Hunkered down for a few days

After Blood Mtn, I was itching to get back on the trail unfortunately Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating. Sub zero temperatures over two days and two days of heavy thunderstorms has me hunkered down. Plan now is to get back on trail in a couple days.

Current weather forecast is 1-3 inches of rain today – from northern Georgia and southern North Carolina. Nice and dry inside my cabin. Saw a mouse in here this morning 😳. I’m sure last night I felt something on me. I do not like mice – ask John lol.

One story from the trail earlier this year. A hiker placed their hiking shoes outside of the the tent for the night. Woke up the next morning to find a mouse gave birth overnight and the shoe was filled with babies. If that had of happened to me, I would have been booking my flight back to Canada.

Day 6 on the AT

Neel Gap to Hogpen Gap (6.88 mi)

Miles hiked this far: 38.2 miles

Up at 4:30 this morning, anxious to get on trail. Little bit of housekeeping here at the cabin before I head off. My morning ritual: coffee, Carnation breakfast drink, 500ml electrolytes and an energy bar. That should keep my going for a bit until I start dipping into my snacks. As I’m not much of a lunch eater, I carry mostly snacks between breakfast and dinner. Snacks include energy bars, beef jerky (best rest of them all as it replenishes lost sodium from sweating), Rick Krispy square (another fave!), packages of nuts and life savers.

After last nights storm, first part of the hike was cool, windy and extremely foggy. that means a lot of layers to begin with, then having to stop and take off my pack to shed layers. Shed layers means a heavier pack.

Today’s hike was brutal. Four mountains to climb – up and down, up and down. My body was feeling it. My plan for the day was to hike 6 miles, but managed to add almost an extra mile.

I was running low on water, so I decided to make camp off the trail at Hogpen Gap. It’s a short walk down to a creek that has enough of a trickle to fill my water containers

All water from creeks and rivers needs to be out through a water filter. The process starts with filling a 2L bladder. I then attach a water filter to the filter and finally screw on a water bottle. I will go through this process once in the morning, 1-2x during the day and once more when I arrive at camp.

It’s a noisy campsite where I pitched my tent. I’m about 200 yards below a highway. Tons of motorcycles and fast cars. Hope I can sleep tonight. It’ll be a bit scary sleeping at a site by myself. Up to now, I’ve been in campsites with other hikers. For me to be with other hikers tonight would have meant another 4 miles. My knees and back were saying no way.

So not a bad day considering 4 mountains in 7 hours. For me, I’m still trying to get my “trail legs.” I’m very wobbly on the descents and my feet a bit as well. I hope tomorrow might be a bit easier on the feet. Things could be worse – I could be back home with the snow.

Woke up shivering this morning, even with base layers, fleece and toque. Combined this with my sore knees, I’m folding. Done.

I’m in awe of those who complete this trail. I only hiked 38 miles of it and I’m beat. I don’t know how I could have trained better. I was convinced my treadmill training would have been enough. But sore knees, negative thoughts and lack of training on mountains did me in.

Again, like in 2019 I let myself and others following me down. Yesterday’s 4 mountain climb just wore me down enough to realize I’m not a thru-hiker.

I’m back in Atlanta preparing to head back to Canada. I feel slightly defeated, but excited to go home

Thanks for following along

3 thoughts on “Hunkered down for a few days

  1. Malcolm Robert HOPKINSON

    Sorry to hear you are finished, we were all rooting for you and hoping you would succeed, but if it’s to tough on you it to tough. Nothing to be ashamed of, at least you tied. Hoppy.


  2. Pauline Hopkinson

    Hi Nina ,We are saddened to hear you have given up but we completely understand as you have completed quite a trek ,way more than we would ever have considered..Hopefully Covid will get better in Ottawa and we could expect a visit from you both .Take care .xo Pauline


  3. Amanda Mellway

    We are really proud of you for trying again and you slayed Blood Mountain. Be proud of what you accomplished and all the preparation you put in to it. Hope to see you soon! ❤️


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