Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 4 - Boar

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science." - Albert Einstein

Looking back at where we just came from. We were several ridges away here approx 7 miles. Springer is off in the distance

We woke up at Lance Creek and I was not feeling well at all, very lightheaded, nauseous and an upset stomach. Let me tell you, nothing worse on the mountain than being sick with a stomach virus. I was very worried I wouldn't make it out, knowing I had 7 miles to town and I had to go over Blood Mountain, which was being touted as a very hard hike and the worst to date.

The day began when I woke up at 3 a.m. to the sound screeches, that turned out to be a Wild Boar running through camp and the sound of tree falling down. I wish I could play these noises for you, they were wild and unique and sounded like a screeching and squealing all at once and you could hear the fade as it ran through the camp. The oddest part was the loud thunderous crash of the tree falling. No warning just the sound of it going over to quick to move and BOOM! It hit the ground.


 Peanut Butter Bags and I both woke to the sound of it and were relieved to hear it running away from us not toward us. The campground was full, we all heard it but no one moved for a bit, then I heard Fall and Oats getting up, were were going to hike up Blood Mountain to catch the sunrise, but I wasn't feeling right, so I stayed in camp to try to rest a bit longer but sleep didn't come easily. I finally gave up sleeping, sleep on the trail has been hard to find uninterrupted, I would sleep three hours or so and then wake usually to some noise, I wracked it up to adjustment to the outdoors and getting used to the sounds of the animals that lurk around in the dark. . We set got up and packed camp at 5 a.m. and off to Neels Gap by 6:30 a.m., still dark we set out. Despite feeling awful, I swallowed down some meds and headed off with the encouragement of the group, it was a slow day but we made good time getting encouragement by our fellow hikers within our bubble like the Canadian Family who has three wonderful children hiking with them and the two former thru hikers who have their two small children with them and were also going to Maine. Views were amazing atop Blood Mountain and we were into Mountain Crossings, the only building the AT goes right through on the trail. We had quite a gathering with our entire hiker group we had been hiking with in our bubble and we are starting to develop some great friendships here. We had a hiker feast with beer and camped out while others stayed in the hostel. After four days it was amazing to shower and eat something hot with good company. I was slowly feeling better by the night, but despite hiker dinner, I craved pizza but still couldn't finish anymore than two pieces. I did have one beer and that seemed to settle my stomach.

Survey marker on top of Blood Mtn

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Two of my very favorite hiking partners who helped see me through hiking sick, Blood Root and Red Hawk!
Looking back toward Springer from Blood Mountain, relieved I had made it! The view cures all.

Tree of lost SOLES at Mountain Crossings, the many hikers who have thrown their boots frustrated with blisters, soles and on and on

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