Apple Orchard Falls November 07, 2015

•        Woke up to an unmotivated rainy morning.  Didn’t get out of camp till 6:30 ish.  Since it was raining, I figured I would just hike in my briefs all day.  It wasn’t very warm, which kept me moving to make miles.  With it getting dark at 5:30 pm didn’t give me a lot of time to hit 30 miles in 11 hours.  Tons of foggy views, so my pitstops weren’t long.  The fog in the trees and the mountains gave the day a real nice twist.  About half thru the day, I dropped down to the valley to cross a massive river.  The footbridge going over the river was pretty cool.  Not only because it’s the longest footbridge on trail, but the interesting history behind it.  The bridge was named after James Foot.  He had a huge push for agencies to sponsor the footbridge and other areas nearby.  Not long after, I came upon Matts Creek Shelter.   Nice lil spot tucked away.  I met up with Jellyman again.  The last time I saw him was in Connecticut.  He was hiking with Huckleberry.  When I saw Jellyman last it was pouring out, so I suggested us hiking together is BAD luck. Came across Thunder Hill Shelter.  (Mile 25 for the day) Stopped in to chat with the crew and get water.  It was getting late and cold, I knew I had to push for Cornelius Shelter.  Grabbed some aqua and ran back to the trail.  I made good time till I came across a Nobo Section Hiker.  I saw him walk up to the junction, so I figured he was on the trail.  Unfortunately I was WRONG ! ! !  I went 2 miles straight down the mountain.  I clearly told the guy I’m going to Georgia.  I don’t how why he didn’t say “DUDE, that’s not the AT.”  Any who, as I look back it was my fault for checking the sign at the junction.  So I’m frustrated, lost, and my phone is dead.  My headlamp battery is almost dead.   I could only use my red light, which was very weak.  I kept dropping and walking down wooden steps.  I could hear massive waterfalls right next to me but couldn’t see them.  Eventually, I came to a Bay Road.  I was thinking I might have a chance to hitch back to the top.  That was not so, I didn’t see any cars go by.  After 1.7 miles, I made it back to the junction where it said, “Apple Orchard Falls Trail.”  Walked a couple hundred feet farther to find some level ground to cowboy camp.  I was totally beat to do anything else for the night.  Ended the frustrating night falling asleep to the stars with sub-freezing temperatures.

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