Day 15 (April 7th): The NOC to Sassafras Gap Shelter

Miles hiked today: 6.7
Miles hiked total: 144.0
Miles to go: 2041.3

Today was an “up” day. The walk out of the NOC was just as grueling as the walk there. It was completely up the entire way, until the last mile, which went slightly down.

Before we left town, we grabbed breakfast with Toasted Toad, Good N Plenty, Townie, Little Foot, and Wing It. Toasted Toad, Good N Plenty, and Townie all decided to take a Zero day today to wait out the rain. Chrissy, Wing It, and I, however, all decided to take on the storm.

We had to check out of our room by 10:00, so we moved our stuff into the common lounge and I braided Chrissy’s hair. We intended to leave right after, but ended up hanging around until 11:00 because we chatted with Good N Plenty and Toasted Toad for a bit. We didn’t mind delaying our start, though. We only had 7 miles to go and all day to hike them, so we enjoyed their company as long as possible before heading out.

When we left, it had stopped raining and was actually really muggy. Chrissy and I needed to change out of our pants and we stripped down right on the trail and put our shorts on. It was predicted to rain and thunder all day, but we once again lucked out. The first two hours or so were pretty dry and warm. Then it started to rain on us and at times it came down heavy. However, it never thundered, and the rain was mostly a sprinkle. As we moved up the mountain, the wind got more severe and that’s when it got cold and a bit uncomfortable. As long as I was moving, my core stayed warm, but my hands got really chilly. The last push uphill was pretty demanding. We never stopped to filter water, so I was trying to preserve my water and didn’t drink as much as I should have. Because of this, I was feeling dehydrated and it made me move slower than I would have liked towards the end. We finally made it to the final summit and had a mile of downhill to go to get to the shelter.

We were hoping to get a spot in the shelter and figured we had a pretty good chance since most people were staying in town, but when we got there the whole shelter was full. Apparently a lot of people took a zero at the shelter which is why no spots were available.

We set our tent up in the shelter so that it wouldn’t get wet and then carried it outside and staked it. Chrissy and I changed out of our wet clothes and practically passed out in our sleeping bags for a few hours trying to get warm. We got into the tent around 3:30 and I didn’t get out again until after 6:00 to make dinner. I listened to music for most of that time and got my groove on to a bunch of musicals. I shared my headphones with Chrissy and explained the plot lines to her and described the scenarios leading up to each song so she understood what was happening. She’s apparently never heard Adam Pascal’s voice before, which is just unacceptable since he’s simply the best, so we listened to a lot of Rent and Aida. I also introduced her to Jonathan Groff, whom she somehow had never heard of. Overall, it was a great day that ended in sing-a-longs, and you can never go wrong with sing-a-longs.


3 thoughts on “Day 15 (April 7th): The NOC to Sassafras Gap Shelter

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