Blue Ridge Passage #28 Part 3 Sept 12′

This is my third shot at AZT Passage #28, I started out around 0900 from the Southern end of Passage #28 where the trail intersects with FR300, My plan was to hike all the way to the gate just south of the Blue ridge reservoir to finish up the passage.
That just didn’t happen, and most things never go as planned.
Starting off was great (Laugh out Loud) as I over-shot the trail that runs by General Springs cabin and had to retrace my steps.  Stopping by and taking pictures of this cabin was fun, I even took what I consider to be awesome mono-color photos with my android phone.

Just North of General Springs cabin.

Ok so the mono-color was completely by mistake, either my 32GB micro drive was on it’s last legs or my very old Android phone killed it, I think it was the former and I lost a ton of photos to include the cabin.

I quickly switched back to color mode.

Soon into the hike I suddenly realized that this is a wonderful hike, tons of shade this early in the morning and I was feeling great, it was very refreshing to see pools and puddles and smallish trickles and streams, I am guessing from all the rains the passage has been receiving.

water, precious water.

On my last two hikes of this Passage I saw trash that I picked up and carried out, this hike wasn’t different.

Yep, It’s a golf ball!! A freeking golf ball.

I was totally stunned when I saw this golf ball, I stood there really to pick it up and carry it out but instead took note of where it was perched, did it drop out of the sky and bounce onto this stone ummm I don’t think so, with it being a holiday weekend I am hoping someone (some idiot) left it there as a joke.

2nd Breakfast! Yep McD’s Bacon, Egg, Cheese biscuit.

Enjoyed 2nd Breakfast in the shade.

I caught myself stopping very frequently to stop listen and look around especially before entering a clearing and thought to myself why am I doing this, (do other hikers do this)?  It must be a hunters habit.  Yes I do consider myself a predator, certainly not prey, but maybe as a novice hiker I should modify my behavior, it would be great to see some critters but then again I don’t want to startle a bear.  So I decided that I would let out a little deep “woof” every so often as I walk.
I just couldn’t get over how this hike was different for the previous hikes, smooth paths that were moist and quieted my foot falls, even the occasional sandy spots were moist and lacked the crunchy noise i am so used to.
Blue sky and Green trees! 

Thinking back with a little amusement at seeing a family on the other bank of this stream that I have been walking along, when I first came upon them I spotted a blue poncho draped over a tree and thought gosh look how that stands out against the green.  It looked like they had been hit with rain and were drying everything out.  lmbo just as I was about to give a cheery greeting I noticed the mom pick up a bow and reach for an arrow then look my way, I just keep going.

Shorty after that I was passed by a couple walking fast with just Nalgenes (I guessed headed to a spring for fresh water) They must have been the Blue REI dome I saw along the way.

Lunch snack at the Hearth

These flat stacked stones and my Gossamer Gear sit pad made this break nice.

I got to remember these for the next trip.

I have got to say LUNA makes some really tasty snacks and at my age I sure can use the fiber so I took this photo as a reminder to get more.

A few people have asked why I hike in ACU’s (Army Combat Uniform).  I have decided I just don’t care for the feel of synthetic hiking pants, I have a pair but don’t wear them.  Plus ACU’s have a ton of pockets and I think the pockets for knee pad inserts might workout (kneeling to setup my tarp hurts my knees), I am looking for the right thickness of closed cell foam.
I like the trail markers up high like this.

The trail to a point had mostly been level with a few small up’s and down’s and some twisty’s mixed in but I remembered from looking at the profile image that I was going to have a steep climb.

At about mile 3.25 I started to climb (I think it had about 5 or 6 switch backs).
About half way up I ran into mister croaky and had to take his picture for Megan, this little guy was quick but I caught him, but he wouldn’t sit still for a photo!
peek-a-boo I see you!

This photo doesn’t give the proper coloring of this amphibian. 

Note this was the last photo that I took.  Soon after reaching the top of this climb I started feeling very nauseous, dizzy and had a nasty headache, I felt like I was going to fall over.

I took note that I had sweat out a lot, so much that my shirt sleeves were white & crusty from the sweat drying. So I mixed up some Gatorade took a sit and drank it all.
This trip I started out with 2 Evernew 1.5L soft bottles at this point after seeing all the water along the way I felt comfortable that I would be able to filter water along the way but I only had a half liter left.
with only about 2 hrs of daylight remaining (I wasted 2 hrs trying to feel better) I found a puddle in the middle of a forest road and filtered 1.5L with my Sawyer squeeze filter drank all of this, waited and still didn’t feel better, so after all this time not feeling well I decided to hike out to FR123 that was 3/4 mile to the West and hope to hitch a ride back to my truck and seek medical attention. I filter another 1.5L encase that ride didn’t happen along and got stuck for the night.
I got lucky, a nice couple stopped after I waved them down (they were headed North) and I needed to go South, once they heard my troubles they took me out of their way, back to my truck.
Once I got to my truck I slammed a 32oz gatorade and headed back to the blacktop and then home, as soon as I reached Payson I was hungry and feeling better.
What happened?  Exhaustion?  Not the right mix of fuel and electrolytes? 
was it secretions from the little toad?
Dunno….. I am going to finish this passage. I think next weekend.
Start and End for this trip.


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