Day #14

Siler Bald Shelter –> Wesser Bald Shelter

17.4 miles

131.4 Total AT miles

I’m standing on the rickety platform of the the Wesser Bald observation tower 4,627 feet above the sea. The western sky is ablaze in the light of the sun slowly slipping below a mountain range of purple, blue, and green. The full moon fills the eastern sky rising through a rainbow haze of reflected light. Mr. Kool-Aid stands in front of me tears streaming from his eyes. I extend a hand for a shake. He pulls me in for a hug.

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People always ask us why. Why would we do something so seemingly crazy? For moments like these. Moments of ecstasy and euphoria that break through all barriers. The climbing and physical challenges strip us bare leaving raw our emotions for moments like these.

After the sun is sufficiently set to satisfy our senses, we descend the tower and walk the mile to camp in the light of the moon. We arrive, tired and hungry, to the shelter where our friends await. We sleep inside, my second time on the trail. It seemed clean and little used. Not like some of the shelters our here.

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A cold morning at the Siler Bald Shelter.
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Hoar frost on the trail.
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Canuck hiking along the semi-frozen trail. It was only bad in places, ice.
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Trail magic ahead?!!

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Trail Magic! Manderins, bananas, all kinds of pastries, cakes, and cookies, a cooler with drinks. Thanks!
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Wayah Bald stone tower.
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And the view from atop the tower.
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Hello shadow!

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Mr. Kool-Aid had a branch pierce his leg when he was a kid. This is the scar. Wicked.
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Obstacles on the trail.
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Filling a sawyer squeeze bladder from a rhododendron leaf in the stream.

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Cold Spring Shelter.
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Mr. Kool-Aid stretching. Important stuff out here.
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Inside of the shelter where the trail register is kept.
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A view on the climb.
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Mr. Kool-Aid made the mistake of sitting down. Now he has to get up! Good luck buddy.
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Powerlines running down the mountain.
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Cool Dad and Canuck were here! The summit was too cold (we planned to camp here) so they pressed on to the shelter.
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The view from atop the Wesser Bald Observation tower at sunset.
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Mr. Kool-Aid and I took our time on the climbs timing our arrival for the sunset.
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The sun setting in the west. The full moon rising in the east. What a scene.
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Mr. Kool-Aid was brought to tears. It was that beautiful.
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The full moon over the landscape.
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Me atop the tower with the full moon. Thanks for the photo Mr. Kool-Aid.
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Mr. Kool-Aid white-knuckling it down the rickety stairs.
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You are beautiful! A sticker on a leg of the tower.
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Cool Dad filter water at the Wesser Bald Shelter
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Don’t you Quit!

 

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