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Day 22 – horses

Per the usual, it froze overnight and the morning was uninviting. Luckily I had enough snacks and motivation to finally get up around 7. I thought it would be just another day of walking on ground dusted with snow: I was wrong. The snow was very manageable for the first few miles and then suddenly everything began to change. The wind picked up, the snow grew thicker and ice began to appear. I was soon trudging through six inches of snow with my Stabilicers on while slowly winding up Mt. Rogers. As I crossed the final exposed area at the top I knew I was overmatched And ducked under the cover of some rocks to add layers. My finger were so cold the couldn’t use a zipper. I stuck them in my armpits under my warm jacket and slowly felt them returning to life. I finally made the summit and in the shelter at the peak were Bonnie and Clyde, slipknot, and sundown. Then just as I was leaving a group of over 10 guys showed up. I was glad I moved on. It was supposed to be 5 miles downhill to the shelter. Maybe 5 miles straight down but it was closer to mountaineering and bouldering than hiking. The rocks had a 1 inch thick sheet of ice on them and it made walking down giant rock formations tricky. It was a long five miles. After I finally dropped back into the trees I was astonished to see wild ponys. They didn’t have a care in the world and would just stand blocking the middle of the trail. I’m not the biggest fan of horses so at least they were ponys. I made it to the shelter around 6 and did not feel the motivation to go on. It was only a 24 mile day, but it felt like a big day. Bonnie and Clyde are also staying at the shelter tonight. They are a couple getting married on top of Mt Katahdin when they finish the trail.

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