Carey Kish is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, a distance of 2,200 miles over a period of 5-6 months. Entries from Carey’s trail journal are presented here (read them all). You can also follow his journey on his Facebook page.
May 1, 2015: Vandeventer Shelter to Double Springs Shelter, 14.4 miles, 9:30am to 5pm.
Some start to May and my third calendar month on the trail. Rain, wind, cold. I was snug and warm in my tent this morning listening to the rain patter down, no interest in moving. Didn’t hear much from the shelter nearby either. Soon enough however…
Packed the goods, wet tent and all, and cooked breakfast in the shelter. Then it was off into the fog. Fairly easy going all morning but disorienting in the thick fog. Could hard see more than 20-30 feet. Bone chilling cold and wet. Fingers numb, feet numb. Took forever to warm up, but even then, kept my wool hat on and my jacket fully zipped, hood and all.
Made Iron Mtn Shelter in 3 hours and ducked in for lunch. Roy and Drop Bear there plus four other section hikers. In out of the wind I could sit comfortably in just my T-shirt. Out again after a bite, it was back to the big chill. Ground out the miles, pack still needing adjustment. Need to rethink how I’ve got it but not now.
A quarter-mild shy of TN91 we came upon an iron box (looked like a bear box)of trail magic, sodas and Little Debbie’s treats. The box was painted neon orange and had three crosses cut out of the top, courtesy of the Nelson Bible Baptist Church in nearby Mountain City. A sign said to enjoy, that they were praying for us. Thank you folks! Much appreciated, and so was the brief few minutes of sun we enjoyed there sitting on a log.
There was cell reception there so I called Fran and we had a nice visit. As we talked I walked out to the road to find more trail magic going on. Conductor and Papa Al and their wives and friends were there with fresh fruit. Yeah!
Across the road the trail, here an accessible path for a half-mile, led up there a beautiful pasture. Several stiles and gates needed negotiating, as did a pasture of cows. As we climbed away into the woods again, we re-entered the fog, which grew thicker as we got higher. The hiking was thankfully pretty easy even on the ascent. Next thing I know I glance down over the trail and there’s the shelter.
Cold and damp here now just before 7. Everyone is tucked into their bags, it’s the only place to get warm. Sun tomorrow please please please! One more full day gets me to just shy of Damascus, which I’ll reach early Sunday morning. Virginia, the 4th state with 525 miles of trail, happens tomorrow afternoon. Bring it on.