AT Day 10 – The trail can be lonely, sometimes


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The Trail can be lonely

25th April 2017

19.7 miles

Rufus Morgan Shelter (136) to Cody Gap (155.7)

I was only a mile or so away from a place called Nantahala Outdoor Centre, or NOC for short. It’s a Mecca for all things rafting and white water kayaking. River rats from all over the country flock to this place to take on the Nantahala River. My goal was the endless coffee and eggs, I was craving eggs for breakfast.

I arrived there at 8am as the friendly waitress unlocked the front door of the restaurant. I grabbed my phone, spare battery and charger and found an electrical outlet. The server bought me the largest plate of fried vegetables, bacon, eggs and cheese that I’d seen in a long time. Thirty minutes and 5 coffees later and I was done. Three spoonfuls remained uneaten, I was defeated.

It was time to take on the hill. 3000 feet over about 8 miles. I climbed at a steady pace, fuelled by the breakfast calories. Three hours later I was at the top. The views were mostly obscured by shrubs but I did get a partial view. I’d drank all my water on the climb so I had several miles of hiking to the next water source.

I didn’t see too many hikers today until I reached camp. There were eight tents crammed into a place that would normally only hold four tents. I other hikers were part of a tight group so I mostly sat alone for dinner. I’m not sure where my old hiking buddy Soop is, I guess he’s a ways behind me. Hopefully I’ll meet a couple of hikers to hike with soon, it’s getting lonely with so many people around me but nobody to talk to.

NOC rapids
The Rapids and white water course on the river
A memorial to a long lost park ranger
the climb
Occasional great views of the valley below
appalachian trail
Typical trail conditions for the day
cody gap
The lonely camp on Cody Gap

Next : Day 11 – Fontana Dam and Smokies

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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6 thoughts on “AT Day 10 – The trail can be lonely, sometimes”

  1. Sorry you had a lonely day! Those hikers just don’t know what (or who) they’re missing! Hoping for brighter days ahead.

  2. I remember days like that on the PCT. I was either off trail and my friends past me up or they jumped off trail, I moved along. It can be lonely out there and as I got to Washington, I learned that I called it solitude. Even when people surrounded me, I actually appreciated my downtime, just me and the Lord. It was almost like He planned certain times that he took me to another place so i could just experience the trail. I totally get it! Hope you find some sure foot trekkers who can keep up! You are cruising and on your way to that Golden Crown! Love following your blog. Honestly. I had always discounted AT but hmmm, I’m seriously rethinking that. Thanks for sharing this trail with the rest of us. Your friend from PCT 2015 GG…

    • Cheers GG, the AT is a nice trail but very different. I’m certainly looking forward to hiking with other friendly people rather than having the short meetings with people. My time will come.


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