Day 16 – Yogi

I had every intention of getting up early and getting 30 miles in before dark. That all changed when some weekend hikers showed up at the shelter at 1am. This wouldn’t have been an issue but the older of the two kept asking me question about hiking and how to backpack for over an hour. At this point I shut my alarm off and considered it a lost cause. I naturally awoke and was on the trail by 715, but it was not the early wakeup that i had been hoping for. I crossed some smaller local roads and began the climb up to nearly 5000 feet where I would once again spend most of the day in the snow. My feet were soon cold and wet and the rain followed shortly after. I rushed to put on my rain gear then with a slightly lowered demeanor I trudged through deep mud, snow, and fog. There was a constant mist that encapsulated the mountains all day and had the eerie horror film feel. Imagine seeing a rugged log cabin (shelter) slowly appear from the mist as you got closer. Once again there were no views to be had although I could easily spot where they would have been. After I crossed Allen gap and began my trekking in Tennessee another long slow climb took place. Between the mud and the snow each step forward caused an almost equal slide backwards. It was tough going. Luckily about half way up the hill I met David who was a day hiker heading back down. He asked me if I needed/wanted any food. Obviously the answer was yes, whether it be Brussels sprouts and kale or candy and chocolate, the answer is always yes! He ended up giving me apples, carrots and three home laid hard boiled eggs. All the food was gone in the next mile. This act is called Yogi-ing after yogi the bear. It is an act that causes you the obtain food from another non long distance hiker involving putting on your best puppy dog eyes or accentuating your diminished body. Many techniques can work well and once the end goal of extra food is achieved there is no remorse or guilt. Anyways I didn’t have to work hard with David because he said his said he was a thru hiker. I pushed on after consuming all the extra calories (my mom would be proud I even ate the carrots). The rain grew heavier and put on my Mountainsmith pack cover and decided to make an evening out of hiking the trail. I walked until about 8 and arrived at my destination: No Business Knob Shelter. I have very limited food and about 3 days to go until Hampton Tennessee. On a side note my hip feels good unless I stop for too long.