Babymoon, Day 4: On Tuesday we had more great hiking weather, although I sure wish it had lasted! Before we left the whole week said it would be in the high 60's and low 70's, but after it rained, the temperature kept getting lower. One day in the 40's and one day in the 50's. However this day was lovely. We parked in front of the Byron Reese Trail, which is an approach trail to get to the Appalachian Trail, which we followed up to Blood Mountain. We hiked from 10:30-2pm, but we laughed at our disappointment of the route only being about 2 1/2 miles since it felt like a lot further, at least on the way up.
This was where we came in, on the left by the sign and went North up the trail "behind the picture". The trail shown here would be heading South towards Neel Gap.
I laughed when I saw this picture and told Michael it looks like I have a beer belly! I kept wondering if people thought I was pregnant. I thought it was more obvious since my shirt was tight and my bump is getting pretty big now. One man who passed us on one of my breaks did make the observation, "Hiking for two?" Which I happily answered, "Yes!"
Me being excited that Emma and I made it all the way to the top! We soon discovered, as we saw people coming from the North looking as if they were coming down another part of the mountain, that this was only the "first top". There were three tops, the third finally being where the shelter was.
About ten minutes later we made it to the shelter. I saw two guys who looked like they were on the roof! But after walking around the corner there was just another huge cliff to the right of the shelter that they were standing on. Michael helped me up that too and there were about ten people sitting there. One guy said he was going to hike the whole thing and started on April 1st when most people start. That gives them seven months to hike the 2,190 miles before Mount Katahdin closes for the winter in Maine on October 1st. From the videos Michael has seen and things he has read, about 6 months is the average amount of time it takes. I whispered to Michael that if anyone asked, we should say we are hiking the whole thing too, but we're really roughing it and living off the land and all we brought was my fanny pack and one water bottle! Nobody asked. We sat in the sun for about five minutes until Michael said he was feeling crispy. He was very burnt by the time we got back.
Some of the "rock stairs" that we used to get up and down, and Michael standing next to the Byron Reese Trail sign, reminding us that it was 7/10 of a mile to get back to the car.
On the way back I made the comment of, "I'm
going to soak my piggies when I get back, are you?" Michael answered, "No, but I'm going
to soak my face in some chicken pot pie!" He seemed to like that I
laughed really loud at that comment and he gave me a big hug. This day he often said that he
was proud of me for making it the whole way, and kept helping me climb on the big rocks, and around all the muddy
areas (since it had rained the day before). I told him that since we had a goal, which was to reach the top, I knew we would keep going until we got there. However, we kept finding out that there were higher tops than the first top we reached, so we kept going until we reached the Blood Mountain shelter since Michael really wanted to see that.
At home we ate lunch and took a nap together with Sasha at 3pm. We went to Ingles again for a few more groceries and sunscreen,
then ate dinner out on the patio. Michael tried to make a gate out of the green chairs for Sasha so she could be "naked" outside (without her collar or leash), but she still found a way to sneak through. However she was still really good as usual about coming back to "the safe zone" each time we called for her or said "Nooo" if she went too far.
We both talked to Michael's mom on the land line phone, then I watched the second
half of "the Martian" while Michael kept sewing the knee pads into the Star Wars pants. Our total steps for the day reached 13,895 at 5.1 miles. It also said we had climbed 65 floors! Michael thinks we had climbed way higher than 650 feet, and according
to his AT 2015 guidebook Blood Mountain's elevation is 4,458. But we don't know what the elevation was when we started. Maybe close to Neel Gap and the plaque there says 3,108 feet. So I say we hiked at least 135 floors?
Another small success achieved by Michael this night was that he found the paddle fan
switch in the master bedroom. The first few nights we just turned the air down, but he eventually found it in a random spot- behind my bedside table!! I also made a note to blog about how Emma was moving a lot this night. Today I read on my 27 week app that I will start to feel her moving more because since she is getting bigger, my uterus now has less amniotic fluid in it. I don't mind and I can often be found with my hand on my stomach to soak up all the kicks and rolls. When she kicks twice in a row I take that as her saying, "Love you!"