We got a late start on the trail today, stepping off from Hot Springs around 1:30pm.
The trail went right through town, with AT markers on the sidewalk .
At the edge of town, the trail crossed over the French Broad river, then ran down along side of it for a while.
Then the trail took a left turn and started a calf burning, steep ascent up the rocks and cliffs over looking the river.
The views were great, but they were hard earned!
The trail eventually turned inland and continued to climb. Later in the day, we were hiking up a little draw with a spring running down the middle, when we saw a fairly large concrete wall ahead. It turned out to be small dam for a little pond.
We checked it out and found it was full of bass! So I brought out my fishing rod and gave it a shot. The shore line was a little too cluttered with brush though and made it hard to get a decent cast with the fly rod, so after about 20 minutes I gave up.
Before leaving, we heard a flock of turkeys gobbling and what we think was a bear flipping over stones then running through the woods.
On the path leading out from the pond, I was attacked by a wasp/bee/something yellow and black. It kept dive bombing my head and eventually ended up getting me on the arm
The rest of the day was a grind, full of relentless uphill climbs and false peaks. Apparently we entered a bear sanctuary (hope the bears don’t mind!)
We finally arrived at the Spring Mountain shelter just before dusk and set up for the night. We got about halfway through dinner before being chased away by rain. I made it into my hammock just in time for the start of the thunderstorm. It lasted an hour or so, with lightening so bright, it made me see spots!
After the storm, it cleared up, but stayed windy, hopefully tomorrow is a dry day.