On Friday, June the 29th 2018
Angie and I embarked on an amazing adventure. We were to hike 20.6 miles on the AT (Appalachian Trail)
Starting at Max Patch a 4600-foot bald cleared in the 1800s It has 360-degree views that seem to go on forever.
All good adventures start with margaritas.
The ride up was pretty amazing even getting lost was fun we stopped at one waterfall and after taking a picture I turned around and a park ranger had snuck up on us he was sitting in his vehicle about 3 feet from us as I turned around. How did he do that? We spoke for awhile, Angie took his picture. We saw him several times after this he was the one who got us back on the right path when we were lost.
Then it was on to the trail.
The hike up was short less than a mile and the views from the top of Max Patch were amazing!
The top was full of people enjoying the sunset, tents popping up everywhere we claimed our spot in the grass. We witnessed a wedding
We camped on the top of Max Patch I was worried about bear so I did kike back down below the tree line and hang our food bag. We were a little concerned about a storm moving in but it only really gave us a good cloud show
We had a wonderful evening followed by sound sleep when we woke up we had this.
Then we ate breakfast and prepared for the real hike breaking in our equipment and getting used to our loads we stopped by Roaring creek shelter. We met a great family here from Charlotte a couple, their best friend and their teenage daughter they were headed to max patch to renew there wedding vows to celebrate 25 years the guy teased Angie hard about bears, mountain lions, and tall mountains. We left the shelter made it just a little way and took the wrong turn the trail kept getting smaller and smaller we went maybe a quarter of a mile before we realized something was up this was the only navigational error of the trip, lots of downhill on this section.
Then came the first mountain up to the walnut mountain shelter. Angie was not happy with the mountain we stopped a lot. I have read about this shelter being among the worst on the Appalachian Trail. I hope so, I would not like to see any worse, this place was trashed out, debris on the ground, people had left clothes and an umbrella random tent parts. the shelter log book spoke of the evilest mice on the trail. We did eat lunch, well I did it was a currie that Angie did not like and even I could only do part of. We did meet the only people we would see after the roaring fork shelter here two girls from Raleigh that were day hiking that section with their mon shuttling to hot springs at night we would meet them again on Sunday, they let us look at a map they had that showed elevation. it showed one more mountain, buff mountain then it would be almost all downhill to hot springs. ( it lied but it did encourage us) Angie was a ball of fire after this we made it up the mountain. not a scenic bald like Max patch but a pile of rocks on top we walked past nice campsites looking for water. the bugs this time of year were horrible in your eyes, in your mouth, ears and if you stopped to try to take a break it was a hundred times worse. We hiked forever that day we started at around 8:00am stopped at 9:30 pm We started looking for a place to camp around 7:00 pm. but first we needed water we found water at Bigrock spring but no place to camp without backtracking up the mountain. by this time Angie’s knee was hurting so bad she could not bend it. When we did finally find a camp that night our intention was to wake the next morning walk to the closest dirt road give up and call it quits!
A new morning a new day! the sleep did us well, we made it to the dirt road and felt so good like we could finish this thing!
The map was wrong they were more hills more mountains but we made it to hot springs the feeling of accomplishment was so great as we walked into the iron horse station for lunch already planning our next adventure
Miss Angie says Max Patch all the way to Hot Springs on the AT (Appalachian Trail ) such a major accomplishment. It was so hot and sweaty the entire time with no bath since Friday. There were moments that we didn’t have any water for a few miles, but for the most part, we got water from the springs, so we ended up a little dehydrated but feeling very proud that we finished all the way through. Starved and smelly LOL oh and super sore. I hiked the last 10 miles with a bum knee but I sucked it up and proud that I did!!
We did not see any snakes or any Wildcats but we did smell bear about 25 different times and a few huge bear scat (poop)
We carried other drinks with us but were too exhausted to drink