Tuesday, May 22, 2001

day 10, Wayah Bald (tower), NC

Start:  Wallace Gap (Rainbow Springs Campground)
End:  Wayah Bald (tower)
Miles:  13.1 today, 116.9 total

Well, I got out of Rainbow Springs alive. That's about all I can say about that place.

I was planning on hiking to a campsite just beyond the Wayah Bald summit when I started out today. However, my plans suddenly changed when the rain started to fall... and keep falling... for a long time. Used my poncho for the first time this trip. I probably need better rain gear, but the weather's going to have to motivate me to buy it. Anyway, I pulled off the trail at the Siler Bald Shelter. A retired guy named Mike was already there huddled in his sleeping bag. Turns out he had been hiking with my secret rival, Yoda, but stayed too long in Franklin and got left behind. More people began arriving. There was Turtle Old Man (that's one name), Matt, Sean, and some other guy who had too much gear. Anyway, after a few hours the rain had stopped and the sun had come back out. Turtle Old Man was talking about how one could probably sleep in the Wayah Bald tower, as in, use it like a shelter. Mike liked the idea, so we both headed for the tower. We got there right after sunset. Really cold, but 6 miles further up the trail.

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