Day 11 - Siler Bald
Mileage: 14.6 (112.6 total)
This place has to be by far the most beautiful camp area yet. Yes, its a .2 mile walk up a steep, bald hill. Yes, it took almost an hour to get water and walk back up the mountain, but I'm sitting atop a moutain that has a sign saying "EL. 5216 ft", watching the sunset in a 360 degree fashion. The Appalachian Mountains look amazing. The only sound I can hear is the jets of aircraft flying overhead. I wonder where they're headed? The wind may be blowing at 2-3 miles an hour. Food for the soul, I'd imagine. For the most part, this trip has had its standard fashion of blisters and knee sores, but its the inherent beauty and adventure that makes it all worth it. Now I will say that this is one of the only truly romantic things. Please don't get the idea that bristling down (and seriously up) mountain trails while humming a fair tune is not the image you should be getting. This sunset is merely the reward for putting for some effort on onespart. I guess for me its always been about that "new thing" around the corner that kept me going. This ideal has gotten me through USNA, the "engaging" life of a submariner, and now this. This could very well be one of the defining experiences of my life.
Anyway, I'd have to say that I've been relatively free of outside troubles. I did just move halfway across the world, so there's bound to be a bill here or there that one might forget about. I think my Men's Health magazines are still going to Waikiki. Guess I'll have to get on that. :-)
Enough romantic mumbo jumbo. I woke up this morning, MUCH warmer than the day prior. My knee during the first hour was very sore, but the pain went away soon thereafter. Got to Winding Stair Gap right outside of Franklin and met up with Bojangles who was already partaking in the "trail magic" that was provided by Bill and Eileen. Trail Magic refers to people along the trail just spontaneously doing things for hikers (rides, food, Krispy Kreme Donuts, etc). Its a very popular thing to do in this ten mile corridor that stretches over 2000 miles. After Gatorade, Little Debbies, Poptarts and applesauce, we headed up towards Siler Bald. We have an 18 mile day tomorrow which will put us into the NOC before noon on Saturday.
Time to watch the sunset