7046Mt. Rodgers last weekend
- Oct 18, 2004Wow. That's all that I can say. Mt. Rodgers always seems to have
something new to throw at you this time of year. This is my 5th
year of hiking up there in Oct. and by far the worse conditions. We
put in Massie Gap around 9:00am and it was windy and cold, walked up
the crest trail and it started to sleet, then snow, then the wind
picked up to a sustained 40 mph with gusts to hurricane force and
the temp dropped to 21. The group of kids we were leading on the
hike did okay, but EVERYONE was cold and were wet in some fashion.
We made it to Thomas Knob shelter to take a break (it was packed, as
you can imagine) and then decided to hike on off of the mountain and
depart at Elk Garden. Most interesting unplanned day hike I've ever
been involved with. It was made even more interesting by the puppy
we found at Thomas Knob - I talked to a thru hiker later that day at
Elk Garden who said that it had been hiking along the trail for the
last week or so going from shelter to shelter with the Southbound
thru hikers. It now has a new home in the Atlanta area as one of
the girls rescued it and took it back with us yesterday. It's new
name is T.K., but I figured it should have been called Lucky as it
probably wouldn't have survied the night. Severely undernourished.
My only real regret was that I didn't get to test out my new
Jack's 'r Better quilt on my HH in really cold weather. I've used
it down to about 48 now and it is great, I was looking forward to
testing it in tougher conditions. Jack, I'll get in another section
of the AT here in GA in November and let you know how it goes.
All in all, it was a weekend I'll never forget!