It was a rather cold morning for a hike today. Actually a walk in the cold is not bad (unless the north wind blows in your face and makes your nostrils stick together), but stopping can be really uncomfortable. As long as I am dressed properly, my body generates plenty of warmth while I’m moving. In fact, most of the time I am sweating down my back because of the heat that’s caught by the backpack. But once I stop, take off my pack, and grab something to eat, the cold air begins to do a number on my perspiration. The reality of the outside temperature and the wind chill begins to communicate with the central nervous system sending unkind and frosty messages to my brain.
With the prediction of cold temperatures and even snow on Tuesday, I am glad that I am not hiking the Appalachian Trail today. Springer Mountain and Blood Mountain, GA (mile 30) both predicted lows of 30, 18, 28 degrees during the next three nights. I will gladly wait another 33 days before beginning my trek.
I checked just a few spots along the early part of the trail: I am rather amazed at how similar the temperature are across the board and how close they are to Ohio’s predictions : Springboro – 27, 16, 30 degrees for the next three nights.
Franklin, NC (mile 110) – temperatures on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – 36, 18, 25 degrees
Hot Springs, NC (273 miles from Springer) – temperatures on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – 30, 21, 28 degrees
Erwin, TN (mile 345) – temperatures on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – 32, 19, 27 degrees
Damascus VA (470 miles from the southern terminus) – temperatures on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – 27, 12, 19 degrees.
The lows for the next three nights at Harpers Ferry (mile marker 1,016 – the traditional half-way point), WV look like 23, 21, and 19 degrees.
But take courage – this afternoon on Mount Washington the temperature was -7.2°F, the wind was blowing at 54 mph taking the wind chill to -42.2°F. And Mount Katahdin, ME will drop to 3, 16, & 16 degrees the next three days with white stuff on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
There are lots of thru-hikers on the trail today. Please remember them as you crawl under your warm blankets this week. If it snows on Tuesday say a prayer for the brave adventurers called thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. If you want a couple of names to remember, Sarah (trail name “Ent”) – she started on March 16th and is really struggling to continue. Ent is from new England and I “met” Sarah on her blog – thruhikeat2014.wordpress.com – I really hope she can make it; and Steve from Kentucky (trail name HifiGuy) – I am not sure when he leaves but it’s one day this week. Steve is a friend of my son who lives in GA.