Not much to report except that cell phone service is bad so updates will be most likely irregular.
Jeb camped with his father at Mollies Ridge Shelter at mile 177 on day 13.
Day 14, his father went back to Fontana Dam while Jeb went onward for a 17.7 mile day. He is currently at Silers Bald Shelter at mile 194. Almost to 200 miles! Today he was walking through old snow drifts and melting snow causing a river on the trail. It also rained all day.
Tomorrow, I will be shipping another resupply box to Hot Springs, NC since the AT literally passes by the post office. He should get there by the end of the week.
Jeb had a 18.3 mile day and is stopping at Wayah Shelter for the night. He should reach the NOC in Bryson City tomorrow.
My update from the home front is that the powdered butter, milk, and cheese came in the mail. Eating “Pasta Sides” without butter is kind of a crime, so luckily I found these Hoosier Hill Farm products on Amazon.com. They all had almost perfect reviews. Hoping this helps his meals become a bit more bearable. If you are interested in the food he carries with him, check out the food page.
Also, his cards came in. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.
For those who have had to climb this beast, myself included, you know this isn’t an easy task. Add ice/sleet/snow to the mix and you have a particularly hard day ahead of you. Jeb was able to make it from Standing Indian Shelter to Long Branch Shelter for a total of 16.2 miles today. He’s currently at mile 102.5 of the AT.
From Betty Creek Gap at 4,300 ft elevation to Albert Mountain at 5,250 ft elevation is a little over 3.4 miles. However, that last little 0.3 mile push is where you get over 460 ft elevation gain (1.5x the length of a football field roughly). Anyway, it’s pretty much rock climbing at this point.
When you get to the top, it’s worth it. This is a picture I took at the top of Albert Mountain in August 2012. Maybe he will send me a snow covered picture soon.
After a hot (and rather large) breakfast at Shoney’s in Franklin, NC, we headed back to Dick’s Creek Gap (mile 69.6 from Springer). The temperature was around 23 degrees when we dropped him off. He was all smiles with his full stomach and extra cold gear.
Around 2:00 pm he sent these two photos of the still snow covered mountains with more snow on the way possibly tonight and tomorrow.
He reported the temperature was in the teens above 4,000 feet. He passed Muscrat Creek Shelter and was pushing ahead to make it to Standing Indian Shelter (86.3 mi from Springer) by the end of the day to make a decent 16.7 mile day.
Hopefully, the worst of this upcoming weather will miss him. He’s right in the western corner of NC, slightly north of GA.
The weather improved enough for Jeb to make a little better mileage – 15.4 for the day. He is currently at mile 58.6 sitting at Tray Mountain Shelter. Hoping the weather holds out for him a few more days until I see him Saturday.
However, this is what the weather is supposed to look like come Monday..
“It’s ******* cold. I would’ve died without that liner last night but I was still cold. Started at 5:15 am and the snow has been knee high off and on all day. Super windy. I’ve made it 12 miles so far, but sitting at Low Gap Shelter trying to warm up and eat lunch…”
Low Gap Location: 34°46’36.7″N 83°49’29.5″W
“I got my sleeping pad and bag pulled out. My socks are all wet and all frozen. I’m trying to dry a pair now that’s wrapped around my waist as I lay here. I legit thought I was gunna get frost bite on my feet and hands. If this weather is supposed to continue I need to stay here for the night to dry my stuff as best as I can and then make a 2 day 26 mile push to Dicks creek gap…. it’s so cold up here that I’m having trouble generating enough heat while trying not to get frost bite”