Mile 383.9. Elevation 4,647.
It was 15.6 miles by the AT Guide to get to this shelter, but I'm calling it 16 miles. That's because I spent a half hour walking all over the place looking for a purported good water source at Carver's Gap It turned out to be good, but hard to find.
Looking out from Roan Mountain (above)
So, this day was easily the most difficult hike yet and maybe the most difficult from the beginning of the AT where I started in April. Leaving Clyde Smith Shelter, I hiked up to 5,000 feet and then down to 4,040 feet. After that was Roan Mountain. It topped out a little higher than 6,200 feet. From there Carver's Gap was 5,512 feet. There were a lot of cars parked at Carver's Gap. Many people were day hiking and there are some really great camp sites high up on Janes Bald at 5,790 feet. Ultimately this climb topped out at 5,891 feet. I felt like a yo-yo going up and down.
Finally, I made it to Overmountain Shelter just before dark. There were a lot of people there both tenting and in the shelter. The shelter is an old barn, which I was anxious to see and stay in for the protection I thought it would provide. Wrong! The upstairs of the shelter was protected, but the lower platform is not. I slept on the lower platform because the upstairs was full. During the night a fog bank moved in on the shelter and the wind blew into the platform. I and all my equipment got soaked. The next morning I cleared out as fast as I could. I was done with that.