Route 2 to Puffer Shelter 11 miles
Today was kind to us. Lee and I met back up with The Weatherman, who was dropped off at Rt 2 at the same time that Tom drove us back from our stay in Burlington.
Four thousand, two hundred feet of elevation ascent, with full 4 nights’ resupply was a recipe for hurt, but something came together for me this morning. I am miIdly nursing my left thigh, and I believe the asphalt road walk yesterday and the gravel road today put my turned ankle over toward the side of serious monitoring. When my ankle gets weak I consciously lock it, hold it rigidly, and it appears to prevent further complications. But it takes away from consciousness of my surroundings.
I walked along all day today, until I caught Weatherman above Buchanan shelter, which none of us visited due to it being 400′ downhill and .3 a mile off the trail. I never saw Lee until I covered the full 11 miles.
My thoughts turned to another big climb from last year where Patburglar and I set out from Seiad Valley, CA and began our 5,000 foot ascent with full resupply packs and two quarts of water. That trail was broiled during the day due to steep southeastern exposure, so we went part way up after 6 PM until it was getting dark. Here there is ample shade, a strong breeze, and it may have only hit 70 degrees. The conditions were good for what today’s hike required.
There is only a out 75 miles to go. But there 50% chance of train tomorrow and the day is to bring us up and over the formidable Mt. Mansfield, which will bring an above treeline open traverse of about 2 miles. If we encounter thunder there, it would be dangerous, but once committed we’d have to scurry.
On the positive side, Weatherman got a text from our hiking buddy Two Dinners, who ended his hike a few days ago. TD lives nearby and has offered to pick up Lee, Weatherman, and me at Smuggler’s Gap and bring us to his house for the night so that we can dry out, if need be.
This is the first night that I am sleeping in a full shelter, with overflow people camping outside in tents. I am not enjoying it so much. Too much energy, talking, posturing. I know Lee doesn’t like it either. He hasn’t said a thing in the past few hours , and is buried in reading Conrad’s Nostromo.
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