AT Day 24 – Waterfalls and Gorges

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9th May

25.9 miles

Bushcamp (400.7) to Bushcamp (426.6)

It rained overnight and just when I started packing up, the rain really started to come down. My tent was twice it’s weight when I packed it in my backpack. My hiking buddy Shogun made a quick call to his girlfriend to check the weather radar. We had cell service but no internet. Heavy rain with no break in the weather in the foreseeable future was the response.

The heavy rain continued for a bit over an hour. We hiked past many tents with their occupants not daring to pack up their tents in the rain. By the time it was lunchtime we had covered around 14 miles. That was far and away the most miles I’ve made by lunch so far on the Appalachian Trail.

The afternoon was spent in the Laural Canyon. I lingered at a nice waterfall that had an area that could have been used as a swimming hole on a warmer day. The trail followed the river downstream for a couple of miles. At one point it was cut into the side of the cliff, the roaring water was close. Luckily there had not been too much heavy rain or I would have been forced to hike the less scenic high route.

After the Canyon there was one last climb over a 1500 ft hill. Shogun left to do a quick resupply in the town of Hampton and would try and catch up later tonight or tomorrow morning. 

As I started up the hill I was tired but moving at a steady pace. As I neared the top my pace slowed. My legs felt weak and the feelings of frustration set in. I knew exactly what was happening as I’d had it happen many times in the past. All the glycogen in my muscles and liver was depleted. I bonked.

Before I got to the stage of being unable to move I started cooking my dinner a little earlier than normal. I ate packet pasta with 2 packets of tuna mixed in, 3 large handfuls of cashew nuts, 6 cookies, 2 Granola Bars and 1 large handful of M&Ms. That should be enough calories for dinner, I thought. 

I ambled for another hour until I arrived at camp. Right on sunset Shogun appeared. With his detour into town he completed about 29 miles of hiking, just a bit more than I.

No filter on this photo. It really was this dark and dreary
Laurel Canyon Falls
Hiking through Laurel Canyon, next time I’ll stay still for the camera
Still hiking as the sun started to set

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