April 17 - Cosby Knob Shelter (230.1)

This morning my left palm hurts still but no signs of bruising. Everyone in shelter wakes up within 10 minutes of each other, and there's the rush to pack, feed, privy, and go. Achin and I are back on trail at 7:45 with plans to meet at a shelter 13 miles away. The morning is cold, like the night before, but as usual warm up after a mile or so.

I'm feeling a little slow, and find my left hand can not firmly hold that trekking pole without pain. So at our lunch time break, I decide to continue with only one pole, collapse and pack the left hand one on my bag.

Hiking with one pole takes getting used to, having used two poles consistently for a month. Eventually get the hang of it.

Best views of the day (and there are many) are at Deer Creek Gap. Can't see a creek, but there's a broad swath of grass to spread out in the sun while this landscape view spreads before you.  As one hiker said to his partner, "it's going to take you a while to drag me out of here."

After settling in to the shelter, look at my hand and it is now well bruised. Pain is about the same. Check my backpack and the bottom half of the trekking pole is gone. Achin had asked if anyone had lost a pole at Deer Creek Gap, because two hikers had found a "broken pole". Same two hikers are at the shelter and agree it was my pole half, but it was dirty and they left it. Luckily I only need one for some time.

Hanging backpacks on bear cables tonight because bears have been coming into this shelter and dragging backpacks out.

Because it's been cold in camp lately, I have been eating around 5:00 and in sleeping bag at 5:30. Work on journal, read a book, review trail map, or just listen to shelter chatter while staying warm. About eight others are in here now and it's 6:50, basically doing the same thing.

Tomorrow we will be done with the Great Smoky Mountains.


  1. ouch! bruises get uglier as they improve with age. Happy Earth Day!


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