Saturday May 13, 2017
Start: Hot Springs, NC
End: Roaring Brook Shelter
Last night, my connecting flight to Asheville was delayed by more than an hour with mechanical trouble. I didn’t arrive at the hostel until 10pm. I walked into to a completely quiet house, with a note on the door saying “full.” I noted my name was on their calendar though no location or room number was noted. I quietly poked around, going upstairs. I found an open door with a bed made with no one staying in it. I decided it was probably mine so I got settled and went to sleep. I got up this morning around 6:15am, did my morning routine, and was downstairs by 6:45am. No one else was up. I found my package on the front porch and integrated it into my pack. I left money and a note on the desk and headed to the diner. I grabbed a veggie breakfast wrap with some sweet tea, hitting the trail by 7:30am.
Leaving from Hot Springs (1326′), I climbed up to Deer Park Mountain (2571′), and then eventually climbed up Bluff Mountain (4686′). From there, I descended to Kale Gap (3700′) and then climbed up Walnut Mountain (4293′). The trail then went down to (3455′), and then climbed up to get to Roaring Fork Shelter (4019). I arrived right at 4pm.
While I could have kept going, I have a light day tomorrow already anyway. The next place to camp out is Max Patch which is a bald mountain around 4600′; it’s accessible by road, it’s Saturday night, and I saw a group of 6+ locals headed to camp out on Max Patch with their carful of beer. It sounds cold and rather crowded. I’d rather pass through first thing in the morning, as the new light hits it (and after it has time to dry out from days of rain).
It didn’t really rain today but it was extremely foggy and humid and the trees were enthusiastically dripping alllll day. Water has been, of course, plentiful, which is a nice comparison to the last trip. Loon and Parcour are sharing the shelter with me; I’m delighted to find some quiet, given how many people I’ve seen today. Loon is from Minneapolis and just got her PhD on Sunday from Auburn in Alabama in animal nutrition, specializing in poultry nutrition. We had lovely chats about the Minneapolis’ theater scene, academia, and the struggles of being in more conservative spaces.