Day 15 Long Branch Shelter NC on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Monday 24 April

Total Distance: 13.9km

Mountains: none today, I took the Mount Albert bypass.

Today was a fantastic day despite the rain and overcast nature of the day, as I had a small milestone – I hit mile 100 today.

Part of what makes all of this walking worth it is the scenery, however this is the second overcast day in a row and everything is looking quite similar. Hence it was quite exciting to get to a point where the clouds parted for a moment.

Last night I was so cold I had all my clothes on and just couldn’t warm up quickly enough so I have decided that I need to reassess my gear when I get to Franklin.

There has been rain and thunderstorms over the last couple of days and my shoes and walking socks are soaked with no chance of getting them dry. Nothing more I ticking then looking at having to put on wet clothes at the beginning of the day 😏.

Due to all the water and water logged ground I have naturally landed on my butt twice today! While my shoes are fantastic and working really well for me as I have no blisters or anything yet, they have very little to no traction as they are running shoes not trail shoes.

Although, the rain is much needed in this area for two main reasons: One that means that hikers will have what a top ups however more importantly, The fires that raged through this area last year have left a trail of destruction and the rain will help to regenerate this area.

Congratulations have to go to the Appalachian Trail conservancy and all the volunteers who have worked hard on restoring the trail so all us hikers (both day and thru) can access it as per the usual hiking season.

Climbing along the side of the Mountain after Mooney Gap was treacherous due to the rain so took my time, figured this was not the time to rush, especially after hitting the ground a couple of times and rolling down the hill!

Walked with Breeze for a while today and entered Long Branch Shelter together. While at the shelter there was a strange man that turned up and did not look like a hiker.

When trying to engage him in conversation he didn’t respond and seemed aloof. Yet when he wanted to ask a question he seemed quite nice about it all. They were several of us at the shelter and we just carried on doing what it was that we were doing and left it at that.

Addition: found out today, Wednesday 26 April, that the gentleman in question is deaf and needs to face you in order to hear and understand you properly.

Yeah you just can’t judge people at all and thetrail  really does teach you that, given the diversity of hikers out here. 😊

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