Today was a much better day than yesterday. We didn’t have to push ourselves because of time restrictions or rain. However, we still managed to hike 9.6 miles after leaving camp at 11 in the morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the terrain wasn’t too difficult. We left camp later to allow some of our things to dry out from the rain the day before. If all of your stuff is soaking wet when you pack it in your backpack, it’s going to weigh a whole lot more than dry gear.
After such an intense day on Monday, I woke up the next day feeling refreshed and relieved that we were going to have a sunny day ahead of us. When you’re living outside, the weather has a direct effect on everything that you do. Cooking, going to the bathroom, sleeping, and everything in between. We only had one day of rain, but we can only imagine what it’s going to be like with multiple days of rain in a row. And we may know as soon as this weekend.
Miles and I hike at different speeds, so normally we don’t hike together, which we’re both okay with. He’s usually ahead of me, but yesterday I got an early start out of camp, so I ended up getting way ahead of him for once. If you know Miles, then you know he likes to take his sweet time doing just about everything. And if you know me, then you know that I like to get things done in a timely and efficient manner. So yesterday as we were getting ready to hike, I was ready to go while Miles still had his stuff strewn everywhere. Growing impatient and colder by the minute, I told him I was going to go ahead and hike. I’m glad I did, because he didn’t leave for another half hour! I guess that’s the beauty of hiking though. We can hike our own hike and we don’t always have to wait for one another. Miles keeps asking me if I’ll be offended if he passes me while we’re hiking. And I keep telling him that it’s really not a big deal. In fact, I don’t mind hiking alone at all. It’s strange how our hiking styles are actually the opposite of our personalities. Miles goes on a hiking rampage without even knowing it, and while I can switch it into high gear when necessary, I don’t mind taking in the views for just a little bit longer. We always end up at the same place at the end of the day, so I suppose it really doesn’t matter.
We hiked to Blue Mountain Shelter where there a few hikers that we hadn’t met before. Tumbleweed, Wild Willy, and Tomfoolery. We still had some energy left in us, so we hiked on to Unicoi Gap and decided to hitch into Hiawassee the next morning, giving us a full zero day there the next day. A zero day is when you don’t do any hiking at all and usually involves a rest in town. We weren’t going to take a zero for another 30 or so miles, but the weather forecast looked grim for Wednesday night in the mountains, like below 0 windchill grim. So like almost everyone else, we decided to take a zero the next day and get back on the trail on Thursday.
The views of the North Georgia mountains were spectacular today. We won’t be in the state much longer, so I’m soaking in all of the beauty while I can. Looking forward to a day off tomorrow and taking care of the couple of blisters that I’ve developed.