May 18: Roaring Fork Shelter to Hot Springs, NC

Published: May 23rd 2008
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The night passed with only minor interruptions, wood rat chewing on the shelter and a howling dog in the distance. I was up by 6:30AM working on breakfast and hot beverages. We had eaten, packed, and were on the trail by 8:05AM. The plan for today was an ambitious one, 18.8 miles to Hot Springs! What had started out as a four day stroll has turned into a two day hump buster. The weather was turning bad, barometer was dropping like a stone, wind was up, and the sky was clouding up quickly. The first part of the day was fairly level so
CC set a fast pace of over 2 mph almost 3 mph. Miles were dropping behind us and we soon caught Haggus and his brother at a rest break 5.7 miles into the day. They had left the shelter almost 20 minutes before we did and we had cut that lead in half. They took a 15 minute break and we took a 5 minute rest, then we all four hit the trail again. We don't speed up the hills, CC takes her time but is constant in her plodding along. Not long after we started walking the rain began coming down. Like Friday we had a few "put it on, take it off" stops but were soon walking in rain jackets without rain pants. The rain came and went. We caught Haggus and his brother coming off a second break at Garenflo Gap, some seven miles further up the trail from their last break. We surprised them by not stopping, but falling in behind them and keeping pace for a bit. They however sped away into the rain and we lost sight of them soon enough. The forest is all green now and really looks bright when the sun would peek out. There were no other hikers on the trail today but the four of us as far as we could see. We trudged on without breaks until we hit the paved road into town just before 4PM.
Finding a room was not easy but we eventually found one. We settled in doing supper then showers and then laundry with both washer and dryer this time. We had done 18.8 miles in just under eight hours total time. 33.4 miles in two days! Tomorrow we will try to make it to the car which is 16.3 miles from here which will make 49.7 miles in three days. Then we will have everything from Springer Mtn, GA to Harpers Ferry, WV completed. A total of 1,008 miles in 14 months time, not bad for two folks over fifty years old I'd say.

Patrick, Deborah Mooney aka OD & CC
All Who Wander Are Not Lost


23rd May 2008

Hi Guys!
Have been keeping up with you guys when I have time. I'm so happy...and kind of envious of you. Can't wait to see you and hear all the stories and see all the pictures. Love you both, Carolyn

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