(Daily Mi: 14.4) Met up with Chris today just south of Standing Indian. Was stressful figuring out our rendezvous -- when and exactly where he would meet me. Also been a little sad that the timing might mean not seeing Brother and Laura (and/or Brown Trout, Flutterby or Poppa Husker) again before I summit. But since we locked it in, I have been looking forward to the change of pace.
Started as a crisp but clear day. Lots of snow, ice and hoarfrost first thing at altitude (dropped to at least 14° F last night), but outright warm in direct sunlight.
Prettiest spot of the day was on the semi-open -- and half-thawed -- summit of Standing Indian (last 5000+ ft hill south). Chris had wanted to meet and camp here. Probably an awesome spot in May or June.
And, it is warm in the early afternoon sun. But an open summit at 5000' is not the place to spend the night in late November when you are packing a tarp. So, having nixed that, I meet him another two miles (and a 1000 feet) down the hill.
He is at the shelter when I get in (he has hiked two days north from the Hiawassee roadhead). He has too much food, a circumstance I quickly reverse inhaling fruit snacks and trail mix like the small, desperate woodland creature I have become.
Says he saw Brother & Laura, and Brown Trout & Flutterby as he hiked north on successive days.
Cold, damp and stormy night.
Chat with Chris (who has adopted the trailname 'Noh' -- what part of Noh don't you understand) until well after dark, an unusual and welcome circumstance for me.<br />