The weather forecast here is really accurate. Amazingly there is a website specifically for AT and PCT (Pacific Crest Trail – on west coast and even more hard-core than AT) hikers. It amazes me how books, Apps and weather reports are being set up for such a small group of people (4000 attempting AT thru-hike this year), surely nobody can make money from such a small market; it must be a labour of love.
Back to the Weather. Rain and thunderstorms were predicted and that is what we had. Rained throughout the night with occasional thunder and lightning. Our tent held up well but eventually we had to get up…pack up in the rain and get going.
We did only 15km (ascend 500m and descend about 1500m) as we booked into Fontana Lodge for the next 2 nights (to avoid walking in predicted snow tomorrow). But it was my toughest day of the trip so far, descending in rivers of mud. We both slipped and fell but fortunately both falls were more damaging to the ego than to any body parts.
The area we walked through must have been special as every now and again Trevor pointed out how beautiful it was. He seemed okay but I was out of sorts. Sore toe, sore arm and dying of cold. Only when we arrived and peeled off the raincoats did I realise he was nice and dry, where as I was wet to the bone (courtesy of my Vietnam bought raincoat which weighs about half a ton!). I was getting quite despondent but realising there was an explanation why he coped so much better than I did, and after a hot bath (bliss!) I feel fine again.
Fontana Village will be our home untill Sunday morning 7h, when we tackle the Smokies. It is quite beautiful here but we are both saying that we may get bored tomorrow. Other than getting the laundry done (this, as well as shopping for food, has become such a big task in my life, almost as big as figuring out an algorithm to solve a business problem) we won’t have anything to do, guess we will look for a shuttle and try do some sightseeing around the dam.
I hear there is some rain in Cape Town. Hope it will be gentle enough to cool down the Two (and One) Oceans runners without being disruptive.
Thanks for all the messages