Day 16: Monday, May 16 2016
I slept ok considering the info I had, thankfully. Wake up to another cold morning. I have about 2 1/2 days worth of food left which is perfect considering I’m hoping to walk 8.1 miles today to a campsite and then 10 miles tomorrow and then I should be at the Pisgah Inn on the BRP (MP 408.6). Then I can shower, it will have been 6 days by then. Rest up and get my resupply from Asheville at my dear, sweet friend Brittney’s house. Also I can get a few things I need and my Jetboil Minimo part is there. I’ve been eating cold food for days now.
Elevation drops today so I’ve got that going for me, at least some of the time. I refill my water bottle not long after I leave camp. I make my way to Little Sam Trail and cross a few wooden bridges. Pass by Art Loeb trail about a mile later.
A mile after that I cross Black Balsam Rd and make my way over to see two big signs saying NO CAMPING on Graveyard Ridge Trail. There have been bear sightings, great! A handsome older day hiker guy comes up to the trail behind me and askes me where I’m headed. He’s curious about my trip and as we’re chatting I start thinking in my head “he’s dressed to nice to be the guy they’re looking for. He’s got a hat on too so there’s no way to tell if he’s got salt and pepper hair.” He’s going to Graveyard Ridge Trail and I warn him about the guys who ran into a bear on that trail. I wish him safe trails and he wishes me the best of luck to the coast. I walk. I come to a spruce pine forest where I have to check trees for while blazes. When I find one I stop and check trees behind it to see which way to go, it’s no longer trail but more follow the white circles. I make my way through the forest and up next I cross over thirteen wooden bridges and boardwalks. Some are sketchy and some are quite nice with handles.
Next up, straight up a mountain. This up consist of maneuvering over and around large rocks. I make it to the top and of course, it’s beautiful. The day is sunny and so nice out. I take lots of pictures and enjoy the sights. On my way down the mountain all I think about is cheeseburgers. I think about a tasty bison burger I had in Montana one time,the steak cheeseburger from Reid’s Fine Foods in Charlotte, the cheeseburgers from Crossroads in Taylorsville, and the Cheerwine BBQ burgers at Wayside in Asheville. My mouth waters at the thought of having any burger… With fries… And a beer! All I want now is to be off this mountain and up at the top to the Pisgah Inn for a shower and food and beers.
At 1:30pm I stop to snack, rest and journal a bit. I’m up to 5 miles. Just as I get ready to put my pack back on I need to pee. I look right then left, the coast is clear. I have a quick pee and right as I’m pulling my pants back up I hear a snap. It’s just a girl day hiking but I scared her because she screams, which then scares me. I have a little giggle and say “Sorry if you saw my ass!” She says she didn’t so that’s nice. We don’t chat long and she takes off.
It’s not much further now, only 2 more miles to Looking Glass Rock Overlook. I make it down in a hour and ten minutes. Down is much easier than up but still hard on my knees and ankles. I get to the swimming holes known as “Skinny Dip Falls” and find a rock on top of the cascades and have a sit and eat some peanut butter crackers and have some chocolate caramel covered pretzels I’ve been saving, yum. I refill my water bottles and take my shoes off to get my piggies wet. The water is ridged and I only leave them in for about 5 minutes before they are almost frozen. I stay for about an hour here as its a great break area. There are people here who are just visiting to take a few pictures, some are smoking weed and jumping in, and others are just out for a day hike with their dogs. The crazies who jump in get out immediately and warm up in the sun on rocks nearby.
I make it to my camp for the night and get all set up by 5:40 pm, an early night. Eat some dinner, journal, and then after I look over my pictures from the day I get cozy in my sleeping bag.
Total Miles: 120.6
Day 17: Tuesday, May 17th 2016
Last night I had dreams about my Grandma Poulter. She and I were hiking over humongous rocks and she was taking the trip with me. We saw amazing views on the top of a mountain and sat at the top on a big cliff and just stared into the wild yonder. Good dreams! After Grandma dreams I woke up from a dream about Kate Mosley and Douglas Dorsey from the movie, The Cutting Edge (Toe Pick movie as my family calls it) to a strange sound. Last nights dreams involved lots of rocks and ice skating for some reason. One even had Nancy Kerrigan thrown in there. WOW. Anyway, I woke up to the sound of a bear who has found my bear canister and is trying to get my food. I know it’s a bear because I can hear it’s large feet shuffling around. My canister is at least 100 feet from me so as long as the bear stays over near it, i’ll be OK. I do still sit up, grab my bear spray, knife and whistle and wait to make sure he’s not going to bother me or come any closer. I’m awake for almost two hours just listening to him and waiting. After that I grow tired again and just go back to sleep. I pray that he goes away soon.
Like clockwork, the birds start chirping and I’m awake by 6:35 am. I roll onto my back and open my eyes to see several large and small Grandaddy long-legs. They are on the outside of my tent but on the inside of my rain-fly. I’m nervous to open my tent and look outside today. I listen but don’t hear the sounds of a bear so I assume the coast is clear. It is! I pack up my things, in the rain, and think to myself “ten miles in the rain today and then you can have a burger and a beer.” I really want to make it to Pisgah today! I’m ready for a shower, some cough medicine, to charge my phone, and join the rest of the world for just a little while.
As I walk I listen to the sound the rain makes as it hits the tail, trees, and myself. Sometimes the sounds are almost soft with little “tinks” and other times when larger drops fall they make more of a “thunk” sound. The biggest drops usually come from the trees above me as I walk under them and hit nearby leaves. Sometimes the rain can even sound like stomping if the timing is right. The really great thing about the rain today is that its not storming. I sing Madre’s “It’s a Rainy Day” song and then I sing “Singing in the Rain.” I think of the best kiss I ever had in the rain which makes me smile. Then I think about kisses and that makes me think of the movie Never Been Kissed and Josie Grosie. Today is also Day 17 and I can hear Madre saying “I’m 17, I’m 17” from the movie. I laugh at the part where she gets high and plays the bongo with her hand and then smacks her ass. That makes me think of Sister. haha. That leads to me thinking about how honored I was that she asked me if I could help design her wedding dress. Then I begin to think of weddings and My Best Friend’s Wedding comes to mind and then I can hear Sister saying “the musical stylings of Miss Kimberly Wallace!” Then I begin to sing the song The Way You Look Tonight from the movie.
“Some day, when I’m awfully low. When the world is cold. I will feel a glow just thinking of you and the way you look tonight. Yes, you’re lovely, with your smile so warm and your cheeks so soft. There is nothing for me but to love you and the way you look tonight.”
Oh how I love when Dermot Mulroney sings to Julia on the back of that tour boat! I smile. At 12:15 pm I stop to change my socks. They’re soaked. I pass two LSU college guys out for a hiking week after their finals. We talk for about ten minutes. They are interested in my story and my travels so far. Nice kiddos. They say they are envious of me and I tell them if they’re thinking of taking such a trip to do it while in college or soon after. Getting older sucks and then they way you can have lots more adventures.
I go up rocks, more mountain, more switchbacks and finally just before 4:25 pm finally arrive at my end destination, The Pisgah Inn. I pass by a few teens out on a small hike as I’m nearly to the stairs. I get to the front desk and ask where I can get a beer and sit away from others because I smell just awful. I don’t want to interrupt others who are enjoying their day. I make my way inside to the gift shop where I get a Pisgah Pale Ale ☺️ and a 3 Musketeers bar. I go put my pack down and sit in a rocking chair on the porch overlooking the mountains. A man is there showcasing his artwork. I start chatting with him and he’s quite the interesting fellow. Three motorcycle riders come sit outside and quickly turn their chairs from facing the mountain to facing the artist and myself. We all chat about trails, motorcycles, art, love lives, marriages, kids, jobs and all kinds of things. One guy comes over to pick up my pack (which at this point has very little water and food in it) and looks at the other guys and says “That’s Superwoman, she’s just not wearing he cape!” I laugh and thank him for the sweet compliment. They say they could never do what I’m doing and I disagree. They could they just have to have to want to. They say I should get a motorcycle if I like adrenaline. I think, maybe one day. I chat more with Jim, the artist and then go check about a room. I have to make a call to Dad who is happy to help. Thanks again Dad!
I get into my room and shower and then go do laundry before the camp store closes. After my laundry is clean I change and head over to the restaurant and get a table by the window overlooking the mountain. They’re full of fog and clouds but so pretty in the setting sun. I order immediately, a burger, of course. A couple at at the next table began chatting with me about my trip. They are a great way to end my evening, they want to also read my blog so I give them the address and really just listen to them while I devour my dinner. I didn’t catch their names but if you’re rating thank you so much and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your trip and for keeping me company during my dinner.
After dinner it’s almost 9 and I had to head to my room for some sleep. I lay down but I can’t seem to get cozy. I checked Facebook and I’m happy to say that everyone likes that I’ve gotten to a bed and had a shower. I get an invite to Sister and Alex’s engagement party that makes me smile and then I’m done. Or some reason rest is not come easy tonight. But overall I had an excellent day and now Section 2 is complete!
Total Miles: 131.3