Day 48 – Sat 4/7/18

Day 48 went from Cheoah Bald to Stecoah Gap where I stayed at Cabin in the Woods for the night – 5.5 miles.

It was very cold today, and only supposed to get colder. The low for the night was around 24 and it was rainy and damp. So, I decided to get a cabin for the night.

On the way down to Stecoah Gap, I took a massive fall on a boulder field. I really thought my hike may be over. I was on the edge of the boulder field and I was looking straight down the mountain, I thought my momentum was going to push me over the edge and I’d be tumbling head first straight down a steep mountain. Thankfully, by the grace of God, my trekking pole stopped me and didn’t even snap! It was such a scary moment.

I was so ready to be done after that!

Once I got to Stecoah, I knew I needed to look for some other hikers to split the cost of the cabin with me and luck for me two guys were also wanting to get out of the cold for the night, so we stayed together.

They were nice guys, I just can’t remember their names right now.

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!


Day 47 – Fri 4/6/18

Day 47 went from the NOC to Cheoah Bald – 8.5 miles.

It is an insane climb out of the NOC, by the way!

Here is a picture of the profile from Guthooks App.

8.5 miles up! 3,330 net change in elevation!

On a clear day, there are some amazing views, but it was getting cloudy and foggy when I went through.

These are all from The Jump-Up.

Nooner and I finally made it to Sassafras Gap Shelter where we were able to recover his tent! Yay!

No one at the shelter owned up to being Sticks/Twigs, however, which really got under Nooner’s skin.

So, instead of staying at the shelter, Nooner needed to press on to get away from those people… so I went with him.

I would have preferred staying there because I was tired, but I wanted to show Nooner I was there for him.

I made it about another 1.2 miles uphill and knew that had to be it for me. Plus, I heard after Cheoah Bald, the stealth campsites are sparse and it was getting dark.

I was extremely disappointed when Nooner said that he was going to continue hiking. I understood why he needed to – to put space between himself and the thieves because it was wearing on him mentally, but I think I had expected more of him. It definitely hurt my feelings that he was wanted to keep hiking even though it meant leaving me.

Thoughts as of 4/13/18:

I am really mad that there are people on the trail who are bad people and do things like steal which make my hiking partner uncomfortable and leave me. On the other hand, I’m upset that Nooner would just peace out on me the way he did. However, I know I can’t blame only the thieves for Nooner leaving because he had just as much a choice to allow it to affect him.

That night, I sent him a text saying I hoped he made it to a good campsite, and he texted back saying he wished he would have stayed… I’m not sure how I feel about that now because I do wish he would’ve stayed too, but he made that choice… 🤷🏼‍♀️

After that I did not hear from him until 4/12/18 – also upsetting.

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!

Day 46 – Thur 4/5/18

Day 46 Zero’d at NOC.

The day was uneventful.

In the evening, however, we found out from Falling Leaf and Sunshine that someone took Nooner’s tent thinking it was abandoned and turned it in to the outfitter because there has been a missing hiker and they thought it could have been the missing hiker’s stuff.

Nooner ran to the outfitter to ask, but they said no one had turned anything in. Nooner has the same tent I do, and our tent was not cheap, it is a $400 tent! So, Nooner ran to where his tent should have been set up, following Falling Leaf and Sunshine who were tenting at the same place.

Apparently, on the way there, Sunshine told Nooner that they had been thinking about it and they felt really bad, so they admitted to stealing his sleeping pad (which she was carrying on her pack). She also finally admitted that all of his things were stolen and told him who had what.

Falling Leaf had taken his pillow. Tex/Texas stoke his sleeping bag. They even raided his food bag that was still hung up in the tree!! They took the cord and my carabiner we used! The tent was stolen by a guy named Twigs/Sticks who left with it that morning and was about 8 miles away at the first shelter from the NOC.

We decided we would go get his tent tomorrow.

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!

Day 45 – Wed 4/4/18

Day 45 Zero’d at NOC.

I think tonight was the night of the huge party.

One of my favorite people caught up with us at the NOC!… SCARLETT! Known also as The Nanny.

Scarlett did about a two week work for pay at Gooder Grove Hostel in Franklin where I stayed for about 5 days.

She is from London and thru-hiking the AT! Scarlett is such a beautiful lady inside and out! She surprises everyone when they learn her age… she is only 18! But she is so wise and mature for her years!

She is one of the loveliest people I have ever met! I’m hoping to catch back up to her when her boyfriend comes to visit her in the summer! He is a lucky man!

Tons of hikers came in and a guy who was here with his kids brought adult trail magic (alcohol for days!). I heard the party went on until 6 am!!

I went to bed early because a guy named Baker was being a jerk and I was done dealing with him. Apparently many people are not fans of him because of his attitude.

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!

Day 43 – Mon 4/2/18

Day 43 went from mile 132.3 to the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) – 4.4 miles.

The climb today was moderate. My cardio loved today, but my ankles hated today. The whole day was descending in elevation.

I think today I finally figured out how much water I needed for a hike – which is super helpful!

The first thing I got when I hiked into the NOC was an ice cold cider and a cheeseburger! It was the best cider and cheeseburger I have ever had!

However, a large portion of the hike was in the direct sun the past two days as I found out…

You definitely stare at your feet more than you would think.

We camped down the railroad next to the river. About an hour before bed, I started feeling really sick on my stomach, but thought it would pass. Wrong! I threw up a couple of times. I was terrified because I thought I contracted noro! I don’t think it was noro because once I threw it up, I felt a lot better and never had diarrhea. I only had a gurgling stomach for about 36 hours. I believe it was either food poisoning or something in the water that I got from the spigot at the outfitter.

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!

Day 42 – Sun 4/1/18

Day 42 went from Burningtown Gap to mile 132.3 – 8.5 miles.

Happy Easter!

When we got up, a couple of cars had pulled into the gap to do some Easter trail magic!

I got a banana and a fresh made ham sandwich! It was delicious. The family that put it on does trail magic every year on Easter as a family tradition.

The hike was long and hard today! The elevation went up 1,000 feet, then down 1,000 feet, then back up 1,000 feet.

These are some pictures from Copper Ridge Bald.

I was very exhausted at the end of this day, and I was in such a bad mood. Poor Nooner had to put up with me.

I believe I ended up carrying too much water too far (Water is heavy!). So I was just ready to be D-O-N-E hiking and in a tent!

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!

Day 41 – Sat 3/31/18

Day 41 went from Wayah Crest Picnic Area to Burningtown Gap – 8.8 miles.

This felt like a never-ending uphill! It also did not help that it was HOT!

These are some of the views on the way up.

These are pictures from Wayah Bald!

I really needed water, so I didn’t stay up on the bald for too long.

Burningtown Gap is supposedly haunted. Boss decided to let us know after we had already put up our tent for the night!

Burningtown Gap got its name from a massacre by fire of an entire settlement of freed slaves during the Reconstruction Era. Local folklore has it that for over 100 years people have reported hearing the sound of men, women, and children’s screaming on the mountain at night.

I did not hear anything, thank God!

Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!