March 30, 1998

3/30/98 Roaring Fork Shelter

11.2 miles (255.9 total)

Oh, mustn’t forget Bark Eater, a ’97 thru-hiker that had to get off the trail because of Lymne’s Disease. He was just out for a drive and thought he might come upon a few thru-hikers. He ended up shuttling a whole bunch of us back up to the trail from Mountain Mama’s.

The climb up Snowbird Mountain after our little break was l-o-n-g-! It just seemed to go up and up. Towards the end, I though I’d passed up the shelter because of how long it took me to do those miles. But along the way I started seeing wild flowers in bloom. Plus a bumble bee blocked my path until I passed his inspection. Most everyone stopped along the way to rest and to not hike in the heat of the day.

Met up with Mountain Man at the Ground Hog Creek Shelter about 3:30. Most everyone else got there around 5:00 PM. Steve and Smiley have caught up to us, but Ghandi, Pufferbelly & Granny decided to camp before reaching the shelter. Mountain Man and I decided to tent. He has been a little offended by the language of Ol’Crawdad (which is pretty bad). And you know a group of guys usually sink to the lowest common denominator. He’s an OK guy (Ol’Crawdad) but I would hate to hike much more with him.

Today found me hiking a mile out of camp, only to go back for my water bottle (signs of early Alzheimer’s?). Another warm day with a lot of climbing. But it was all worth it when I reached Max Patch, a bald peak about 4800’.

Max Patch is a high, grassy bald (mountain with no trees)
Took a break here to rest my feet in the warm sunshine

You could see Snowbird and Cammerer. We’d been getting views of this grassy bald for days. I was surprised at how many day hikers and tourists were up here on a Monday. As I was making my way down off the summit, a family visiting from Alabama offered me some snacks of hard boiled eggs, carrots, cauliflower, Oreo’s and a Pepsi. So in exchange, I tried to tell them more about the AT (which they hadn’t heard of). I have been pleasantly surprised by the kindness of strangers to us hikers. Right now I’m sitting by yet another stream. Practiced a little on the penny whistle and a little journal writing. Weather calls for scattered showers Tuesday. Hope it holds off till I reach Hot Springs.

Sunburn is the word this afternoon. I can’t believe I’m hot, sweaty and sunburned and less than a week ago, I was cold, wet and hiking in a foot of snow. That drastic change must be why I’m nursing a cold.

Took some pictures of small white, wild flowers, but unable to identify. Also saw several red squirrels, almost looked like large chipmunks.