Day started with some fun and unusual path markings.
Climbed Albert Mountain and got past the 100 mile mark. It was a fair bit of climb. Towards the top it became pure granite climbing. One neat time was where there were no footholds I could reach and I couldn’t get the oomph up with the help of my trekking poles to reach higher.
Luckily there was a perfectly sized tree for me right next to the side of the rock wall. I took both trekking poles into my right hand and set their tips into a spot that would help steady me if I made my right foot get a good grip up above.
Then I partially wrapped my left arm around the back of the tree and used it to swing my body up and throw out my right foot to the spot I was aiming for.
While using the tree for propulsion in this I had to let go for a scary split second to let go at the right time and throw my left hand and shoulder out and around the trunk to against its front to keep me from falling backward. I made it, my left hand a little behind me grabbing the bark and the back of my shoulder pressing precariously as the only thing keeping me from falling backward entirely.
My right foot had grip so I shoved forward from the tree with my hand and shoulder while using the trekking poles put into a tiny crevice to hopefully help balance me, pushing hard enough and leaning way forward again to help gain momentum so I could get my body up enough to put my left foot – which had been off the ground since swinging upward – to find a place to put it down and hold me a little.
Doing all that allowed my right foot grip to be placed and my body thrown upwards enough that I could get the four feet vertical it took to shakingly make it to a spot where my two feet could hold onto the rock’s surface for the next couple steps it took to get to a less steep portion of the climb and footholds available.
Mind you, this all took about 5 seconds with a half-second moment of “I’mgonnafall!” when I was in that transition of body placement on the tree trunk. It just sounds longer to break down into description.
One of those moments of internal “that was so bad-ass, fuck yeah me” once the safe part has been reached a few feet ago lol.
Pics of some of the granite climb shared here, but they really don’t do it justice, imo.
Here you can get the best view of the fire tower on the top of the mountain I was going to.
Got to the top of the mountain and climbed the fire tower after a little rest. Took both video and pics.
And the sign marking the location:
There was a log book in one of the gaps and I signed it, name and date… And found out by checking for the log date that it was April 17th and my birthday was tomorrow. I decided I’d take a zero and do nothing but enjoy myself however I felt like that day.
After that I finished the next 6 miles to Rock Gap where another hiker sitting there and I realized that it was Sunday so the routine shuttle to Franklin wouldn’t be coming.
I kept calling other private shuttle drivers while we agreed to hitchhike.
A large pickup truck, the type with both front and back sears inside, came around the road corner heading our way and I stood up high on a dirt mound and waved out my right hand a bunch.
The two guys hadn’t planned to go all the way into Franklin, just to the edge to get gas on their way. We expressed we were trying to get into Franklin and where. It wasn’t far from the gas station so they were nice and drove us to the Budget Inn there where she was staying and I was staying across the street in the Penny Pincher hostel.
Turned out I’d pushed too hard trying to make the routine shuttle thst didn’t exist that day and ended up with my recovering ankle swollen and bruised some. Mumph.
As it was Sunday almost everything was closed we at the hostel found out – to include the nearby outfitter I’d had my bounce box shipped to that had my town clothing in it. So I had no clean clothes to change into.
The hostel had a daily 4pm shuttle that took folks to an outfitter and Walmart. I took it and grasped some stuff from both.
Later that evening the owner or buddy of owner (was unclear the whole time) tried making a rough map of the upcoming terrain as there was a bald that had excellent views.