Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)
Entry #42 – May 5, 2003
7:45 PM – Didn’t make it to Elk Park today. We were very cozy @ the Roan Mtn Shelter and woke to rain in the morning. Stayed in our bags until about 9:00 – A very late morning! Everyone was pretty lazy. Hepcat was sick, though – I guess he was puking, etc. He’s not sure what it was from – maybe Erwin Burrito!
Finally got going around 10, and the weather actually didn’t seem too bad, especially for being up on Roan. Walked down, down, down in a light drizzle. After an hour or so we got to Carver Gap. Walked up onto the road, and suddenly the wind, fog, rain and sleet were pounding us! We thought about hitching a ride to town. Waited about 5 minutes, but no cars. So, we continued up the other side. Little did we know, we were headed into a couple of miles of balds. Definitely not a place to be in bad weather! The wind was whipping across so hard, we couldn’t see where we were going. I could hardly stay on the trail & was being blown all over. The fog was racing across the trail and the rain, wind, sleet & hail was biting through our jackets. We kept going up, up, up into white nothingness. I was really getting worried, wondering how long we’d be exposed, and praying that it didn’t start lightning. At one point Andy yelled something from behind. Our raincovers had flown from our packs but he caught them.
Luckily, we made it over the balds without major incident. A few miles later we made it here, to Overmountain Shelter. It’s an old red barn, made into a shelter. There is a covered area downstairs and the whole upstairs is a big loft with room for probably 30 people. There are at least 20 here now. A bunch of people stayed here from last night because of the weather. We got in around 1:00, wondered if we should go on, but everyone said the weather would be horrible. So we decided to stay. We should have gone on, though, I think. Now we are in a huge mob again, and we were hoping to get into the hotel in Elk Park. Radar showed up here and said he heard the hotel might be closed. I really hope it’s open and that we can get a room. The weather’s supposed to be bad again tomorrow, but I really hope the fierce stuff goes through tonight.
We are about out of food – just had 2 poptarts & 2 candy bars left for tomorrow. Kodiak & Sassy showed up late & had Little Debbies – Yippee! Then Sidewinder scrounged up some snacks from everyone for us – Thank you! We will make it to town in a flash, I hope.