April 9, 2000

Laurel Fork Shelter, TN 22 Miles Hiked Today 407 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Snowy Valley"Snow, snow, snow, snow! It won't be long before we're covered in snow. I want to wash my hands, my face, my hair in snow. Snow, snow, snow, snow!" I think that's how the lyrics go. Anyway, we awoke to 28 degrees and between 3/4" and 3/12" of snow, depending on where you were in elevation. It was so pretty! It was like a winter wonderland, the trail at one point even going through the middle of a Christmas tree farm. The snow made it easy to see animal tracks (rabbit, mice, birds, coyote/fox, chipmunk/squirrel, and some kind of cat) but also made walking difficult. I had to break trail for about 7 miles until I got to where others had camped. It was also slippery. Thus, the 22 miles took about an hour longer that it should have.

Me and my shadowBut it was worth it. My day ended with a hike between 40 ft. rock walls and a 500-800 ft. descent into a gorge, and a great view of the falls where I stopped to eat dinner. The last .7 of a mile then followed along the river at the gorge's bottom before rising out to the shelter. It faces west and I could sit and watch the sun set while writing. Perfect.

One thing I forgot yesterday was that I/the trail crossed the Overmountain Trail which was used during the Revolutionary War to go over the mountains.

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