Thursday, 3/26

AT Miles = 11.8 / 79.3
Other Miles = 0.4 / 13.0
Total Miles = 12.2 / 92.2

I woke up around 5:30 this morning and after showering I turned on the TV and watched the morning news program which today was all weather all the time. A big weather system was moving into the area and the forecast called for lots of rain and high winds in yjr north Georgia mountains. They were also reporting that a likely tornado had touched down over in Alabama early this morning.

In spite of all this, I was bored with hanging out in town and decided to head back out on the trail. The rain is forecast to contine for the next three days and I can't very well hide in town every time the weather gets bad.

So, at 8:30 I was on the shuttle back up to Dicks Creek Gap, and at 8:50 I was standing out in the rain strapping my pack to my back and heading up the trail.

The rain continued rather heavy for the first hour and a half or so, thern it tapered off. It is nowhere near clear, though. The mountains are right up in the cloud and visibility is only about 15 yards or so. It is very damp and chilly. I hiked with my raqin jacket and my new rain wrap (alright, alright; it's a skirt).

Around 1:00PM I hiked out of Georgia and into North Carolina. One state down and 13 to go! About a tenth of a mile later I reached Bly Gap (somehow the trail goes UP into the Gap) and the gnarled old tree that grows there and is seen in so many thru-hikers' photo albums.

The introduction to North Carolina is a tough one, as the trail climbs and climbs and climbs. Finally, around 3:00PM, I reached Muskrat Creek Shelter. The shelter is full, but I sleep in my hammock anyway so I don't care. I only want the shelter for a drfy place to cook aqnd eat and write this journal.

It's only a bit after 4:00 now, but I am going to make dinner soon, then retreat to my hammock and read before going to bed.

Oh! When I got here someone said to me "Hey Monkeywrench, there was Monkeywrewnch book (The Monkeywrench Gang) back at the last shelter." Darn. I was just thinking today that I'd like to get a paperback version so I could re-read that book on my hike.

I better quit now. My fingers aqre getting stiff with cold.

Allen Freeman