Day 16 and 17,
I took 2 more zero days in Franklin…I planned to hike out day 16, but weather was supposed to be heavy rain, winds and even tornado warnings, so I decided to stay 1 more day. And the next day I heard there were snow showers, so I decided to hang out with other hikers in town one more day.Day 18 Rock Gap to Siler Bald Shelter (Mile 113.1)I learned that if you leave your shoes next to a heater in a hostel for a couple of days, the insoles will melt. Luckily I was able to buy some new inserts before shuttling back to the trail.The campsite had a beautiful grass field, where everyone set up their tents. We also had some fun with a ukulele by campfire.
Day 19 Siler Bald Shelter to Cold Spring Shelter (Mile 125.2)Today was another 12 mile day, with several uphill climbs. Today’s hike included a climb up Wayah Bald. In addition to finding an actual restroom and trash cans, I was rewarded with amazing views!The second half of the hike I tried to make up time since I stopped for a few breaks on the climb. Made it to the campsite behind the shelter before dark.
Day 20 Cold Spring Shelter to Rufus Morgan Shelter (Mile 135.9)Today included a climb up Wesser Bald, with a view from the observation tower.Some hikers just ahead of me saw a rattlesnake near Wesser Bald. I did not see it, but was super careful watching out for them the rest of the day!