May 20 - a shortish day
It rained hard last night. Clothes and shoes were still wet in the morning. I learned about closing zippers on rain gear. I wondered why I was so cold yesterday, coming down Unaka Mountain. It was because I had both jacket zippers and both pant pocket zippers open. The inside of the pockets are just mesh so all water is funnelled inside and soaks your clothes! Lesson learned: close all zippers when stowing rain gear for maximum protection at the start.
I taped my feet and put on dry socks but had wet shoes. Blisters persisted and I had to tape later on.
Met Brush Buddy and Beatnik at the shelter and two South Africans, Springbok and Mitten, came in and we had a good chat. Then Rider suddenly showed up out of nowhere. It's funny how people keep coming and going on the A.T.
I was hanging by 7:50 p.m. at the Clyde Smith shelter, having hiked 9.2 miles. A relatively short day.
Not sure what to do with my feet. Is it the shoes?
May 21 - happy anniversary to us!
It's 7:17 p.m. and I'm lying in the hammock listening to the rain come down. I'm at Overmountain Shelter and except for one tent, everyone else is inside the shelter. I can't blame them as it is a unique shelter - a converted old barn. But it's typical for a shelter. That is, sort of dirty and the lower level doesn't offer much in terms of weather protection. It has a fantastic view though and it was fun sitting at the picnic table watching the storm roll up the valley towards us.
It was a tough 12.8 mile slog today, thanks to the blisters. This would be a great hike if every step weren't so painful. I'm not sure what to do about this except take time off the trail to heal and maybe get new shoes. The blisters are all along the sides of my feet, making me wonder if they're just too tight. The guy at the outfitter said Oboz didn't come in wide sizes but the size 11.5 I bought fit sort of loose so I bought them, thinking they'd be OK.
There's a hostel/B&B 9 miles down the trail. Depending on the weather and my feet, I may drop in. If they shuttle to town, I can pick up some more supplies the pharmacy if there is one, as I'm almost out of duct tape. And if there isn't, at least I can dry out. Everything is damp and plain just wet and I could really use a shower.
The rain and wind is picking up. The windward side of my tarp is resting against the hammock. I have to be careful or it'll soak the hammock and the under-quilt. It would've been a good night to be indoors.