Shortcake Rocked the Ridge
Tuesday April 18, 2017
206.8 - 221.9
Rain Rain Rain
Tented at Tri Corner Knob Shelter
Today was our longest day yet at 15.1 miles. Not too shabby considering I didn't even want to get out of the car. Bruce returned us to the trail and it was raining. The hikers who had arrived at Newfound Gap looked like drowned rats and I was not thrilled to head back out. Miss Shortcake was all excited, not her usual attitude in bad weather but she was thrilled to try out her new rain skirt. I had one also but would rather it stayed dried.
I ripped the bandaid off and headed out into the blustery, soggy mountains with my hiking buddies, Shortcake and Bruce. We headed up and up. Bruce left us after awhile to returned to the car and we hiked on in the misery but our new skirts performed liked champs. I wish my coat did the same. I am using the same jacket I used in 2015. It was great then but I guess it has lived its life span after over 2000 miles of outdoor adventure. So I was soaked on top but dry on the bottom.
Since it was raining we decided to push on. The climb was steady with occasional dips and saddles to cross but we never went below 5,000 feet. As we hiked on Shortcake rocked the ridge. It was a cold wet day. About 4:00pm the drizzle stopped and we were rewarded with a few spectacular views.
We arrived at the shelter tired, hungry and soaked. It had stopped raining for the time being but we did not want to set up our tent. The landscape was so sloped and the earlier arrivers had already taken the even ground. I stepped into the shelter to see if two more could squeeze in was quickly told it was full. I stepped out. Stepped back in and said "No problem we can sleep on the ground". All the shelters in the Smoky's have a double decker sleep area and a covered ground area in front of the sleep decking that is tarped off. But another hiker made a comment I don't exactly remember that basically said loud and clear, "We don't want anyone else in here." I was so mad. I had never seen hikers be so rude or uncaring for the well being of others. I won't say what I wrote in my journal about them.
So I pitched our tent on a piece of ground that had no business having a tent placed on it and Shortcake and I slept closer than any other night thanks to the incline. I was so afraid I was going to rip through the walls of my tent.
We made it through.