Waking up to a frigid morning at camp, I managed to make a little coffee and ate a cold breakfast of peanut butter on a cinnamon raisin bagel and a Snickers bar; actually quite delicious.
Another climb out of Bly Gap and this one was a “huffer” of an ascent. After passing an old and twisted tree on the ridge line, it was uphill, of course, and a slog up to Couthouse Bald. Another steep climb from Sassafras Gap to a frozen Muskrat Creek Shelter, where I stopped for a Babybel and peanut butter break – I also scribed my trail name into the shelter.
Between me and Carter Gap — my next camp site — was the towering Standing Indian Mountain, a daunting 5,498′. I had been feeling good all morning and pushed hard up to the summit. Stopping only once to write my trail name in the snow, I found my rhythm and hit the summit. There was a blue blazed trail off the AT to the summit and vista point which was well worth walking through the six inches of snow. The view was stunning.
Strolling into Carter Gap around 5:00pm, I cooked up some chili mac with beef and pitched my hammock. The sky thick with snow, I hung my shelter with frigid fingers and hit the sack around 7:30pm.
It was a pretty rough day hiking for 9 hours, yet being able to call my honey before closing my eyes made it a great end to a very physical day. I miss home.