Today had its ups and downs. And I’m not just talking about ascents and descents on mountains. Today was our longest hiking day yet. We hiked 15.3 miles. The climb out of Bly Gap was steep. It was supposed to rain all day, so I was sweating quite a bit going up the bald. Thankfully, it didn’t really rain at all today, but we kept on our rain gear just in case. As we headed into Deep Gap (yes, another Deep Gap, but this time in NC), we ran into a Boy Scout Troop heading up Standing Indian Mountain for an overnight camp out. They were a good group of boys and one of them even offered us some blueberries. The troop leader also offered to cook us dinner if we camped out on top of the mountain, but we had already decided to push on to Carter Gap.
I was nervous about climbing Standing Indian because it was the tallest mountain yet at 5,498 ft, but it wasn’t bad at all. The climb was very gradual; however, it was so foggy out, we couldn’t see anything from the top. As we began our descent down the mountain, I started to feel kind of lightheaded, like I hadn’t eaten in awhile and I felt myself getting weak. I had eaten just before we climbed Standing Indian, which was less than an hour before. I’m not really sure what happened to me, but I was hoping I would see Miles stopped ahead of me at some point. When it was clear that he had gone all the way to Beech Gap, I had to sit down and eat something. I almost felt like I could have just collapsed on the side of the trail if I had walked any further. I ate some sausage and cheese and a Clif bar and then kept going. I did feel somewhat better, but for the rest of our hike to the shelter, I still felt sort of lightheaded. I’m fine now, so I’m not really sure what happened. I had been eating all day and drinking plenty of water. I wondered if it could be altitude sickness. Guess we’ll find out tomorrow if it happens on our next big climb.
We made it to Carter Gap Shelter, where we finally caught up with three guys we started with on the first day. They thought that we had blown by them, so they were surprised to see us.
North Carolina has been beautiful so far and already seems more wild than Georgia. Not sure if it will stay that way though. The campsite here is awesome with lots of trees and very sheltered. The outside of my right foot has started to hurt. This is just what I was worried about when I was looking at shoes. I may need to make some adjustments with my insoles or maybe I should get some new shoes. We will see I suppose.
We are currently sleeping near the loudest and most annoying snorer I have ever heard in my life. And I thought that the guys the other night were bad. This guy trumps them all. You could be 50 feet away and still hear this guy. Looks like another sleepless night for me!