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Spring starting in some of the lower valleys

Spring starting in some of the lower valleys

Getting out early from Rock Gap Shelter, the weather cleared and warmed back up to pleasant spring temps. Some folks had stayed in the nearby Standing Indian campground -- I was meeting new faces daily.

J: Woke to blue skies this morning in the Rock Gap Hilton. Just Fox and me in the shelter as Espy, High-5-R, and Sam headed for Rainbow Springs. Rain came pouring down in an afternoon and evening of rough T-storms. Just kept coming.

Have my first serious blister on R heel. Should have seen it coming. First morning haven't woke to the deep beating of ruffed grouse mating call in NC. Some birds -- walked within 5 ft of one yesterday. Fox says a skunk tried to enter the shelter last night. I slept through that.

Wrote some postcards. The understory is beginning to bloom again - seems like once we find Spring, we move north or up to leave it. Yesterday's adventure consisted of hiking through the thunder, lightning and rain all day. Made Albert Mt. Coming up those rocks was like a spawning salmon - water running down and me going up. Wild. No view from the top. 12 miles. Today, heading for a camp rather than a shelter. It's 7:20 a.m., best get moving.