Today we slept in until 6:00 am. When we got up, it had turned out that Chief had come to the shelter around 11:00 pm the night prior and had squeezed into the same shelter behind everyone else. As we started to get ready, Chief already was packing up his equipment. He told us that he had not started hiking until 3:00 pm the previous day, and had not stopped until he arrived at the shelter. He said he only fell twice in the dark.
Today, it did not start to rain until we were about to break for lunch; then it started to pour. It rained hard from about 1:00 pm until about 4:45 p.m. this afternoon.
It the midst of the rainstorm, we accidentally hiked past the shelter we had planned to stay the night. We found ourselves hiking an extra mile to the NOC Hostel which resembles a lodge in the mountains. As we arrived, the rain finally slowed. When we asked to see if they had room, the manager said that there were no rooms available, that they were all full. The choices were to hike several miles up to the next shelter, or to backtrack to the shelter we had accidently missed.
As Kate and I were turning to leave, the manager said to wait a second. He went out and talked to guests John and Ben. They had paid for two nights; but they had to leave early, and were gracious enough to let us have the room for their second night. Unbelieveably, we were able to stay for free at a place that had no room in it when we arrived!
Wayah Bald Shelter to NOC Hostel