May 4th

Happy Star Wars Day, May the Fourth be With You!

This morning we woke up to very cold temperatures, rain, and high winds, which was instantly concerning since this can easily be a formula for hypothermia. I hiked from Roaring Fork Shelter to the Walnut Mountain Shelter, a total distance of 5 miles. I probably could have gone further, but the next shelter is ten more miles, and with predicted rain all day, I didn’t want to risk getting stuck out in it. What’s more, since I’m expecting my replacement pack in Hot Springs, I’m trying to take my time getting there to avoid arriving before the package, since it’s cheaper to wait here, where I can camp for free, than it is to wait in town, where a hostel stay will cost a minimum of ten to fifteen dollars a night

I had intended to listen to this week’s message from my home church, but the download was apparently corrupted, so I spent the first part of the day listening to the Rich Mullins albums “Songs” and the Jesus Record. The second album will always be special to me because it spoke to me in a very difficult time in my life, particularly the song “Just Plain Hard To Get” which has lyrics that I identify with very much, and carry strong overtones of some of the more plaintive Psalms.

The hike today was very pleasant, with no extreme inclines, and crossing over a number of streams. In fact, we went alongside a large creek/small river for a good mile or so, listening to the rushing water the whole time.
This section of the Trail did not use as many switch backs, but utilized another method for creating a gentle climb. The trail will start at the foot of one mountain, then gently climb it, but instead of reaching the top, it cuts across to the next mountain, creating a slow “ramping” effect to eventually reach the top of the ridge


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