Down From The Clouds

1 JUL 14
Roan Mountain trip: Day 3
Roan High Knob Shelter-Bradley Gap
Miles today: 10

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
-John Burroughs

0615- Roan High Knob shelter (mi 376; elev 6275′)

Geez the people upstairs would not stop talking last night. Oh well, the sun is up, somewhere in the world at least. I mean it’s obviously daylight outside, but I can’t see the sun because there is a cloud enveloping us. I keep forgetting that up at 6000 feet we are up at cloud altitude. My socks and shoes are wet. Still. Not again, but still, as in continually wet since I arrived at Greasy Creek Gap. I changed my shirt but figured I’d rather have one clean dry pair of pants & socks for tomorrow so I kept the nasty ones on for another day. They’ll get dry once I start walking anyway, providing there’s no more precipitation. Sometime during the night, a mouse decided to leave a little calling card on top of a baby wipe I forgot outside my tent. Nice.

Even though the guide shows water at Carver’s Gap, I topped off anyway. Started down the side trail, then hit the AT northbound. Needless to say, it was full of rocks. Not rocky, but composed entirely of rock. The baseball sized ones that roll all over the place and dare you to keep your footing. I know they were there for erosion control, but with the heavy rains the last few days not only were they slippery, they were loose as well. This made for a very slow and methodical descent down. 20140701_082901I came upon two gentlemen who stopped to say hi. (This chance meeting will be of minor significance later). I asked how the trail was down to the gap, and they said “same as this”. Crap. 2 miles of this? So much for making up any kind of time, walking at a quick pace willy-nilly is an invitation to a nice sprain.

The scenery down was beautiful, but couldn’t take my mind off of the ankle snappers. During my laughable game of hopscotch, I set my right foot down on a rock, which immediately flipped over, turning my foot painfully inward to the left, Ow! That hurt. It’s not the typical ankle rolling you’d think- the bottom of my foot didn’t go inward, it went outward. That hurt pretty bad, but I kept going. “Just pay attention” I muttered to myself. 15 minutes later the same thing happened to the same ankle. Arrgh! I yelled out loud this time. Stupid ass rocks! Sigh. Keep going. Guess what happened AGAIN just a few moments later? Ok, now I’m injuring myself. Putting pressure on my right foot is starting to hurt all the time now. I’m about to sprain my damn ankle coming down this mountain. I’m hobbling on the tiptoes of my right foot using my trekking poles as crutches. What a circus act.

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