April 12 - Siler Bald Shelter (194.3)

On the Trail at the usual time, weather is nice, and trail up Rocky Top is steep but manageable. The views are a full 360, but neither of us can remember the words to the song (see video below). We enjoy the view for some time, then go to Thunderbolt with similar conditions but without the great views.

That's Achin below on Rocky Top.


From here to shelter about four miles away, it's rough. Ups, downs, rocks, roots, steep steps down and up. Run into a second Ridgerunner, and he says this section is the hardest on the AT in the Smokies. Takes 5.5 hours to make Derrick Knob shelter, what at this point would usually take us four hours. Kind of beat, but thinking the worst is behind us, decide to push on for Siler Bald shelter about five and a half miles away.

I make pretty good time, about three hours, and would have done better but ran out of water for the first time. Have been carrying too much, but like to stay hydrated, but misjudged this time. Achin comes in about an hour later.

We agree, long day.



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