Day 37: May 21, 2022 Beauty to Clyde Smith Elevation Profile +3678/-3379 15.6 Miles; Total 370.5 Miles

I loved our private cabin. There is something marvelous about a good nights sleep. I laid down at 9pm and didn’t budge till early this morning. Never heard any drag racing, train whistles, snoring or coughing. It was perfect uninterrupted sleep.

Uncle Johnny’s Tribute Wall

At 7:30am sharp, Shuttle Driver John drove us up to Beauty Gap, exactly where we hiked from yesterday. All footsteps linked and we are heading north today. It was pretty warm when we left and I have adjusted my wardrobe. Tank Top, Skirt, and my Prayer Bandana to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Shoes, Toe Socks and I’m ready to fly down the trail. Well, honestly I don’t fly but more like mosey along. That’s a bit slower!

White Lily Looking Plants

Once we were delivered onto the trail, we headed up towards Unaka Mountain. It was a beautiful hike this morning through Red Spruce Trees. A Bird Watcher was telling me about the Kite Birds that live in these trees. They are the bird that chirp, chirp, chirps all day long. This trail has an incredible amount of birds that are ever-so-noisy. It is rare that you’ll be hiking without some bird singing it’s lungs out. Many of these tweeters are ground dwellers. They hop along the ground rather than fly. I know they can fly because they have wings, but they’re just lazy hoppers!

From Unaka Mountain Ridge

Blue and I stopped at Cherry Gap Shelter for snacks and water. We are getting to be Water Snobs. Our bottles were filled up at Johnny’s Hostel from the tap in the outdoor kitchen. Well, the water we get from the trail comes straight from an underground spring and it’s the best tasting water I’ve ever had. Both Blue and I promptly emptied our water bottles and filled up from the gushing spring. What a difference. The water is cold, clear and has no chlorine, fluoride or any other additives that the government seems to think is good for us. It is Living Water that the good Lord made. And it’s perfectly suited for me.

Hikers at Cherry Gap Shelter

While we were eating, many of the hikers we had passed yesterday when we were headed southbound, were also arriving. There was talk about slackers and now it seems, the bug is catching on. Many others are talking about slack packing options that are coming up. There’s many reasons to do it but the best reason, I think, is you get a day off of carrying your pack. if you’re injured but still want to make up some miles, it’s a great way to stay on trail. My trail friend of mine, Hot Minute, has a bad back, is recovering from COVID and wanted to slack pack with us yesterday. Now it seems like it’s going to be a thing. I’m good with it. As long as my miles are covered, then let’s keep this train rolling down the trail.

Me with Hot Minute – Another Slacker

The humidity came back, imagine that, but nothing like yesterday. The temperature was much lower so that helped. As I continued on, the Nuts Family showed up. They were in good spirits laughing and kicking rocks down the trail. I’m so impressed that this family of six have the fortitude to keep moving north. I have a hard time motivating myself let alone four kids. The youngest boy Donut, tripped and did a face plant right in front of me. Dad swooped him up, Donut laughed it off and they were up and moving down the trail. I’d still be back there nursing my wounds!

The Nuts Family-All Nuts In a Row

By afternoon, the thunderclouds started talking and rain came down. Blue and I were headed up our last climb, Iron Mountain when lightning was flashing before us. Oh no, we need to move and move fast. I love the thunder around here. It’s seriously loud, rolling thunder that gets your attention. The lightning didn’t appear too close and we had so many trees around, the chances of anything getting us was slim to none. We had no Balds to go over, so we were in good shape. The biggest damper to our party was that stealth camping on the ridge was not an option. We headed down the trail and decided to hunker down at Clyde Smith Shelter. There were plenty of flattish spots to make our home for the night and there is safety in numbers. We walked into camp, fairly dry being both Blue and I have umbrellas. We are definitely the envy of this trail!

Heading over Iron Mountain

I have been trying to figure out my plan of attack regarding this humidity. The fact is I didn’t ask God what I needed to do? Obviously he had it all planned out. Just as I start sweating and being one hot mess, God produces Thunderstorms and takes care of me. Of course he does! Nothing to concern myself about, at least not today. And isn’t that all he ask of us? Concern yourself only for today because you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Thank you sweet Jesus for covering me in your perfect plan. Much better than me trying to figure it all out!

Orange Newt Lizard

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ NIV

2 thoughts on “Day 37: May 21, 2022 Beauty to Clyde Smith Elevation Profile +3678/-3379 15.6 Miles; Total 370.5 Miles

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