Sunny and cold. Warmed up throughout the day.
Cosby Knob Shelter to Painters Branch Campsite - 12.2 miles
I awoke this morning to 33 degree weather. Snow had blanketed all of the trees on the mountain, but the trail had somehow remained untouched. That’s a phenomenon that still perplexes me. Muster and I layered up and began our descent down and out of GSMNP. As we made our way down the snow began to disappear and the sun was finally making its way through the clouds. By noon, we had shed our layers and were sweating in shorts and a t-shirt. As we left GSMNP behind us, I felt a sense of relief, but I was also semi-disappointed at not seeing a single black bear, coyote, salamander or any other form of wildlife. I saw plenty of their poop.....but never saw them. Bummer.