March 16, 1998

3/16/98 Siler Bald Shelter

12.8 miles (110.7 total)

Last night, Mountain Man, Might Wind and his dog Spirit, Brother Angus and Jim and his dog. Angus had tried a south-bound hike a few years ago but just didn’t like the isolation. So he’s trying again as a north-bounder. Slept in a shelter for the first time. Didn’t like it, kept worrying about the mice. Plus Mighty Wind had to nudge me a lot to keep the snoring bearable (only he’s a pretty loud snorer too. Rained all night on our tin roof. Like usual, the rain began to let up with sunrise. Mountain Man is the gourmet of the bunch, some of his ingredients are miso, quinia, dried vegetables and seaweed. Swamp Fox headed off early going to the Rainbow Spring Campground near Franklin NC. As I was leaving, Funk 29, a 20-year old christian from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, stopped by for breakfast. Must have had a real early start.

Today was hiking in the mists. The lower we got the colder and wetter. The higher warmer and less wet. I stripped down to shorts, shirt and vest more because of the humidity than the warmth. Saw a lot more rain-forest-like terrain with lots of moss covering everything, and several types of ferns. And water, water, and more water. We missed the sign for the Rock Gap Shelter because of the fog. Some places it was thick enough to cut, others none at all. Spirit kept following close on my heels. She is a Husky. Later after a short snack lunch, Funk 29 and I just motored the last 4 miles up the mountain. We got to the shelter more than an hour ahead of Mighty Wind and Mountain Man. A local hiker stopped by for water as he was camping up on Siler Bald.

They said you could hear my snoring all the way from my tent.
I just think they have sensitive ears

After dinner, Halfway, a medical student section-hiker headed south stopped in. Told me the Brothers Johnson are still ahead of me. Looks like I won’t be catching them for awhile. Today’s 12.8 miles felt good. Looks like it might be cold tonight.