Starting with 224.1 miles, 30,700 ft. ascent
NC-80 to Woodlawn Park on US 221
12.7 miles, 2,300 ft. ascent
I’ve had pain in my right hand for several days, now. You’d call it repetitive stress or carpal tunnel symdrome, probably from pounding my hiking stick for hours on Wednesday. I rested my hand a little but yesterday, I went on a strenuous 12.7 mile hike over Woods Mountain, which started the pain all over again.
It was a Carolina Mountain Club hike which attracted 12 strong hardy hikers. The hike was a tough uphill to Woods Mountain. On the ridge, we had views on both sides: Hawksbill and Table Mountain on the left and the Black Mountain range on the right. But most of the time, we were looking at our feet and huffing and puffing.
We walked in a green tunnel of rhododendrons and mountain laurels with a few yellow and purple violets and star chickweed popping up. The area was dry and didn’t attract the variety of flowers we had seen in the Balsams.
This section is past the CMC section and it was not as well maintained. Lots of blowdowns that we had to go through or around. At lunch, we took a half-mile side trip to a firetower site – the tower having been long removed.
Then after six miles, the trail went down, sometimes gently and sometimes steeply. The trail widened into a road and we finally crossed a stream at a campsite, where we saw other people for the first time. At the end near Woodlawn Park, there was a fitness station, as if we didn’t get enough exercise.
Cumulative after Day 19 236.8 miles, 33,000 ft. ascent