Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pinhoti Trail Day 17

This morning was really foggy. I waited at the shelter for a bit, hoping it would clear off and let my gear dry off a bit. Eventually I just gave up and packed up.

I saw a lot of hikers today, some doing day hikes and some out for the weekend. I am in the Cheaha State Park area, so there is relatively easy access for short hikes. I also met 'BCM' who was doing a loop hike in the area. Apparently he works for a local outfitter, and seemed to know a lot about the trail (he thru-hiked the Alabama portion before). The funny thing is that he actually recognized me as a thru-hiker, on a trail that doesn't get many thru-hikers.

After lunch and talking with BCM for a bit the fog did finally clear off, so I was able to catch the last few overlooks in the park. Some of the best views on the whole trail and I pass them on a foggy day.

Overall the trail today was really rocky. The guidebook goes so far as to name areas as 'rock gardens', which seems to be just a codeword for a broken ankle waiting to happen. Fortunately, my ankles are pretty strong with all the hiking I've done.

I was planning on getting to a specific water source for the night, and ended up getting there just before dark. Dark actually happened a bit earlier than usual as well, as another set of huge black clouds blew over the mountain. I was able to get my hammock and tarp all set up, and about 5 minutes later a huge windstorm swept in, bringing major amounts of thunder and lighting. Then calm. And then the rain hit. Definitely 'hit', not just 'started'. I wasn't sure if it was going to break my tarp or not, it was raining so hard.

Eventually the storm blew over, and I ended up having a relatively quite night after it passed.

298.7 miles down

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