Monday, May 13th

We woke up to snow that morning. It snowed straight on through the morning and into early afternoon, in fact, accumulating just enough to make rocks slippery and logs treacherous. Once again, using the weather as an excuse, I didn't leave the shelter until afternoon. I think I like this sleeping in thing. Maybe I should start doing it every...say...Sunday morning. I can claim it's for religious reasons.

I climbed up to Charlie's Bunion that afternoon, which is immediately after Icewater Spring Shelter. It offered some really nice views of the valley and the Smokies. One of my favourite things about the Smokies is that they're not as eroded as other parts of the Appalachians. They jut, poke and wave, which makes both hiking them and looking at them interesting.

I made the 7.4 miles to Pecks Corner Shelter just in time. I stopped in for lunch, and as soon a I stepped in the shelter, the rain began. What had been a light snow became a fine, nasty drizzle. I drowned my sorrows in a one-pound bag of M&Ms (Minus the blue ones - I won't eat 'em. I'm holding out to get the tan ones back.) and a half a jar of peanut butter. The lunch of champions. I attempted to eat a bagel that I'd bought in Gatlinburg, but I found it too disappointing. I've been spoiled by some truely excellent bagels from Bodo's Bagels in Charlottesville. Down south, bagels seem to be round bread and nothing more. (If you don't see what's wrong with that, it's time to visit Bodo's.) I knew I'd have to make sacrifices on the trail, but this bagel thing is a little much.

Taking another break, an hour or so later, I was treated to my first view in a while. I had read in The Thru-Hiker's Handbook that I could expect some great views this whole day, but there had been too much fog today. I sat on the roots of a pine tree, munching on some round bread, watching little escaped cloud chunks whip over the hill and brush past my legs, the valley fog receding all the while. It reminded me of sharing cotton candy with my friend Amber at the county fair, each of us tearing little bits off until the whole thing was gone. Except the cotton candy tasted better, and I got in more car accidents that day than I did on the trail. (Two. I sure hope Amber is getting better at that driving thing.)

Tri-Corner Knob Shelter was a welcome one. It was nice to get out of the elements. There was already a fire going when I got there. The same bunch was there as had been at the shelter last night, though I did finally catch up to Twinkie the Kid, who I'd barely missed back in Gatlinburg. He told me that he'd seen me in the laundromat as he'd passed in a trolley. We caught up on the last few day's events. That was when the Antarctican Terrorist Penguins came in.

They barged in through the mesh door, tearing off the entire front of the shelter. I quickly removed my cache of throwing stars from within my left heel, taking out half a dozen within seconds. Brooke Shields dove in from behind them, wrestling two to the ground before they even...

Er, no. Sorry. We ate dinner by the fire and had some noodles, then hit the sack around 9:30.

Today's Song: Neil Young, "After the Gold Rush"
Miles Today: 12.6

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