Day 7 on the Appalachian Trail

I got a slow start today with only 17 miles planned to Wesser Bald shelter. I said good bye to 'Topher who gave a pint of water yesterday evening and who camped near me. The AT headed downhill toward Wayah Gap. Near Wayah Road I heard nearly constant rifle fire as if a shooting range was close by. Continuing on, the Bartram Trail joined the AT to the Wayah Bald tower, a stone structure that afforded views of the land through which I hiked over the past few days. At the tower I met through hikers Zachary and Michael. From the tower, the AT dropped down then ran easily for several miles past Wayah Bald shelter, which I did not visit. More easy hiking for 3 miles then a climb brought me to Cold Spring shelter where I met three military guys with impossibly heavy packs. They seemed envious of my 20 pound pack. Four more miles of ups and downs ended at Tellico Gap. The steep climb out of the gap sapped my energy. My reward was the Wesser Bald tower, which afforded panoramic views of the next few day of hiking. Down a mile to the Wesser Bald shelter. After cooking dinner, I packed up because there were no decent camp spots. I walked. Half mile on a ridge and found a flat and scenic camp site. The evening sun is shining brightly. It's been a great day. Today's miles - 17.6. Total miles - 132.0.

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