Day 2, Feb. 21 -Big Cedar Mountain- 34.68742, -83.99412

19 miles today. OK, I have one question to the people who make and maintain trails here, HAVE YOU PEOPLE EVER HEARD THE WORD “SWITCHBACKS”? I mean, really people. The trails here are just meant to torchure the hikers, I swear. It’s like they’re saying, “All right hikers, go hike straight up that hill/mountain, then do it again 20 times in the next 10 miles.” I’m talking about some serious PUDs (Pointless Ups and Downs).
I mean the day started, and ended, just fine. I left Stover Creek Shelter at about 9am due to a huge rain downpour that finally let off at about 8. The weather cleared up after that and it got a lot warmer. I had intended to try to make it all the way to Neels Gap today, 28 miles. Well that didn’t work out quite as well as I’d hoped. Had I been able to leave earlier I might have made it, and had I not taken a long lunch break. I’m about 8 miles shy of Neels now in my hammock on a ridge due to the light failing a little earlier than we thought it would (it’s only 6pm). I’d hoped to catch up to Alicat today because the trail registers she entered say she was about a day behind, which would have put her in Neels Gap today.

As to the switchbacks thing, well it’s just really annoying to be totally exhausted at the top of even a 200ft climb and to know you have a bunch more of them to do. I’ll live with it, and when I get into better shape, it probably won’t be that bad. I’m pleased with 20 miles. My legs are burning like crazy though. Thank God for arnica montana.

Well whatever, it’s HYOH right? I’ll just try to be on the trail at first light and make it to Neels before she and her partner leave. At my current 3mph pace, that shouldn’t be to hard, considering sunrise is supposed to be at about 5:30am. So I should get there at about 8:30.

That’s all for today, toodles.

Seth “Osprey” Schumacher

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