Friday, September 30, 2016
Start: US 19E/Mountain Harbour hiker hostel
End: Moreland Gap shelter
This morning, I was up around 7am. I pulled all my things together and was up at the house with Towanda by 7:45am for breakfast. We had a lovely breakfast – there was egg soufflé, fried potatoes and onions, fresh cinnamon rolls, muffins, blueberry pancakes, and biscuits and gravy. We rolled out of the hostel and got on trail by 9am. Towanda hiked with me until 10:30am when she headed back to US 19E to meet her ride at noon.
Overall, today was fairly easy. The trail was smooth and while there were frequent changes in elevation, they were fairly small. There was also many sources of water; most noted springs were running. The weather has been fairly cool as well, getting into the low 70s, so I’ve needed less water to keep up with my sweat. On today’s travels, I passed by Mountaineer Shelter.
As we were hiking this morning, we saw signs indicating that Watauga Lake shelter is closed again due to bear activity. I looked over my miles for tomorrow and found a new hostel 0.2 miles off trail 2 miles shy of my intended goal. I called to double check they were open; so my day tomorrow will be even shorter than today. I’ll have one big ~1,600′ climb in the afternoon but other than that, it looks like a relatively easy day.