Day 15 on the Appalachian Trail

Rain finally stopped soon after daylight first appeared. I packed up quickly, grabbed some nuts for breakfast and headed downhill for half a mile, then uphill to Bluff Mountain. The heavy rain created slick conditions for walking especially on wet leaves, slick exposed roots, and mud. Hiking uphill presented few problems, but hiking downhill required constant vigilance. The 4-mile descent from Bluff Mountain to Gerenflo Gap proved especially slippery. The clouds from last night' storm remained low in the sky, always threatening rain but creating cool statutes. A 2-mile gentle uphill and descent brought me to the turnoff to Deep Park Mountain shelter. I kept going rather than taking a break because I was only 3 miles from Hot Springs, NC and Elmer's Sunnnybank Inn, a Bed and Breakfast that caters to hikers. I arrived much more tired than I expected, given that I' hiked only 13.1 miles today. Shutterbug and I showered and ate lunch, then did our laundry. After lounging around for several hours, we enjoyed a terrific vegetarian, family-style dinner at Elmer's. I feel fortunate to be here. Today's miles - 13.1. Total miles - 273.7.

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