We got started hiking by 9, and could tell it was going to be warmer today. We had a total of 15 miles to go, but the elevation profile made it look like about 12 of that was uphill. It was going to be a tough day.
At one point, the trail was re-routed due to bridge damage, but we took it anyway. There was a portion of the bridge that had washed out, but underneath was dry, so we walked through that, and then climbed back up on to the part of the bridge that was still intact. We were so glad we took the original trail, because we saw some beautiful waterfalls called Thunder Falls.
At another part of the trail today, it simply went off of a small cliff, but a tall metal ladder was tied to the cliff securely so we could climb down.
At lunch, we stopped at a shelter, and soon were joined by a young couple, also nobos, called Sunkist and Roller. I remembered seeing their names in shelter logs way back in the Smokies, but we had never met them. They had been reading our entries as well.
Another hiker arrived named Lone Duck, a retired fireman from Wisconsin. He had attempted the hike last year, but had to go home when he got sick. He started this year again right where he left off last year, near Pawnee, New York, and immediately had problems again and went home. He then decided to give it another try, and has just returned to the trail.
We enjoyed visiting with them all, finished our lunch, and hiked on. We spent the rest of the day, as I said, climbing more than anything, and it got warm for going uphill. Not warm by Fort Smith standards, that's for sure, but warm enough to make it a real challenge for us. We were sweating buckets!
Towards the end of the day, we reached a cabin that had a lookout tower on top, and climbed up to see the view. It was gorgeous.
We finally reached the shelter, and joined about four other tenters, as well as some hikers staying in the shelter. Everyone else here tonight is in their twenties. Lighthouse is here as well.
- Steady and F100