[IG Bookmark Post] Northbound from Hotsprings, NC with LOTS of snow. March 4, 2017.

The weather was freezing and the mountains were snowy. The rhododendrons were bowed down with snow in many places, making the trail tight and cramped.

I was alone for much of this northbound start, and hiked by myself quite a bit without seeing anyone else. It is was crazy to be so alone in the snow. In the Instagram videos you can really hear how much I missed the company of other people. 

This is a very neat section. I had to be very okay mentally and skill-wise to be comfortable out there on my own, and I ran into some very brutal conditions. More so than ever before on the trail I think I proved to myself what I am capable of.

Being alone all the time is part of what got me started taking more videos and talking more to the camera. It was a great comfort that I could talk to people now, even though they wouldn't hear it until later. 

The weather turned on April 9th. I remember very clearly that was one of the last days that I saw any snow on the ground. We had a beautiful weather window for the Roan Highlands and got to see lots of ponies before hitch-hiking back to town to avoid tornado weather. 

From Damascus, VA north through much of Virginia I absolutely loved the landscape. My favorite parts of the trail have often been the rare, wide-open spaces of rolling farmland and exposed ridge-lines.


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