Friday, November 16, 2018
AT- Walnut Mt. to Watauga Dam
Day One: 2.2 Outcasts Total Miles: 2289.4
Walnut Mt. Road to Laurel Fork
Day Two: 5.8
Laurel Fork to Moreland Gap Shelter
Day Three: 8.6
Moreland Gap Shelter to Laurel Fork Shelter
Day Four: 11.1
Laurel Fork Shelter to Wilbur Dam Road
Total Miles: 27.7
Once again we used Mountain Harbor B&B for a shuttle. We got on the trail and made it to the Upper Laurel Fork foot bridge before dark and set up camp for the night. As we were setting up we had a guy walk up looking for a girl that had wondered off into the woods. We visited with him for a little bit and he went on his way. We got a good campfire going and did some visiting under the bright stars. Later that night we had some deer that were none to happy to have three hammocks in their woods. They blew and blew.
We headed out after breakfast and it was after lunch before the rain set in. All of our views today were white clouds. We were going to have a short hike today to be in a shelter when the predicted storm was going to come in around 2am. After we got everything hanging out to dry, a man and his son came in for the night. They were on an annual twelve day hike and were on day six. They stayed the night at the shelter as well.
The storm never came in. We had some sleet hitting the roof of the shelter for a little bit and the rain stayed steady, but no storm. We headed out in the rain again this morning. Clouds again for views today. Laurel Falls was beautiful and the gorge it is in. Interesting hiking skirting the rock wall next to the river. We had seen the man and son a couple of times today and thought that they would be at the shelter, but no. We had another hiker stay the night with us. He was hiking an Eastern trail which started in Canada, connected to the AT connecting to the Pinhoti Trail connecting to the Florida trail. Sounded long to me.
We had a long steady climb this morning to Pond Flats. Got to hear an owl talk to us and a hawk did a fly by in the woods. On the way up we ran into the man and son coming down. They had stopped at a hostel and got dropped off to slack pack this section backwards. We headed on to Watauga Lake and found that they still have signs up for no camping all through this area for bear activity. We ended up just hiking across the dam and on to the car. Another great hike!