Day 12: Mile 120.2
We headed out of Franklin, NC this morning after taking a zero day on Saturday. Franklin was an adorable and extremely friendly town, filled with thru-hikers and residents supporting thru-hikers wherever possible. This was a major stop for most, so the zero day was a little less relaxed than wanted but pretty much expected when sharing a room with six people!
This morning we headed out back to our last trailhead, Winding Stair Gap, and pretty much climbed uphill all day to get us back at elevation for the coming days. The weather hasn’t been as nice as last week, with temperatures dropping and much of the day checking your head for rain but to find it’s ice dropping from the trees! There’s snow/rain in the forecast for tonight so another night ahead of wearing all of my clothes! Somehow, even with a 20 degree bag, the wind and the elevation of camp make more layers necessary. Brrrrrrrrr!
Although the temperatures haven’t been in our favor, the views sure have! We climbed two balds today which seems to be a common terrain coming up and well into Virginia.
Wayah Bald was last for the day, with a view from the stone tower at the top of the bald.
And while the views have been amazing, I think today was the first time I’ve experienced the “trail blues.” Most people get them for various reasons. Could be the weather, could be because these last 12 days have felt like I’ve been away from home for way longer, or simply that things never go as planned on the trail.
I’ve been extra careful since last week’s sprained ankle, but once again today the unavoidable muddy rocks, roots and holes caused me to somehow sprain the same ankle again. Lots of pain but walkable, just frustrating how preventative measures and extra caution while hiking seems to not be enough. It’s discouraging to think this common ailment for the trail could prevent me from going as far as I hoped. My next stop is the Nanahala Outdoor Center in about 20 miles, hopefully my ankle will feel better by then, or I’ll have to evaluate what to do next.
Until next time,