Day 32 (April 24th): Hogback Ridge Shelter to Spivey Gap

Miles hiked today: 15.8
Miles hiked total: 330.8
Miles to go: 1854.5

I’ve been hiking for one month!

We’re getting an early start tomorrow so that we can get into town earlier, so this post is going to be a bit short!

Today, we hiked up Big Bald Mountain and relaxed for about an hour at the top. The climb up to the summit was absolutely beautiful and went through fields of wildflowers and lush meadows. The trail was steep and rocky at points, but gentle and switchbacked at others, and I really enjoyed the walk.

The summit of Big Bald Mountain, as the name implies, was clear of trees and I was awarded with some stellar views. The sun was shining and I laid down for a nice little nap at the summit with Stylez and Wing It before pressing on to the next shelter for lunch. While we rested at Bald Mountain Shelter, Day Tripper, Cape (a hiker in his 20s from Texas), and Business Time showed up and we chatted with them for a bit. Day Tripper was going to try to do a marathon day and hike 26 miles into Erwin to avoid some rainstorms that are predicted for tomorrow morning.

On the way to our campsite, I ran into two section hikers and one wasn’t doing too well. He was a bit older and was clearly struggling to get up the mountain. It was incredibly hot out and the section of the trail he was hiking went straight up for at least 5 miles with no good water sources until he reached the next shelter, so I stopped and gave him what I had left in my platypus (about a liter). Blacksmith also gave him a liter, so I’m hoping he had enough to make it to the shelter okay!

At the campsite with us tonight is Kickapoo, Cape, Business Time, and a hiker named Squirrel and her dog Zima. I think all of us are trying to get into Erwin tomorrow. It’s supposed to rain in the morning, but no one is really certain of the actual forecast. Some people have heard that the rain is supposed to start in the afternoon. Either way, we’re getting up early and hitting the trail by 7:00. The earlier we get into town, the earlier we get to eat some Mexican food!


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