to Cowles Cove shelter 13 miles.
“Who in their right mind would even be out in this!” exclaimed General Lee, as Bad Influence and I sat with full bellies at 6:00 PM while the rain thundered down upon the metal roof of this ancient, worn-out shelter. Of course there is lightening, god-awful thunderclaps, and wind gusts that are part of the total picture.
Lee has managed to kindle a fire in this wet world, and is dashing back and forth from the overhang of the shelter to a spot beneath some thick leaf cover in an effort to grill his supper, which consists mostly of a whole can of Bacon Spam (1,000+ calories).
We were motivated enough to make 10 miles by noon today. It was the 70% prediction of thunderstorms, with the potential of hail, driving wind, and heavy rain by 1 PM that did it.
At first we were going to be content with making the ten miles, but a closer look at the map indicated that the 4,000 Camel’s Hump was coming up tomorrow, and if we could make it just 2.9 miles this afternoon, we could do just 10 tomorrow and that would not only put us up and over three 1,000 foot (in elevation) climbs but also have us end at the Bamforth Ridge shelter for the night, and that would require a 2,000 foot descent.
We all slept out side on the deck of the warming hut last night. BI strung up his hammock out there and Lee slept cowboy style- sleeping on his mat. I started out sleeping inside, but picked up my pad,pillow, and sleeping bag around midnight after being assaulted by large black ants that I discovered were running tracing patterns on the indoor/ outdoor carpeting here. It’s a creepy feeling when you discover that ants are crawling in your hair, probably looking for something to eat.
At first, the sky was clear, with stars and planets glimmering along, but when I awoke later in the night the clouds had come in.
We saw few hikers today and it is just the three of us at the shelter tonight, as was the case at the warming hut the night before.
The Long Trail is now picking up character as we move less than 100 miles from the end. We’ve spent 15 days in a row backpacking, with part of two days used for time off. The trail is much more rugged, ancient trees living and dead frame the trail corridor, and today we even used metal bars pinned to steep sheer slopes and wooden ladders to descend this thing.