Monday, December 27, 2010

Chipmunk Canyon to Lower Shoal Shelter

Colleagues on the trail

16.4 miles

Today we hiked sixteen miles in snow, all day. By the end of the day I could feel the crinkly part of my feet rubbing against my shoes, where the water had worn ridges into my skin. The hike was beatiful, the light casting dark shadows on the snow. I never expected to be hiking through snow drifts in Alabama.

We met some fishermen who said it’s the first white Christmas Alabama’s had since 1880. So maybe Santa did bring us an extraordinary present after all. The fishermen also said it’s going to be sixty degrees in the next few days. One can only hope.

Tonight it’s supposed to get down to sixteen, according to the friendly mathemetician we’re sharing the shelter with tonight. He’s the first overnight backpacker I’ve encountered since I left Chattanooga. Someone else who enjoys being outdoors in the cold. A hard fate for someone who claims Alabama as home.

I also walked past a church built in the 1800s today, with graves marked in weathered snow-covered stone. They still stage sacred heart singing there every Sunday. What that is, I don’t know. So. Another day walking in the cold. Sixteen miles. My longest day so far.

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