March 30 - Standing Indian Shelter, Deb's Birthday

Winds were howling outside all night, but tucked in on the third level, and no bad snorers, get best sleep since starting not in a hostel. Get up early, don't cook breakfast, on the trail just after 8.

First big milestone is the North Carolina line 4.4 miles away. I'm sluggish, not the same energy as yesterday. Some of my shelter mates pass me, and not soon after come to the border. It's just a little wooden sign, I could easily have walked by it if the others weren't all clambering for pictures. Continue up the trail a bit, come up on this ridge line and - boom - gusting cold wind. It is sunny and warm, then cold, all day. So I look like a minstrel with all my layers, gloves, hat, on, off, this one on, that one off.

Lunch near a trail side stream, tired and considering stopping at the shelter just ahead. But eat, fresh cool water from the stream, sun streaming into the rhododendron forest I'm hiding in. Finish refreshed.

Check the nearby Muskrat Creek Shelter, but move on. Trail at this point is good, so make good time until hitting the NC version of a GA rock trail. Tough last two miles.

Arrive at Standing Indian Mountain shelter, and Achin and Big Shep are here. Achin and I compare notes about how we missed the prior day, and all is well.

Will figure what we're doing tomorrow in the morning.

With no cell service had no chance to talk to Deb on her birthday, first time in probably 30 years.


  1. Nice to hear from you, twas wondering. Epson salts with marbles - sounds fun.

  2. When Larry and I trekked in Nepal in March of 1982, we walked through rhododendron forests in the mountains there. Very tree like but I've been fond of rhododendrons since then.


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