Last night at Hawk Mountain shelter, I was so freaking cold that I lay shivering all night, fantasizing about buying a 0-degree bag at Neels Gap. Then I woke up late and it took me three hours to get hiking. Three hours, lol. I was the last person to leave the shelter. Ironically, I wasn’t the last one to arrive here at Gooch Mountain shelter. It’s supposed to be wamer tonight, and I’m trying some other tricks to be warmer. There aren’t as many people here tonight. Still a fun crowd.
Oh, and I ran into my friend Bunny, now ‘Milemarker.’
So, the hiking. I hiked mostly alone today. I’d heard that day 1 will make you think you’re OK, then day 2 will get your attention. True! today were the first real mountains. Sassafrass kicked my ass. A mile straight up. Then the second mountain was steeper but shorter.
Saw some army rangers on maneuvers. Their packs were heavier than mine.
Tomorrow should be pretty steady, compared with today. The views are stunning: mountains forever, like a bruised sky through the trees. Nothing in bud yet, but spring is coming!
I’ve lost track of my prehike buddy Ed. If you see this, Ed, hope you’re hanging in there!