Day Eleven: April 25, 2022 Long Branch to Wayah Gap Elevation Profile +2545/-2801 13.1 Miles; Total 115.2 Miles

After yesterdays forest hill march up Mt Albert, I was looking forward to an easy peasy day. I woke up to squirrels wrestling around gathering some type of nut on the ground. It almost seemed like hazelnuts because they were small and toasted brown. Even the chipmunks were out in force. It was a carefree easy walk out of the Shelter and onto the ridge line.

Easy Peasy Morning Stroll

The group I’ve been hiking with are all going into Franklin for provisions and to hunker down for the next round of rain. I continue hiking as my friend Natalya will be meeting me in a couple of days. I’m so excited to have a hiking partner. She will definitely add a sense of fun and excitement to my days.

Me and Natalya Snow-camping this year

As I trekked down to the roadway, I ran into the Engineers, Kevin, David and Justin. They are all in their 30’s and tired of the woes of extreme work, projects abroad and have all decided to take a few months off. We had lunch, shared some trail stories and the boys left for town. I’m sure I’ll see them again as they are fast walkers, and we always meet up when I least expect it.

Engineers David, Kevin & Justin with My Feet

The afternoon climb to Siler Bald was a dousey. It started with a narrow bridge that was constructed to help cross the river. It could definitely use some help! Where are the Engineers when I need them? I climbed over a thousand feet, which honestly is mild for this trail before reaching the Bald. This is the first one that I’ve seen of it’s type. Usually I am hiking along ridge lines, climbing rocks to get to peaks or a knob, with little or no view to speak of. This was a grassy field that if I wanted to, which I didn’t, I could turn south and climb Siler Peak. No thank you. I took a photo and continued on.

Siler Bald

The walk down to camp was mild, and had a small creek crossing the trail. This was my final stop. I filled my water bottles and made it to the decommissioned picnic area at Wayah Gap. There were a group of hikers, I’ve never seen before, who are hiking 5-7 miles a day. They are a father with his two grown sons, an older gentlemen and a younger couple. They have been traveling together for the past two weeks. There’s a saying Hike Your Own Hike HYOH and they are doing exactly that. They have to carry more food but they are happy taking it slower than most. Hopefully they will make it to Maine before winter.

Huge Mushroom the Size of a Dinner Plate

I’ve been listening to John Eldridge “Wild at Heart.” He has me thinking about where my thoughts go. Am I thinking about the superficial scatter brain stuff, or am I thinking and worrying about all the people in my life or do I go deep and speak to Jesus? On the trail I bounce all around but there is something so incredibly beautiful about having this time and space to be with the Lord. Quite often I find myself asking him, who should I be talking to or where should I stop or what should we do today? Speaking to Jesus in my heart, deep down inside my inners is where he dwells. To tap into that, to really feel his presence takes complete focus, away from any distractions. Here in the woods, on the trail, is such a place to really feel Gods presence. He is right with me, ever so present and calling me to follow. All I need to do is seek him wholeheartedly.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:13 ‭NIV‬‬

3 thoughts on “Day Eleven: April 25, 2022 Long Branch to Wayah Gap Elevation Profile +2545/-2801 13.1 Miles; Total 115.2 Miles

  1. Thank you for letting all of us travel with you, Kelly! We had our staff gathering last night at the house and I shared how you are doing and how others can follow you. It will be wonderful for you to have Natalya join you! May the Lord bless you and keep you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kelly! I’m loving your blog! You missed a great view with Siler Bald!!!

    Love your pictures and your words of inspiration.

    I’m praying for you!

    Robin Carney (water supplier on AT going up to Standing Indian)

    Liked by 1 person

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