18 May 2010
Yin: Remember how I said yesterday that those maps are horribly off? Well, we were let down by them yet again today. We figured we had a pretty easy day ahead of us today at around 8 to 10 miles. Definitely not the case! Yang and I know that we have a consistent three to four mph pace. Given that we left Molly's Ridge at eight and didn't arrive here at Derrick's Knob until 1:30 PM (no lunch break). It is safe to evaluate we did anywhere from 18 to 24 miles today when our map read at 8 to 10. From here on out, we are not using the map. It is more trouble than the amount it weighs. About halfway through the day today, Yang and I had immense delirium and were suffering from heat exhaustion. I about fell down a mountainside when thought I saw a cluster of white tree mushrooms attack me. The only upside to today was the awesome view of the entire Smoky Mountains from Thunderhead. We got a bunch of nice photos all in all. We just finished supper and I am about to crawl into my sleeping bag early today because I am expecting another day of absolute uphill hell. And I thought yesterday was bad!
Yang: Feeling much better now that earlier today! We broke camp at Molly's Ridge today at around eight. Before we left, I noticed that the bear was still walking around the site, checking us out. Anyway, we figured on an eight or so mile day. All was going well when we passed Russell's Field (yay, 3.2 miles down!). There were some horse campers there that were just leaving as we were passing by. The sign there said it was another three or so miles till Spence Field. It was a lot of up, but we knew that by the time we got to Spence Field, we were over halfway to our shelter, right? Wrong! After several more miles, we decided to check our map. I'll spare the rest of the details, but the point is that the map is all kinds of wrong! It felt to me that we did around twenty miles today. We were both in pretty bad shape by the time we made it to Derrick's Knob. Somewhere between Thunderhead and Rocky Top, we had both fallen. When I fell, I twisted my leg on a rock (no real damage) and another rock sliced my left ring finger pretty badly. Like I said before, we're feeling much better now after eating a decent supper. So now for the good parts of the day. After Spence Field shelter and most of the way to Thunderhead, there are some fantastic views. Mountain range as far as you can see. We took some pictures here. We also got a couple pictures of a pretty big tom turkey in one of the fields. Earlier today, here at the shelter, there was a decent sized doe across the grass. I was too slow to get a picture though. The map says seven miles tomorrow, so we're counting on fourteen.