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.