Day 32: Roan Mountain

Determined to make up for yesterday I once again got an early start.   I was walking as soon as it was light enough to see, about 7:30.  Most of the morning was a climb ending on Roan Mtn at 6200 feet.   There were 5 miles of gentle climb followed by a bit more than a mile of strenuous climb.  Snacks and Temper caught up with me at Ash Gap, where the steep ascent begins.  Temper, who is very sweet, asked if I wanted to “power up the mountain” with them.  I had to explain that I had no longer “powered up” mountains, instead I trudged up mountains, but eventually I got to the top.

Next was the long drop into Carvers Gap and route 143.   It is a popular spot for day hikers.   I got there at noon, 10 miles so far.  From there the trail crosses Jane Bald and Grassy Bald, beautiful open spots.   Also, I had cell service there and talked to Gayle.   She had something come up and now wants to pick me up on Friday.  I do not have to hurry now.

Late in the day I was hiking along and I heard whistling behind me.   I looked back and saw someone behind me, coming fast.   The whistling was annoying and as it got closer I stopped and turned to face this person.

“Hello Dan” the woman says.   I tell her I am not Dan.   She insists I am Dan.  Again, I am not Dan.  But I know you she says, you roasted your underwear over a fire.   Ahh, it’s Tangle, who was at the Davenport Gap Shelter with the black snake.  I admit to roasting my undies but stand fast on my name. Weren’t you hiking south I ask.   That was a mistake.  I got a long explanation that left me lost long before it was over.

Tangle was going to the Overlook Mtn Shelter which was only another mile up the trail.   It is one of the largest and is her favorite.   I think she likes a crowd so she can tell her tales of woe to many.  She encouraged me to stay there too but when we got to the side trail to it I decided to keep going.

I hiked another 3 miles and stopped for water.  No luck.  There was a small puddle and even after digging it out the water was so muddy it clogged my filter.    So, I hiked 18.5 miles and camped in a lovely spot.   I had tuna and gorp for dinner since I did not have water for cooking.  I had a half liter to drink.   In the morning I have about 4 miles to go to a reliable water source.