After yesterday’s marathon hike, I planned a short hike for today to give my body a chance to recover. Following a leisurely breakfast, I hooked up to the zip line and pulled myself across the creek. For some reason, it was much easier to get across this morning than it was to negotiate when I arrived yesterday. The Captain’s was a great place to spend the night, I want to thank Captain again for his gracious hospitality.

Appalachian Trail

Tough Life at the Captain’s

Appalachian Trail

Scar Makes it Across

As is typically the case, the morning started off with a 1,000 foot climb to get the blood flowing. And, as is typically the case, I encountered some very rocky terrain on the way up. Once I reached the ridge line, the trail became a lot smoother and I started to put some miles behind me.

Appalachian Trail

Rocky Climb

Soon, I entered the Mountain Lake Wilderness and shortly after that, I arrived at Wind Rock. There was a great view here, and I decided it was the perfect place to stop for lunch.

Appalachian Trail

View from Wind Rock

The trail continued to be very kind, and in no time at all, I started the 1,700 foot decent from the ridge line to the War Spur Shelter. As I have mentioned in previous posts, you would think that going downhill would be easy, but it is not. Going downhill is very hard on your knees, and you have to be very careful to watch your step and control your speed. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I can’t imagine anything much worse that doing a downhill face plant with the weight of a pack on your back. On the plus side, however, there are a lot of pretty flowers blooming as you reach the lower elevations.

Appalachian Trail

Headed Down

Appalachian Trail

Flowers Along the Way

War Spur Shelter is your standard issue modern Forest Service Shelter, and it appears that I will have it to myself. After all, no self respecting thru-hiker will stop at 4:00 pm after only hiking 11.5 miles, and there was a huge group with me at the Captain’s. But I have no pride in that department. So I found a nice grassy spot to pitch my tent, and I’m settling in for the night.

Appalachian Trail

Home for the Night