10-27-09 day 147
start: Walnut Mountain Shelter, TN/NC
end: Groundhog Creek Shelter, TN/NC
daily mileage: 13.1
total mileage: 1932.7
We were hoping for good weather for the next couple of days but it rained all night last night and it looked pretty dreary this morning. We stopped a the first shelter, 5 miles in, and decided to take and early lunch. We met up with Buffalo and Icarus there, and shortly after Root Beer Float came out of nowhere and said he had been camping next to the shelter we were at last night. We had gotten it after dark so who knew? So it looked like we were all hiking together again.
The wind was blowing and the rain dripped off the trees all the way up the next mountain. The top, called Max Patch, it a grassy bald that offered a 360 degree panorama, with views into the Smokie's. Oddly enough, the view was especially good today, in spite of the rain. First of all the hills were bright with the fall colors and the inclement weather caused the valleys to be full of thick white fog. It was awesome. I did my best to shoot all the shots of a panorama without a tripod, so we'll see how that stitches together later.
After Max Patch the weather just got worse and worse. We were originally shooting for a campsite at 18 miles, but with the rain neither of us were keen on tenting. we stopped at the 13 mile shelter and gave up the rest of the day to the sour weather. We spent a lazy afternoon with Icarus reading, in turns, the Miss Pickerel book (which is great by the way).