Stealthing near Mt. Hight [mile 1329.9; SOBO 311.5]
I’m about two or three miles short of where I wanted to be, mostly because I’m not feeling well. I saw this site and jumped on it. I don’t have a handle on the stealthing around here yet. I probably was in good shape to try for work-for-stay at the first hut, but I’m just exhausted. I don’t sleep at all (or much) at hostels. Then last night the weather took a turn for the worse and I was freezing all night, so I didn’t sleep.
OK, I’m ahead of myself. Last night Herc and Hobbit came down to the tent platforms for a visit. They were staying in the shelter (a smart move, as it turned out). The visit was fun! I forgot to mention that that hostel had a sort of bizarre laundry system, and lots of people had laundry go missing or they ended up with extras. The belt for my shorts vanished. And last night I found some poor guy’s underwear in my laundry bag. So Hobbit and Herc are headed back to the hostel, and Hobbit graciously agreed to take the drawers back. I hope I see her again to thank her some more! Maybe not, though; they jumped ahead today. Herc and Hobbit that is; not the drawers.
So I pitched my tent on the platform, and overnight it got cold, windy, and rainy. It was pretty miserable. Because I was on a platform, the tent wasn’t as taut as I like. The wind just tossed around the fly like a kite. I was freezing! I feel like I’m back in the Smokies in March. Only without my down pad, my down socks, or my down pants.
One of the sad things this morning was seeing how many autumn leaves had fallen onto the platform.
I packed up wet and made some miles. No dramatic heights, no big terrain issues… just more of what we dealt with in Maine, but drier (even with the rain) and less extreme. There were nice stretches of trail interspersed. Overall, pretty easy hiking for mountains.
But the weather! The wind’s gusting in crazy directions; it offen blew me off my stride today. And I’m cold, cold, cold. Tired and cold, that fussiest pair of conditons for me.
I just couldn’t get into any sort of groove. I’d climb and get hot, stop for a breath and freeze. Every step felt like a massive effort. Is it lack of sleep, caffeine withdrawal, being cold and windblown? Am I coming down with something? I don’t know; probably a combination.
So here I am in my tent. I’ll sleep and set an alarm… get up early and try to stop at that hut.
I’ve got a lot of logistical anxiety about the whole hut system and asking them for things. I figure if I can, I’ll stop at that first one and talk to them a little… try to get a handle on it.
I’m anxious about the stealthing, too. I’m afraid I’m too slow to get through the protected zones where you can’t camp. I’m afraid I’ll get caught on a mountaintop, like that kid who spent the night on Katahdin.
You know… the usual anxiety brought on by having no idea how things work. 😉
So… tomorrow I’ll have to stealth somewhere, but I have no clue how many miles I’ll manage. I just hope I can get warm! Right now, my fingers are frozen so I’m shutting this down.
BTW, not many pictures today. Mostly it was foggy and overcast, although the sun came out later.