Day 36 (Apil 28th): Clyde Smith Shelter to Overmountain Shelter

Miles hiked today: 15.0
Miles hiked total: 383.1
Miles to go: 1802.1

Today we had a threat of thunderstorms all day. We had 15 miles to hike and Roan Mountain to go over, which was a 2000-foot climb over roughly 5 miles, so we tried to move pretty quickly.

Last night, it rained a bit while we were sleeping, but when I woke up this morning, my rain fly was almost completely dry. It was so windy that most of the raindrops had been blown off.

The rain, thankfully, held off for most of the day, though ominous rain clouds were present in the sky. As I climbed Roan Mountain, it was incredibly windy, which I loved because it cooled me off, but it also made me hike with a sense of urgency because I kept expecting the sky to open up. At the top of Roan Mountain is Roan High Knob Shelter, the highest shelter on the AT at 6,194 feet. Stylez, Wing It, and I all agreed that the last place we wanted to be in the middle of a thunder and lightning storm was at the top of a mountain in the highest shelter, so we pushed on to Overmountain Shelter, which is an old converted barn.

We all thought the day was supposed to be rather easy  after hiking Roan, but then we got to Round Bald, Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge Bald and thought differently. The path up all three was incredibly rocky and unstable and by the time I reached the top of the third bald, my feet were in a lot of pain. I led the downhill to Stan Murray Shelter and went slowly because every step hurt my feet. When I got to that shelter, I had to sit down and elevate my feet for a couple of minutes before continuing on to the barn. From Stan Murray Shelter, the barn was 1.9 miles away and it was mostly downhill. We took our time because we all had sore feet and finally made it to the shelter at 3:30.

The rain held off all day. It was windy and we hiked through clouds at times, but overall the weather and temperature weren’t bad. About 30 or 40 minutes after reaching the barn, thunder started rumbling and it started to pour. The storm probably only lasted for 30 minutes and there was no lightning. The sun came out after and the sky was blue again. It was actually really beautiful to see.

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy with storms, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to make it to the hostel we’re staying at before it gets really bad since we only have 9 miles to go.

TTFN

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