Wednesday–May 12, 2021
Location–Carver’s Gap, then to the VRBO near Hampton, AT Mile 380.5
Another night lounging in the lap of luxury at the VRBO provided by Maggie. I slept ever so soundly in my own private room w/bath. “Spoiled” does not describe the care I’ve been receiving! Clean clothes (and body), full tummy, comfortable warm bed. It all seems too good to be true; but I’m living it!
We’re greeted at dawn with rain, again; steady and cold. Time to give this day more time. Easy enough! Maggie finally calls me to breakfast a little before eight. A look at the radar, not good. A consolidated, massive storm is slowly moving through, regenerating and passing ever-so-slowly east. Decision is to give it till noon before heading back on trail at Hughes Gap Road.
12:30, Maggie has us (Janet and I), bundled in our foul weather gear and back on trail. We later find that delaying our departure today–right decision! The road to Cloudlands has been closed due to snow.
We’ve a difficult, steady climb up to the old Cloudlands Hotel site at 6,000 feet. The rain continues the entire time, and it’s turned bitter cold. Cloudlands? Appropriately named. We’re totally engulfed in the cloud shroud. The old ruins are gone now, nothing to see. The Catawba Rhododendron (the beautiful red flowering plant for which Roan is famous) are nowhere near their blooming stage. The mountain is forbiddingly dark and cold. We pause briefly for a photo of the sign that describes the place (half ripped out of the ground), and we move on.
Near the side trail to Roan Mountain shelter were greeted by Maggie, who has hiked up from Carver’s Gap to greet us. No time is wasted descending.
Evening, back at the VRBO, I take a hot shower and put on some dry clothes before Maggie loads me and we head for Texas Roadhouse in Johnson City for their fine steak dinner.
An okay day. That’s about it…
There are no bad days on the trail,
Some just better than others.