Day 10 Long Branch Shelter to Winding Stair Gap (7.2 miles)
A bit less cold last night (low 30’s?). Didn’t have to sleep in jacket, etc. so that’s good.
I’ve been pitching my tent in area near shelters (usually 3 walked building with platform on floor to sleep on). The areas have cleared pads for tents. Levels must not have been invented when pads were made. Very uneven. Have to shim my air pad I sleep on to keep from sliding off sometimes.
Got moving about 7:30AM. Huge motivator to know you’ll be getting a shower, laundry, and a bed at end of day.
Last week’s moisture seems to have springs and streams flowing well. They’ve been in drought conditions around here. Many places you can see remnants of wildfires from last fall.
The trail is frequently narrow with a drop on one side or the other. If you would slip here you would probably roll until a tree stopped you. Only a couple spots where there has been a shear drop with nothing stopping a fall do a while.
Some signs of spring at lower elevations. No clue what type of tree is budding here, but I thought it was cool!
Finished my 7.2 miles at 11AM. At the point where that’s just getting warmed up!
2190 miles is too much for my mind to handle so I’m breaking the hike into 20 hikes of approximately 110 miles. Finished the first of those today. 109.5 miles down!
Lucked out again with ride when got to Gap. Jim picked me up and gave me a ride the 10 miles to Franklin, NC. Retired AT&T engineer (Purdue, Ozzy) who just likes to help hikers.
Congrats to Sergio Garcia on his Masters win. Was able to watch at Mulligans Sports Bar and Grill. Had a great time visiting with Trey (below). He even bought me a Bud. Thanks, Trey.
Hoping to make it about 30 miles next 2 days to Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC).