Day 35: How We Handle Rain on the Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail: Day #35

Bald Mountain Shelter –> Big Bald: -1.2 miles

Total AT Miles: 324.1

Rain drops onto the tin roof as we sleep adding ambient noise that drowns out the twisting, turning, snoring people packed into an Appalachian Trail shelter on a rain day. I wake feeling rested but not ready to face the day.

“Want to zero and watch a movie?!!”


We lay around the shelter watching the diehards don their wetsuits. They voice their anger at mother nature and curse their ill fortune. The stoic slip silently away into the dreary day.

By evening, the rain has passed and the sky has cleared. Our heads are now fuzzy from a break in routine. It is hard to stay in one place when you are used to moving somewhere new everyday.

Two of our group move on down the trail. The rest of us backtrack to watch the sun set from the top of the bald. I take my pack planning to sleep up there.

The top turns out too cold and windy for a proper nights sleep. I watch the sun sink below the horizon in a dazzling display of stunning colors with my friends. Then, I retreat a bit towards the shelter and a covered rock with a built in fireplace.

Dinner cooks in the coals of a crevice through the rock. The full moon floats above the overhanging boulder. I play with long exposures. Resting the camera on a rock, I set the shutter speed to 30seconds. The two-second self-timer ticks away tripping the shutter. I paint the boulder with my headlamp for ten seconds then I sit beside the fire and flash my face with the camera on my phone freezing my digital, almost ghostly, image.

Mountain Goat journaling in the shelter while rain falls outside.
The Big Bald Shelter on a dreary, rainy morning.
Dr. Kool-Aid’s Zpack tent.
My TarpTent Moment. It’s been home for ten months now and still going strong.
Further journaling by Mountain Goat.


Finch updates her journal as well.
My Shadow playing in the mud outside the shelter.
Really glad we’re not walking today…
Until we do. Hiking to the top of the Bald, Dr. Kool-Aid walks the blazes a little too literally.
Exiting the forest into the lower bald.
Someone decided it would be fun to camp on top. Going to be a cold night albeit a beautiful one!
The sun setting atop Big Bald.


Cooking rice and beans in the crevice of a rock. 
A hole in the back creates a perfect fireplace acting as chimney to draw away the smoke.


Sitting beside the fire after dinner playing with long exposures. I really wish I had a tripod!
The full moon behind the rock ledge where I sleep.





2 thoughts on “Day 35: How We Handle Rain on the Appalachian Trail

  1. Looking good! Beautiful pictures.
    We just ended our hike at the Fontana Dam. My kids and I were behind your “bubble”, out for 25 days. We’re are now living through you guys. Keep it up guys!❤️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s