Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hike: Muskrat Creek Shelter

4/27--Muskrat Creek Shelter, North Carolina

10.5 miles and my first state line--but crossing it was kind of a low point since it started raining just before I got there so I opted for a bar instead of cooking lunch, and pushed on. The gnarled oak was cool and all, but the climb that started just beyond was nasty and my glasses fogged to the point I took them off and got reacquainted with my natural vision for a mile or two. Not fun. The Fantastic Four are going in to Franklin Thurs. afternoon and I'm thinking of going in with them. I've been wrapping my left knee, and my right ankle, the one I hurt last summer, is just starting to hint at acting up--not actually hurting but it's making me nervous enough to think I need a day off, and not just Diva Dog. Nothing much hurts when my pack is off--my feet, basically--but the little things add up while I'm on the move. It would mean revising my whole plan for the Smokies and going to my brother's graduation before I start the park instead of getting off for it in Gatlinburg but i may not have a choice--the closest I can cut it is getting to Clingman's Dome on the 7th, which means starting the park on the 5th at the latest, and that could be a long hitch to get to the rental car place in Gatlinburg. If I make it to Carter Gap tomorrow I ca put off the decision one more day.

I realize the past couple of days have mostly been worries about logistics. I think the first enthusiasm is wearing off and I'm settling in to the reality of miles and days. Some interesting sights the past couple of days--the first chipmunk, colonies of grasshoppers that plop back down as you pass through them, sounding like rain. And more poison ivy that I care to think about.

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