As we headed into Tennessee’s higher and exposed elevations, thunderstorms were on the way, too! Yikes. Beautiful places to be (except when the lightning is flying).
We tackled 17+ miles each of the next two days. Tough ascending gig, but that’s what we signed up for. 🙂
The first ended with a 5-mile climb up Roan Mountain, a “globally imperiled Spruce-Fir forest.” The day went something like this:
We started at the left, and hiked to the top of the tallest peak, right. See that little cabin icon? Our home for the night.
Fun fact: the 15-sleeper High Knob Shelter, pictured below, is the highest on the AT at 6,186 feet.
We had the cabin to ourselves. I guess others figured it wasn’t a great place to be during storms! (The next night a thru-hiker shared it with two Boy Scout troops. You just never know!)
The mountain was truly magical and almost eerily quiet. And DRY, except for the clouds/fog that moved through overnight leaving our clothes hanging under the eaves wetter than they started. Oops.
The next day we trekked to a few rocky and grassy mountain tops known as the Roan Highlands. WOW! Impossible to take a bad picture.
Does The Sound of Music come to mind?
Could it get better? Yes! People left a cooler filled with “Trail Magic,” bags containing an apple, sweet/salty mix, beef jerky, granola bar, bottle of Gatorade, and a sweet note like this …
It’s hard – impossible – to carry and eat enough calories to make up for those we walk off daily. Hiker hunger hit hard – Jen left nothing but the fruit’s stem and the bag to carry out.
Not up for the big hike? Good news! You don’t have to stroll umpteen miles for the views. These gals enjoyed the Same peaks after a short walk from the nearby parking lot.
We didn’t dodge the rain much longer, as the next days proved. More on that next!