Well I’ve made an unplanned stop in Robbinsville, NC tonight. Today was a hard day of hiking and just as I got to Stecoah Gap the sky got really dark, the temperature dropped about 25 degrees and the wind began to bluster. My choices were to continue the 2.5 miles to the shelter including climbing Jacob’s Ladder which is one mile uphill at a 60 degree angle with no switchbacks, or go into town. My understanding is that there are parts of Jacob’s Ladder that are hand over hand. If that is true, I may get a ride around it. I can’t do hand over hand with my wrist the way it is. I’ll have to do some investigating and decide. I have a room reserved at Fontana Village tomorrow night, and then I will enter the Smokies.
Hiking the last few days has really gotten me in touch with one of my primal fears, the fear of falling from heights. There have been many times the past two days where one misstep could send me over a cliff. One of my water bottles fell out of my pack today and tumbled down the mountainside. No retrieving it. Scary stuff. The amount of concentration it takes to manage terrain like this can be mentally exhausting. Ah well…tomorrow is another day.