This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT. To read all of the entries, click here.
Originally written 4/22/12
Sassafras Gap Shelter (mile 144)
We finally left the NOC today around 11am and the climb out actually wasn’t as bad as everyone says it is. I took Rooney by myself today and it was nice to hike with him. It’s definitely not easy to zone out and hike though because you always have to watch for other people or animals, but it was nice to have my little pupper with me.
The trail was crowded today and I kept having to pass people on an uphill, which is always hard. Once I pass someone I feel like I need to move quickly and put some distance between us. It helps with the dog and let’s me just go back to hiking instead of thinking of where someone else is.
We did the 7 miles to the shelter in quick time, but it was COLD when we arrived and tonight calls for snow so we hunkered down and just called it a day. This is the first time I’ve had to be in my tent before dark, simply to stay warm.
Since we took a zero at NOC and did small miles today, we are with a new group at the shelter tonight. There are a few familiar faces from random other nights, but the bulk of the guys we hung out with last night did 3 more miles to the next gap. They all wanted to make it to Fontana tomorrow, but we aren’t getting there until Tuesday when Rooney is scheduled for his pick-up to be boarded. The thing about this new group of hikers though… they aren’t really our style. I don’t want to say anything negative about them, but all they do is talk about other hikers. They make fun of and judge the people they meet and I guarantee they will talk about us tomorrow. Just not my style at all. I think we will do bigger miles tomorrow to jump ahead of them and avoid it all together.
It’s odd being in bed so early, but all three of us are huddled together and keeping warm which is the goal. Rooney will no doubt be in our bags tonight. And by “our bags” I mean Serial’s bag. :-)