. I had taken a pretty solid nap from 4 to 6 so being awake from 12:30 to 2:30 when it finally let up wasn’t such a big deal. I realized they had started when my hammock started to sway and then the lightning and thunder. The wind was the worst part. It was blowing the rain sideways so the whole top third of my hammock got wet. I slid down into the bottom two thirds, unzipped the top cover and wedged my head against the outside seam of the hammock to try to keep the hammock in a shape that would keep most of the rain off. At one point there was thunder so loud it sounded distorted.

To be honest I wasn’t awake for the whole storm…I sort of fell asleep in that position and woke up a few hours later when the wind part of the storm had ended and it was just rain and lightning. I zipped up, got back into a more normal sleeping position and slept well until a little before the alarm I had set for 6:30.

The plan was to check the weather and see if any early morning thunderstorms were in the forecast. Not seeing any we ate quickly, packed up and set out a little after 7 AM to cover the 9+ miles to our shuttle pickup at noon. While there were no thunderstorms forecast, there was pretty much constand rain until 10. The trail was a river and eventually I just gave up trying to avoid stepping in water.

We passed over Unaka mountain and the forest up there is magical. And a little spooky. We came to the shelter around 10 when the rain died down a bit. Half way to the pickup, I kicked a root or rock and triggered my plantar faciatis (which had been fine the day before) so it was a little limping the last few miles.

We grabbed the shuttle at Iron Mountain Gap a little before noon after some trail magic – cuties and Gatorade FTW! The shuttle driver had picked someone up on the way to get us who had lost some of their gear when the river rose over night and washed it away, so we stopped on the way back at a Mexican restaurant to meet them after they were done shopping at Walmart. We needed the food anyway so it was a welcome break.

We dropped the other hiker off at an Uncle Johnny’s and made our way back to Laughing Heart on the back roads. We rolled in there a little before two, I changed clothes and was on the road home a bit after 2. Got home, showered and went straight to Walt’s for a bone in ribeye. First time in a long time I finished it!

Plan for tomorrow is to rest and do some gear repair and resupply, then some more “town food”. Getting up early Saturday and driving to Damascus for a shuttle to take me back to Iron Mountain Gap and then it’s ~100 miles to Damascus for trail days.






4 responses to “Day 28 – Stealth site right past Beauty Spot to Home”

  1. Dennis Avatar

    Rain – rain -rain everywhere & not a drop to drink. Sorry to hear about the storms you all are going through. And now the Plantar crap. Get a small rubber doughnut to wear in that shoe. Helped me – but I was just working and not climbing mountains. Be safe son.
    Forgot to ask – is this ankle the one you had surgery on?

    1. Chris Avatar

      Got a compression sleeve today and taking a cork massage ball to roll it out. It is the ankle I broke, yeah.

  2. James Avatar

    I’m sure the flooded trail wasn’t fun, but the waterfall was pretty. And that ribeye must have been amazing after trail food. We drove past Walt’s, recently, and wondered about it. Now we know to put it on our list.

    1. Chris Avatar

      Walt’s is the best Steakhouse in the area IMHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *