Lynn Camp Creek (2,373 feet) mile 561.5 to Jenkins Shelter (2,246 feet) mile 580.5 for a 19 mile day! We ascended 4,554 feet and descended 4,480 feet!
A new longest day with a full pack for me today! The day started with a 700 foot climb out of camp, that climbed was followed by a downhill that rolled right back into another climb, this time, 2,135 feet!! Here is the great thing about this one though, this wasn’t a pointless up and down, it lead to the Chestnut Knob Shelter (4,407 feet), what’s special about this shelter besides that elevation? Well, for starters, it is an enclosed shelter with four walls and a door. This shelter actually used to be a fire wardens cabin. The fire tower has been torn down but the cabin was converted to a shelter with 8 spaces for sleeping.
But, the most impressive thing about this shelter, is its view. See this shelter over looks an area called Burke’s Garden, which sits inside of a fascinating geological formation. It’s inside of a limestone sinkhole! This is not just any sinkhole though, it is and 8 mile by 4 mile crater. At first glance, I thought it was at one time a volcano. I have no phone service but want to check this fact at some point.
We sat here for lunch just enjoying the view… until the rain started pelting me in the back. We didn’t run for the shelter though, nope, we started hiking! From this point, we started a 12 mile dry run, meaning there is no water sources available for 12 miles.! I also noticed, because the trail is on the backside of the “crater” for a 8 miles around, there are no campsites for about 10 miles, the mountain is too steep on both sides to put up a tent. A ton of good hammock places though, but no water!
The only water that was available today was coming from the sky! It rained so hard and the wind blew so hard, it was a real toad strangler!! I later saw a frog hopping for its life, it was raining hard!
As we marched closer to our shelter for the night, needed a dry place to eat, I saw a sign I have not seen before. Well, I have seen a similar sign but not with these words.
hang gliders??? I guess the sign is there for a reason, someone must have gotten caught hang gliding!