Day 22: Riding the ridge

Tuesday April 2, 23.7mi/38.1km

Boots Off Hostel TN (428.4) to Double Spring Shelter TN (452.1)

Since it was another frigid 25F/-4C morning, I slept in for a later, and hopefully warmer, start to the day.The hostel was very nice, and even served a free continental breakfast. There were two other hikers there too, Sisqo and Hodag. I finally left at 9am, and enjoyed a walk along Watauga Lake for the first hour.

The lake ends at a dam, which the AT walks over at the northern side.

Bob caught up to me along the lake, and took off ahead. We talked for awhile during the climb after the lake, and pretty soon we were on top of the ridge that we would be following all day. The day had warmed up nicely, so lunch break was long and relaxed. The rest of the afternoon was mostly along the ridge and not very noteworthy. The trail was the least maintained section I’ve seen on the AT yet.

At the end of the day, we crossed a paved road, and the trail quality improved.

There were even nice bridges for the damp sections of trail.

And the first mile after the road was designated handicap accessible!

We arrived to the shelter at 6:30pm, and Bob and I are the only ones there! We were both surprised to find an empty shelter. I usually prefer to camp outside in my tent to avoid the snoring masses, but slept inside since it’s just two of us. We even had a nice campfire!

Early to bed, it’s a town day tomorrow!

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