Sassafras Gap to Cable Gap (to Fontana dam)

I slept pretty well last night. The wind woke me up a few times, but that was it. There was evidence of one living mouse in the shelter but he never bothered me. There were two more dead ones (drowned in a bucket) in the privy.
I had breakfast with a side of Materials and Processes, filtered some water, and headed out.

It was chilly and foggy. Not great for views, generally. And I was slow moving for most of the morning.

Ironically, I was thinking about stresses and strains when I put too much lateral force on my foot and it slipped out from under me. Down I went. The material of my hiking poles survived the bend though. No necking or fracturing.

Last trip my dad sent a tersely worded text requesting more blog updates and more pictures so here is the result of that. More awkward pictures.

This trash was within site of a trash can.

Today was just lots of ups and downs.

This afternoon I finally ran into some thruhikers, two SOBOs. One named Dr Love and the other…I don’t remember. We chatted for a while and I exchanged numbers with Dr Love; we might hike the smokies together when I’m there on Spring Break. He’d had to skip part of it because of the snow. But it was those two guys who informed me about the status of OTIS. They’d run into him in the smokies, on Otis’s second attempt. The snow had forced Otis off too, and he wasn’t happy about it. Willpower wasn’t enough, I guess.

The guys invited me to hike SOBO with them, and when I said I couldn’t, encouraged me to just hike all the way to Fontana Dam tonight. And when I saw this sign around 3:30pm:

I figured I might as well. I’ll end up doing a little night hiking, I think, but I’ll only have a mile or so to backtrack to my car in the morning and that’ll give me more time to study at the shelter before I drive back to school. I’m just a little more comfortable with that. So I’m technically writing this update from Cable Gap Shelter (no service, so I’ll post whenever that happens) where I’m eating some ramen and looking over Heat Transfer (and writing this), and then I’ll head out. Looks like 6.6 miles to go.

MVP: flavored water things with caffeine

LVP: …none? Oh, blisters. I swear, my feet WILL NOT CALLOUS. I need to start checking fairy tales to see if this is some secret princess test in the vein of the pea under the mattresses because no matter what I have baby soft feet that blister all the time. Ugh.

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