Tuesday, May 13, 2014

US 321 at Hampton, TN to a Camping Area Near Turkey Gap

The day has finally arrived. I'm going backpacking. Guthook flew in yesterday and helped me entertain Syd and H all afternoon. This morning I cooked us Paleo pancakes and bacon. I will not be seeing those on the trail. 

Susan dropped us off at the Watauga Lake  trailhead. To our surprise there were people in the water. It was hot but I'm sure the water was cold. 

We headed north and settled into a pretty good pace. Our first stop was Watauga Lake Shelter.   We both needed water so we filled up from a little stream that crossed the trail to the shelter. It turns out that this was the most convenient water of the day. 

The climb to the ridge line was steep. I had forgotten how long it was. Even with all my hiking at home it was still difficult. 

The second water source was mid afternoon. It was a spring beside the trail. Several people were trying to get water there but the flow was weak. We decided to try our luck at the next shelter. 

On the way there we got caught in a thunderstorm. Most of the lightning was off to the east but we still go soaked. 

At Vanderventer Shelter the water was .3 miles straight down. The flow was good but the climb back up to the ridge was punishing. 

We took a rest break at the shelter and ate some snacks. I tried the Steve's Paleo Berky. It's a mixture of jerky and berries. That's some good stuff. 

While we were there Guthook saw a friend from home. His name is Uncle Tom. They discussed the two of us joining him at a cabin near Damascus for Trail Days. It's a little out of town but it should work just fine. Uncle Tom said he would check with the owner and let us know tomorrow. 

We left the shelter about 5 and added another 3.8 miles to the day. We are near Turkey Gap. A number of other hikers are here. I quickly made supper and crawled in my shelter. It feels good to be dry. 

The rain has returned but I'm so tired nothing is going to keep me awake tonight