Miles hiked today: 14.7
Miles hiked total: 315.0
Miles to go: 1870.3
Today was a pretty great hiking day! The weather was perfect and I woke up feeling really strong and ready to go. Today was a big uphill day and I was definitely tired and sore by the time we reached camp, but I still felt pretty good.
I climbed Big Butt Mountain first thing in the morning and it was a beautiful climb. I climbed over Bald Ridge a mile after leaving camp and found myself in a gorgeous meadow just as the sun was coming up. I stopped to take pictures and then kept going. I took my music out for some feel-good company and played “Baby Got Back” as I got closer to the summit of Big Butt Mountain (no joke, that’s the actual name of the mountain. I’d love to learn the origin of this mountain’s name). I stopped at the summit of the mountain, listened to Sir Mix-a-Lot one more time while doing a little jig and then pressed on.
I passed a lot of memorials today, one for a 13-year-old boy who lived from 1850 to 1863. The writing on his memorial really tripped me up for a couple of seconds; the stone said it was erected by his descendents…but he was only 13! That’s much too young to have any offspring, even in the 1800s! I’m sure it was probably erected by his remaining living relatives, but the wording stumped me for a bit as I tried to figure it out.
The trail followed an old logging road for awhile before finally dropping down to Flint Gap, where Stylez, Blacksmith, and Wing It were resting. We all ate a quick snack and then continued on to Flint Mountain Shelter for lunch. Once at the shelter, we hung our tents out to dry. They were very damp from sleeping in a cloud last night. I connected my rain fly to the bear cables and hoisted it up into the air, and after our hour-long lunch break, everything was dry.
We had a big climb up to Lick Rock that gained about 1500 feet in three miles. It was a beautiful hike and I crossed many streams and cascades, but it took a long time to climb and I was tired towards the end. I did feel strong while I was hiking it, though, and I didn’t have to stop too often, which is a nice change of pace. Kickapoo ended up leapfrogging us most of the day and she hiked the rest of the way to camp with Wing It, and Stylez and I slowed down our pace on the downhill because our feet were hurting.
(In Hot Springs, I switched out my insoles for some SuperFeet insoles, and my feet have been adjusting to hiking with them, and at the end of the day the balls of my feet have been very, very sore.)
At the shelter tonight is Kickapoo, Mighty Blue, Stylez, Wing It, Blacksmith, Bear Bag, and some new hikers named Day Tripper, Blue, and Business Time.
It’s almost 9:00 and my hand is getting chilly, so I’m going to sleep!