Thursday, 5 July
|Destination: Iron Mountain Shelter||Today’s Miles:16. 0|
|Start Location: Boots Off Hostel – Shook Branch Road||Trip Miles: 445.2|
Breakfast was supposed to be at seven with coffee ☕ available before that. The hostel staff was a little slow moving after their late night with fireworks and drinking. Coffee ☕, donuts, cereal and a banana made for a good start. Got hiking a little later than I planned, eight.
It was already sunny and humid. I spent half the morning going around Watauga Lake before heading up. I think today was as warm as yesterday and maybe more humid. The climbs were not particularly long or steep but the heat sapped my energy. I only saw one northbound section hiker today. He also seemed to be struggling with the temperature. I was not really in a hurry today. Maybe because I am almost to Damascus. I tried to enjoy the time left outdoors. I saw another doe and my second snake today.
My luck with rain changed! I got to the shelter about four, after a fifteen minute stop for water. Not thirty seconds after I got to the shelter, it started to rain. It has not rained hard but has been on and off with thunder in the distance. I am staying in the shelter, Iron Mountain Shelter, tonight. No fun packing up a wet tent ⛺. As of about six, I am the only one here. The rain has cooled things off a bit. It is comfortable. Tomorrow is my last full day on the trail. Saturday, Dolora meets me in Damascus.