Wednesday, June 29, 2005



June 25, 2005

This morning started early. I woke to the sounds of my sheltermate rustling in her bag. The faint pale light of dawn was just begining to appear at 5:50. I laid in my bad dozing until about 6:20 when I finally decided to get up. I slept pretty well overnight, as well as I could have expected and better than I anticipated. Angus and I were pretty stiff and sore, but I knew we could work the soreness out with a few miles.

I did my morning chores and drank as much water as I could. By 7:20, I was out. The first climb up was good and before long, I had put several miles behind me. by Noon, I had already logged 8 miles. I started the afternoon strong, feeling good as the miles ticked by.

Today was considerably easier than yesterday. I made the climb up and down Unaka mountain early, while I was still fresh. The rest of the day was relativly level with some easy rollers. By two I reached the descent down into Nolichucky Gorge. Angus began to tire and rather than lead the way, he either followed or had to be prodded.

My blisters, particularly on the left foot really took a beating on the descents. I knew I would make my goal for the day but debated on continuing on so as to shorten my hike for tomorrow. I finally decided it was better to get more rest in prep for the big day tomorrow.

The last several miles, Angus was really dragging. I noticed he developed a limp and was panting pretty hard. By the time we reached the campground it was apparent that he was hurting. The campground was going to be a less than ideal place to stay so they directed me to a hostel 1.25 miles up the road.

Before moving onto the hostel, we took a short break. Heading off, walking on the road overlooking the scenic Nolichucky river, Angus was having a really hard time.

By the time we reached the hostel, I was pretty concerned about my boy. Not only for now, but the rest of the trip too. I knew there was no way he would make the 20+ mile hike/climb tomorrow -- I also knew that cutting the trip into another day probably wouldn't be good for him either.

When I reached the hostel, I elected to call Dad for a pickup. He was glad to har from me and happy to come get me tomorrow (Sunday) morning. I arranged to stay thenight at the hostel. Since all the bunks were full, I pitched my tent in the back with some other campers.

Today was wildlife day on the trail. Early in the day, we saw a vole scurry across the trail. He rushed off into the brush squeaking. As we came across a bald named Beauty Spot, we came across a wild dog. It looked like a Chow mix and ran away when I yelled at it. Descending from Beauty Spot into a gap with a forest service road, I think I saw the same dog again, or a very bushy fox, I'm not sure which. Crossing a ridgeline with the mountain falling off to both sides, we had a deer spring off the trail and down into the woods. Near the end of the hike after passing Curly Maple shelter, we came across a family of wild turkeys. It was a mother and her 5 or 6 turklets. As soon as Angus saw them, he tried to give chase but I wouldn't allow it. All in all even though it was a long hard day and I now hurt, it was good.


Blogger schmims said...

Poor puppy! Hope he's ok!

12:21 PM  

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