Woke up this morning to a thick fog after the heavy rains last night. Fog condenses on anything it contacts, like tents, clothes and sleeping bags. Luckily, I kept my clothes in my tent in a dry bag to prevent such, but my sleeping bag did get damp. Oh well.
I started hiking in shorts, a hiking short and rain coat as a wind break.
Made a two mile hike to Standing Bear Hostel to get some food. Looks like a cool place. It started raining while there, but it was warm enough.
As the day progressed, the temperatures tanked and the rain became heavy. At times, it was also sleeting. I saw some new wildflowers and a ground dweller today.
TRAIL MAGIC!!! As I was hiking in the cold rain, being driven by strong winds, I came down a gap to a road and to my totally amazement, there were two female trail angels giving out trail magic. They created a burrito/taco bar with all the fixings, homemade cookies and brownies, hot drinks, fruit and lots more, including plastic Easter Eggs filled with candy. It was amazing. They were previous thru hikers who just wanted to help us out, like others helped them.
Hiked up to Max Patch, which is an large area of just grass on top of a mountain. The wind driven rain and sleet was so cold my fingers would not work. The winds would blow my legs out from under me a few times. It was covered in thick fog. On a nice day, they say you get 360 degree views and can see several States.
It just got colder and colder as the day went. I was soaking wet all day. Made it to Roaring Fork Shelter around dinner time after putting in over 15 miles. Other hikers were there too. I just took off all my clothes right there, dried off and put on dry cloths. This is life on the AT and nobody blinks an eye about doing such a thing. When females do it, the guys all look away to give them some privacy.
It does stink to put on wet clothes in the morning. However, the importance of keeping as set of warm cloths dry, cannot be overstated. Not one hiker complained about the conditions, complaining does no good and we knew what we were in for when we signed up for this. Plus, conditions like this remind us we are tough and were built to live in more challenging conditions than we usually do in our nice homes.
Time to give my sleeping bag some body heat. As they say in the South, Night Ya’ll!