Real Rain

Total AT miles hiked: 3?

Yesterday I said it rained. Well it was really more like a drippy, foggy rain. I didn't wear my rain jacket after the first mile because I got too hot, and by the afternoon it had mostly cleared up.

It's really raining now. Hard, pounding rain that is splashing up into my tent and bouncing the condensation on the inside of my rain fly down onto me. My sleeping bag is damp, like everything else that is not in a dry bag or ziploc. If I take pictures today it will be with the waterproof camera. I have no plans of exiting my tent or sleeping bag anytime soon. It is 7:17am and I may only try for the Gooch Mountain shelter at first and regroup there. That is just over a mile away. I could aim for Woody Gap, which is about 6 miles away, and has a post office and groceries, but it's Saturday, so I can't mail anything home yet. I wonder how long I can stay in my tent?

Josh and I were the last hikers to leave camp this morning. I started hiking at 10:20, which was ten minutes earlier than yesterday and in much nastier weather. My tent and everything else was drenched and splattered with mud. It was miserable and Josh and I both hurried through the river that was the trail. He was carrying his tent in his arms.

At the shelter we caught two of the guys from yesterday as they were leaving. Nick stayed a little longer and said the shelter had been packed inside with tents everywhere outside. He had hammocked and then moved into the shelter to dry off after the crowd had moved on.

We emptied our drenched packs and strung lines in the shelter to hang stuff to dry. The water source was nice, coming out of a pvc pipe. After some food, which I waited till then to eat, the sun came out and some other hikers came in. I had been seriously tempted to stay there, but it got crowded. I stayed a couple hours after Josh left and tried to get things actually dry. At 4pm, after a violent downpour ended, I headed out to see how far I could get. The other hikers said the temperature is dropping and another storm is blowing in, so at 5:30 when I saw Josh camped out by the trail at Gooch Gap, I stopped, too. Normally it's too close to a road but with Josh I felt safe staying here.

It's very pretty here, but well used. I'll try to get out early tomorrow. Josh and I both want to go to the hiker hostel tomorrow to dry out and prepare for the 10 mile day over Blood Mountain into Neel Gap. I am feeling good but I don't want to push too hard before that big mountain and long day.

I'll be sending some stuff home from the hostel, and there is a cold wind blowing tonight, but no rain yet.