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Roan Mountain owned us

2011 April 17

The last three days we spent getting to and coming over Roan Mountain. We needed to up our miles, so Liz and I agreed to shoot for 17+ miles from Erwin to Roan Mountain, TN.

The first day out it rained. The first shelter we came to had friends and a FIRE. A big fire. It was 1pm, and we started at 11am. We had walked 6 miles and called it a day.

We successfully walked 17.8 the second day out, and planned 19 for the third day, INCLUDING walking over Roan Mountain. That was a terrible idea. Roan was a long day and a horrible hike. Bad switchbacks, steep ascents and rocky terrain killed us — especially following the long day before.

While we still made 17 miles, we did NOT hit our goal. But I think I’m ok with that. :) We just stretched the next day out and hiked into Mountain Harbour Hostel. GOOD CHOICE. We made the hike with the food we had in our packs and had a place to sleep that was warm and dry.

The 11 miles that stood between us and the hostel looked simple enough. We figured it would be a cakewalk half day and we’d be golden. The day started out windy and cold so we bundled up and decided to eat breakfast on the trail. Once we hit the two climbs of the day, we knew we were in for a doozie!

Little Hump and Hump Mountain were WINDY like you wouldn’t believe! Gale force winds that most people were estimating to be 70 mph with gusts up to 100mph, judging by our experience with open car windows and speed boats. 😉 With our packs acting like sails, we pushed hard for 90 minutes thru the crazy weather almost non-stop. We couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front of us and couldn’t talk either. It literally pulled snot out of my nose and whipped it across my face. No joke, I watched a bird fly backwards.

Just after the mountain when the wind died down we stopped to take stock. We had all our gear still but everything needed to be re-tightened. I (John) noticed I couldn’t feel or control my feet or hands! We sat, ate some food to get my blood sugar back up, and bummed some water from some section hikers in case I was dehydrated. Liz took very good care of me, even feeding me a Reese Egg since I couldn’t work my fingers. After about 20 minutes of rest I was feeling much better and we moved on. Crisis averted! Note to self: make sure you take time to eat and drink water. More importantly, take time to TREAT water, even if you’re in a hurry.

Mountain Harbour was awesome! But that’s another post. Until then, happy hiking!

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Mom and pop hass permalink
    April 18, 2011

    North Carolina had 80+ tornadoes! You must have been hiking during that! Glad you are both ok. TRUDGE ON!!!

  2. Mom and pop hass permalink
    April 18, 2011

    Hey, we’ve been thinking about you and praying for safety and protection.
    Take care of each other and keep praying as you walk along! We love you!
    MOM

  3. Liz Tobey permalink
    April 21, 2011

    Hi, Liz Just wanted to say hi to you guys and check on your adventure. Sounds like a heck of a jaunt over Roan Mtn, Mother Nature always wins!! Sounds like you are having a fabulous time, keep up the good work. St Johns chemo nurses look forward to hearing about the trip!!

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