Another day. Another fall. The fall count is up to 7, folks. All in a span of four days straight. Today’s fall was a bad one, but no injuries.
Last night, we had the perfect opportunity to check out the clear night sky as we camped on Cheoah Bald. It was pretty awesome and we were able to see Orion, Gemini, Jupiter, and an orange-glowing star, Beetlegeuse. Well, those are the things I saw leaning out of the tent in my sleeping bag. It was too cold for me to leave my toasty, warm bag to check out the rest of the night sky. We also saw the full moon rising which was amazing. It glowed orange as it rose in the sky. It was such a beautiful night and one we are sure to remember in the years to come.
As I woke up this morning, I realized that this was the first morning that I didn’t feel cold. I thought, “I bet today is going to be a beautiful day!” Wrong answer.
As we descended the bald, we came upon some more icy and snowy parts. One time I almost fell off the steep drop-off of the trail. That might have sent me home for good, but my balancing skills saved me on that one.
Around midday, we reached Stecoah Gap where two 2012 thru-hikers were doing some trail magic. As always, it was much-needed and amazing. Whitewater and Video served us up two cheeseburgers each, chips, fruit, soda, and cookies. We talked about the trail and their experience last year. Whitewater said that he wore shorts everyday except for three days during his entire hike. I’ve worn shorts a total of 3 hours during our entire hike. March has been uncommonly cold down here and there’s been a lot of hikers getting held up at the Smokies because it’s so snowy and icy there. Of course, the year we decide to thru-hike, it’s like the coldest March ever…
As we left the gap, it started to snow. We climbed up a super steep section of the trail called Jacob’s Ladder. As we descended the trail, the big snowflakes turned into rain and it rained the rest of our hike until we got to Cable Gap Shelter. Thankfully, we got the last two spots in the shelter as one guy offered to sleep on the end. We met some new hikers here today, including Wiggles and her dog, Ava. Hiccup and Jonathan, two hikers we’ve seen off and on are here too. I found out that Hiccup also studied abroad in Florence like I did, but two years before in 2008. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been three years since I lived in Florence, where I started blogging for the first time. Oh to be in Firenze again eating gelato, drinking vino, and studying Renaissance architecture.
We’re nice and cozy here in the shelter on this rainy night. I think Ava will be able to scare off any bears that come our way.
Note that Day 16 somehow uploaded before Day 15. Not a typo, I just accidentally uploaded them in the wrong order. Day 16 entry involves some amazing trail magic from Mamaw B!