It started out a very sunny and happy morning. Birds were singing and the green forest was glistening. The spider webs were also glistening... every 15 feet in the middle of the trail... at least I could see them. I packed up my tent and off I went whacking the webs with my spider stick. The farmer's field was beautiful with the morning mist and mountains in the background. After hiking on a single track dirt trail for a few miles, the Trace turned onto a beautiful grassy forest service road. I hiked across interstate 64 and onto a gravel forest service road. I was honestly glad to see the gravel because I was tired of hiking in grass and getting my feet so wet. The wildflowers were abundant on this part of the trail. I loved seeing the swallow tail butterflies flutter from flower to flower. This part of the trail was my favorite over the two days I've spent on the Trace so far. I plodded along and stopped on the side of the road around 11am to let my shoes dry out a bit and I ate some lunch. I saw some more turtles on the gravel road. The trail continued to go through the forest and back on gravel road and back into the forest and back on the gravel road. I didn't like going back into the forest because of the spider webs. But I'm glad I did because I saw a timber rattlesnake. I almost stepped on it. It was halfway on the trail and I believe its tail was buried in the leaves. Its head was distinctly in the shape of an arrow, so I'm sure of its species. As I made my way to the ridge tops that overlook Morehead around 1pm, I finally got a good vista..... unfortunately I could see the dark storm clouds coming my way. The trail continued on a single track and had some cool rock features. I hiked past the Eagle Lake and started to feel a bit sick. I must not have had enough water. I stopped at the university and had a seat outside. The rain and thunder came on quite all of a sudden. With one mile to go on the road back to my car, I decided I had had enough. I called Paula, the trail angel shuttle driver, and asked her if she had time to come drive me back to my car. As soon as I texted her, she was on her way. 15 minutes later, I was back at my car in Morehead. I headed over to Arby's to get some nourishment and felt better fairly quickly.
Even though I skipped out on the last 1 mile, I still made a huge accomplishment. I am surprised I did not get discouraged or frustrated at all the thunderstorms. I really am hoping all my future sections will have better weather than this one!
Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail
This trail is 333 miles long running from Morehead, KY to Oneida, TN. These blogs are about my experiences backpacking this trail. I've hiked every section at least once and was a class of 2019 Hiker Challenge participant.