Miles hiked today: 12.1
Miles hiked total: 106.0
Miles to go: 2079.3
Chrissy and I actually got an early start this morning, which is unusual for us. We had a goal of making it to the next shelter before it completely filled up, though, and that motivated us to get our butts moving. (So far, we’ve been tenting at all of the shelters, and haven’t actually stayed in any of them.)
Today was another beautiful sunny day. Chrissy let me wear one of her t-shirts instead of my tank top so that I could try to protect my shoulders from any more damage. Meagan also let me use some of her sunblock. Tomorrow when I get into town, sunblock is the first thing on my list to buy! I normally never burn and thought I could make it until after the Smokies before needing to carry sunblock, but going from winter to practically summer overnight is apparently way too big of a transition for my skin, and my skin is blistering and peeling for the first time in my life. Let me tell you, heaving a 30-pound pack on and off sunburnt shoulders is no easy feat and I’m looking forward to our Nero day (Nero = nearly zero = hiking very few miles) so that I can rest my shoulders.
Today was an “up and down” kind of day, which is my favorite kind of day. I like when there’s a good balance between the ascents and descents. The hike started out very peaceful going over moderate grade, and Chrissy and I came upon a little lookout early in our hike that gave us some stellar views.
The most challenging part of the day was climbing Albert Mountain. It was up, up, and up and the final .3 miles were really up when we gained a little more than 400 feet. It was hand over hand action towards the top of the mountain and I had to remember to keep my weight forward; otherwise it was a long way down. It was pretty grueling, but I killed it. (It was very similar to hiking in NH so I knew what to do.)
Getting to the top was worth the effort. There was a fire tower that offered 360 views and the top of the mountain also marked 100-miles! We’ve hiked 100 miles! This is just so incredible to me. It took less time than I was expecting. Here are some pictures from the summit.
We stopped and talked with Meagan and Twist at the summit, and I also met Ent, a fellow blogger I’ve been following for a while. That was pretty kewl. The two section hikers we’ve been seeing also stopped at the summit with us for a bit. After about an hour we decided to get hiking again, and then Chrissy and I booked it, determined to get a spot in the shelter. When we showed up at the shelter there were exactly 2 spots left! We’re sharing the shelter tonight with Joe and Lisa (a hiker from Maine with the same pack as me – we bonded over this) and a couple of other hikers. Joe and Lisa are hilarious. Ent and a hiker called Wing It sat outside the shelter and listened with us as Joe recounted a crazy story about one of his stays in town (the story involved getting locked out of his room, the maintenance man, an expired license, and an arrest).
Overall, it was a great day and an entertaining evening. Tomorrow, sunblock and real food!
Ta-ta for now 🙂