A Few Days

Wednesday started at 5am, not per any plan but due to the claps of thunder that woke me up. Deciding the bear threat was minimal, I retrieved the bear bags (food bags) before the rains came and hoped to grab another hour or two of sleep.
The thunder as it echoes through the valleys is incredible. It’s certainly unlike anything I’ve heard before. Breathtaking really.
After eating breakfast and watching the rain lessen I eventually started to hike at about 9am. It would rain for the next few hours. As you might imagine the trail can get quite muddy and slippery and the walk turns into more of a slog. I adopted the saying, move fast when you can, slow when you have to! Eventually the sun came out and the balance of the day was quite nice.
I needed to resupply and spent the night at Black Bear “Resort”. They had full resupply available in addition to real food. In a matter of minutes ( literally) I consumed about 2000+ calories. A pizza, a cheeseburger, a huge honey bun and a Klondike bar. Boom, boom, boom and boom. Ahhh…. The highlight of Thursday was Laurel Falls.

Although very picturesque, sadly a father and son died here a few years earlier. Apparently the pull near the falls is quite strong and they were pulled under.
The trail also passed very close to the river and I imagine if it was raining it would have been a bit nerve racking. But thankfully no drama!
The trail also passed along Watauga Lake. Very nice. The Watauga Lake Shelter was closed due to bear activity. No bears sighted.
Made it to a shelter just as the rains came. It rained during the night so very happy I was in a shelter.
Friday started overcast. Cool was good as the agenda called for a big day, 23 miles. The goal was to get close to Damascus for Trail Days. The weather and terrain cooperated. Although I have some blister issues, I completed today’s hike. Tomorrow is hopefully a mostly downhill run into Damascus! Sent from my iPhone

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