Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tough days in the rain

I just heard from Gronk. I have been watching the NOAA radar all weekend and knew he had to have been under water, while we here in Ottawa have been enjoying nice weather Saturday, and glorious weather today (Sunday). I'll just post his own words here, not my interpretation of anything, as I only received texts and we didn't speak on the phone.

April 26 - 14.8 mi today. Bagged.

I'm tucked in and ready to fall asleep. Left Franklin on 9am shuttle back to Rock Gap, where we came off the trail. Surprised to see some go back to another gap 4 miles closer. I guess they don't want to walk every blaze. To each his own. 

The hiking was very tough on me and I developed my first blisters so it was painful and difficult. We knew weather was coming so we wanted to make as many dry miles as possible. We made it to Wayah Bald shelter at mile 120.8. 

Not much else to say. It was hard and I'm all beaten up now. Weather was beautiful all day. Tomorrow  may be a hike in the rain. At least it won't go below freezing like it has been. 

Uh oh I heard raindrops on the tarp. It's just before 8 pm. 

April 27- Miserable hard day.

It started around 4 am when I woke to find my tarp had sagged and was lying against the hammock. Rain and condensation had soaked my quilts and puffy jacket. Not good as the puffy was the only insulation I had to wear. 

We packed up and took off during a lull in the rain but it started up soon enough. After that it was just cool, wet and miserable. 

I wasn't having the slightest bit of fun. Shoes and socks were soaked. My pants hung on me like I'd fallen into a river. You had to keep moving to keep warm, so no breaks were taken. 

We ended up walking through streams of water, totally soaked. Not looking forward to putting on those wet clothes and shoes in the morning. Why didn't I bring rain pants? Somehow I expected warm rain and not cold mountain rain. 

We made it to Wesser Bald shelter around two. I got out of my soaked clothes and put on my damp puffy and long johns and I had some hot instant mashed potatoes and a hot chocolate. The shelter was full up with 5 people and we were all in the sack at 3pm listening to the storm. 

April 28 - rain rain rain

It's 9 am and we're still in the sack. It's been 18 hours and it's still raining cats and dogs and horses.  I got up and had a bagel with cheese, mustard and hot sauce. 

One guy has cell reception and using my credit card had booked 5 bunks down at the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center). It's a 5 mile down hill walk and if the rain lets up a bit, we'll head out. And if it doesn't, we'll have to leave around noon.

I've never heard such rain. It's constant -- never letting up. The path down may be like walking in a stream bed.

Later. Five mile rain walk to the NOC. Have a bunk but it's no hell. No linens or pillow or bottom sheet. Hikers make do. I have a laundry in and have only changed clothes. The laundry is a 7-8 min walk from the little building where we five are housed. Everything here is spread out and it's still raining hard. 

Must admit I was in pretty good spirits regardless. I thought about reality and just dealt with it. 

More later I hope. Have wifi and want to see if these go out.


  1. Rain is SO much worse when you're living outside. Especially relentless rain or cold rain, and it sounds like he's got both. Hang in there, Gronk! Sunny days are ahead. (I'm impressed, by the way, with his daily mileage.)

  2. Peter, I'm very impressed with your positive attitude to the wet weather. It is no fun being cold and wet, even for a brief time. But for days on end, the pits.

    Glad you are dealing with it in the best possible way.

    Well done.


  3. Thanks Zoom and SGJ. It was sunny this morning and hope blossoms like the dogwood.