Home > Appalachian Trail > Appalachian Trail, 2012, Day 7, Catawba Mountain Shelter

Appalachian Trail, 2012, Day 7, Catawba Mountain Shelter

7/5, 14.6 miles today

(This day is missing from by handwritten blog so it has been recreated from memory)

Ok, this is a day to remember. We got off to a good start even haven been beaten a lot by the heat yesterday. We got to Dragons Tooth by 10:30. The views were great and the rock outcrop was spectacular. However, I was starting to feel the same exhausted feeling of yesterday but this time, it was only 10:30 in the morning.

The climb down from Dragon Tooth is like going down a cliff. Often you are only on a 6″ ledge. Often you have to use the provided steel ladder rungs in the rock face. It was real slow and real hot. I could not get enough water to keep me cool. I really was feeling not tired but empty.

We got to the bottom, exhausted, at about noon. There is a local convenience store just down the road. We dragged ourselves there. By the time I got to the cash register to check out I had already consumed a hotdog and 16oz Gatorade. We sat outside and continued to eat (I had a burger and Fresca too). Al was looking a bit beat so as we sat and talked he decided that he was just took warn out to continue. We discussed staying the night at the hostel up the road but he felt that just one night would not get him back on track so he was going to call a taxi, get back to his car and head home. Sadly Lexi and I left him at the store and head on. At the trail head, we met some other hikers who were discussing plans and we found out that the forecast was for real bad storms. Should we be heading up to the ridge tops with a storm coming? After careful thought, we decided to move on. We had rested about 2 hours and after filing up with LOTS of Gatorade my electrolytes were back in check and I was ready to move on.

[post hike note: for some reason, we neglected to take any last minute photos of the store or departing Al]

The trail took us right into some long HOT (100° or so) stretches of open pasture. Perhaps I was not as ready as I thought? We pushed on to John Spring Shelter but due to lack of water there, we continued on (and up) to Catawba Shelter, spent.

Having a fresh stock of real and junk food for dinner tonight is making us feel good but I’ll be sure to take some Advil PM before hitting the sack.

It will be a short hike up to McAfee Knob tomorrow for some great photo opportunities.

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