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Jacobs Ladder Just About Killed Us

Day 19 

Tuesday April 11, 2017

Miles: 147.4 - 158.9

Weather: Hot and sunny 

Tented at Cable Gap Shelter

Shortcake resting after one of the day's climbs. 

This morning we woke up to pot smoke at 6:00am. I guess whatever floats your boat. I try really hard to be nonjudgmental and not dampen others space. But it annoys the heck out of me to be outside in the fresh air and have to deal with weed cigarette smoking. Obviously the culprits don't have a problem of hindering my space. I just pray that I don't blow up one of these times. My friendly reputation my be ruined.

The water source was a long hike also so we skipped it since the guidebook noted water a few miles into the morning hike. I soon regretted not collecting my usual 2 liters. When we arrived at Stecoah Gap I could not find the source. I was in deep doo-doo. I had less then 8 ounces, it was extremely hot, and Jacob's Ladder was just across the street. It's a 600 foot climb in half a mile.

At Stecoah Gap the trail crosses NC route 143 and is heavily trafficked. Vehicles passed by and several stopped to drop off hikers. One trucked pulled in and a friendly man offered a ride to town for anyone who needed it. We all declined but I did ask if he had any water I could by. He jumped right out, climbed in the bed of his truck and gave me three bottles. I almost cried. The trail will provide. 

Mustard Seed was the trail name of the water angel. He also told me we should stay at Cable Gap Shelter. I explained that was a little too far for Shortcake and I and we were going to tent a few miles before that. He told me about trail magic that would take place at Cable Gap and we should push on if we could but not to tell other hikers.

After our lunch break at Stecoah Gap, Shortcake and I crossed route 143 and headed straight up. Jacobs Ladder almost killed us. 55 minutes later we were at the top. A little while later after climbing another ascent, I was sitting on a long waiting for Shortcake to catch up. When she arrived she went to speak to me but no words formed on her lips. She sounded like she was speaking in tongues. It was hilarious. It was a rough day of hiking.

We did push on to Cable Gap. But by 7:30pm no trail magic had arrived. It was disappointing but the good thing is we have a short day tomorrow.

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