Blame the Weatherman

Matts Creek Shelter, Va., AT NOBO mile 778.6, Sunday March 23 — Today’s my daughter’s 25th birthday. Happy birthday Tiger. Go get ’em!

Today’s forecast was for sunny and 70F. I dressed accordingly.

Had a lousy night’s sleep. Don’t know why. The night was too warm, maybe. At around 2:30 am the temp dropped 20 degrees. That did it. I slept ’til 7 am; was hiking by eight.

There I was cruising up the first of two scheduled climbs for the day when, two hours in, nickel-size snow flakes began bombarding the woods as if dropped from a fleet of B-52s directly overhead.

“Where the hey did this come from,” I muttered. Faster than a NASCAR pit crew, my wet weather gear was on me and my pack. Everything needed fits in pockets outside my pack, making for quick access. “That’s not what the weatherman said!”

Just then a gaggle of Boy Scouts trooped by. Some were in shirtsleeve T-shirts. ‘Nuff said, I thought. I’m not the only one.

Being a bit underdressed kept me moving at a hasty pace all day. I reached my planned destination by two o’clock. Stopping for the day at 2 pm in the cold, empty shelter wasn’t a viable option, so I pressed on for a total of slighly more than 22 miles on the day. Now I’m much lower in altitude and out of the snow.

The old aphorism about everybody complaining about the weather – and by extension weathermen – but nobody ever does anything about it.

As I passed through the trail feature known as the guillotine, the answer to the age old complaint flashed between my ears.

“Off with ‘is ‘ead!” The answer was obvious.

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