So after the hail storm I woke up in a cloud at 4,000 ft with windy misty cold, probably in the 30’s. I had a hell of a time getting going as everyone had already left before I got out of the sleeping bag.
Taking the tent down however is the easiest part with the Big Agnes UL3. I figured out you can take the tent down and pack it dry underneath the rain fly. You take the fly down and the poles and the footprint and pack them separately. It is definitely a life saver. My hands were pretty numb by the time I started down the trail this chilly morning.
I started with a brisk pace and I actually kept my thermal top and jacket on to hike the first 2 miles, which is totally out of the norm for me. Then off they came and away I went. It was a beautiful hike today coming down out of the mountains and through all the water features. It spilled onto a road where I decided to take a detour down to Black Bear Resort outside Hampton TN. I went to pick up some fuel and head back out. Although when I got there I decide to pay the $2 for a hot shower and it was worth every cent ;). Then I grabbed some junk food and was about to head out when “Happy” came out of the door and asked if I would like any pizza? Hell yeah! I said hahaha so I went in and he was just starting a movie “As Good as it gets”. So I ended up hanging out watching a movie until about 4pm when I headed out. Since “Happy” was going to the same place we hiked together. “Happy” is a 40’s-ish New Zealander who was born in Zimbabwe. A very interesting guy and I enjoy our conversations.
The hike out started well but about half way I started feeling pretty bad. I was nauseous and exhausted with no energy. It was all I could do to get to camp and when I got there I was freezing so I started making a fire. “Happy” was seeing how miserable I was and kept telling me how pale I looked. I took some Tums that my kind lady put in my pack and hoped for a break. Luckily I got my tent set up and “Happy” had the fire going good. So I just sat and warmed myself and started feeling better a little later. We sat and talked about all sorts of interesting things. He’s very smart guy.
Tomorrow I am trying for a solid 15 but we will see what happens. Today was another 12.5 as we had to stop short of the lake due to bear activity.