Betty Creek Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter – 23.2 miles
It’s another gorgeous day. I am moving by 7:30 AM and climb over Albert Mountain this morning. I do not go up the tower since the sky is hazy and the view is good from the ground. I am feeling pretty good physically. The sun is hot again and my arms are sunburned badly from the other day. I need to wear long sleeves tomorrow. The view from Wayah Bald this afternoon is the most spectacular view I have ever seen on the east coast. I have trail magic three times today: sun chips, sour cream and onion chips, Paydays, a can of V8, and a can of pineapple juice at Rock Gap; Gatorade and Oreos at Winding Stair Gap; and crackers, Chips Ahoy, and Hershey fun size candy bars at Wayah Bald.
I get to camp just after 5 PM. I speak with Lindsay and Ryder as soon as I drop my pack at camp! It is fantastic to reach them because I am feeling pretty low mentally and emotionally. I break down a little bit and some awesomeness leaks out. (I kind of feel ridiculous, like those people on Biggest Loser or some show like that, that cry when talking to their family members. I got to laugh at myself about that. I don’t lose it, but how I’d handle the emotions of missing my family was definitely an unknown coming into this hike.) I just had to get that out.
I am feeling a little lonely and I’m looking forward to seeing Debbie next week in Tennessee. I just need to see somebody. It’s strange to be “alone” for six days now, being away from any familiar people, not talking to familiar people. I don’t mind hiking alone, it’s the down time that is harder, when my mind is not as occupied with the task at hand. The NOC is tomorrow. I am feeling strong, but I am remaining patient (refraining from doing longer days just yet) for big days ahead.
View from Albert Mountain
Albert Mountain survey marker
Wayah Bald Tower
View from Wayah Bald