Wednesday, May 1, 2013

4/30: Mountaineer Falls Shelter

Hello folks,

It is Wendy here with yet another update from ze trail. If yesterday was the best day we had, it didn't stay that way for long! Today trumped it with ease!

After our great night sleep at Overmountain shelter we got off to one of our signature late starts around 10:30. While we were a bit nervous because we had such a long day ahead of us, we felt pretty confident that the terrain was easy enough that we could make it to the shelter before it filled up. After all, the guide did say it fit 14! Don't forget that I am still without trekking poles so we cannot camp until Damascus!

The day quickly rewarded us with 3 back to back to back balds, all with incredible views. The climbs were tough but definitely worth it! Just when we though this would be the kind of terrain we would be seeing all day we were thrust down into the forest and away from the balds. The trail just kept lazily snaking downhill for what seemed like hours! We made up a ton of ground and even caught a few people who had left the previous shelter before us!

Nearing the bottom of our descent we found something that Breeze had been looking for since Springer- a rock face we could boulder! This one stood around 20 feet tall and it was a blast to climb! As if that wasn't enough, around 2 hours later we found an amazing tree to climb up for a view of what we had been hiking all day! To say I put my fear of heights to the test today is an understatement, I hope we can find some adventurous things to do closer to the ground next time!

Next on our list was a small side trail near the end of our hike to Jones Falls. WOW, talk about beautiful! Breeze loves waterfalls so at this point he was in hog heaven. After that we hiked on only to realize that our shelter is about 200 yards from a waterfall. What are the chances?!

Our final gift of the day was the shelter. Despite a full barn shelter last night this place was completely empty! This is surprising because it is one of the only 3 floor shelters on the trail! Having the whole place to ourselves was great and we spread out and stayed warm quite easily.

At this point I really don't know what else you could ask for from a trail in a day. Beautiful views, waterfalls, adventure, and a huge shelter all to ourselves- pinch me I'm dreaming!

Until the next dream come true,

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