I woke up without an alarm at 6 am and decided to get up and start walking. It was still dark. I used my headlamp in the red light mode, which protects night vision, and also is respectful to those hikers who want to sleep later.
I had cell coverage, and saw heavy fog warnings for Roan Mountain, nearby. The rain held off all day, but the humidity was high, and my shirt got soaked anyways. My boots get wet by the grass in the morning, but dried out in the afternoon when it got in the mid-70’s.
I was the first one out at 7 am. Another former thru hiker passed me at 9 am. He was the only one. I passed 26 hikers today. I felt strong. I’m still ten pounds lighter than I used to be, and it makes a big difference humping up there long slogs. There was 3400′ of elevation gain today. Damn, it’s good to be out again. Lots of your hikers surround me, but just a handful of retirees.
My plan for the day was to keep moving steadily. I put in two and a half hours of steady walking, then dipped my water bottle into a stream, purified it with my Steripen, and drank a quart. I also ate a snack. I stopped again at noon, and ate a quick lunch. Then I somehow got into my head that I was going to arrive at the next shelter, Mountaineer, at 2:30 PM after an 18 mile day. That’s exactly what happened, even with no wrist watch . Mountaineer is a new shelter and is three levels high.
I was the second one into the shelter. I like sleeping against a side wall. It means that I can pile my gear undisturbed on that side, and only have to cope with one body next to me.
It is very reassuring to me to be hiking the AT. Sometimes, I lapse into a low level of anxiety on these walks, fretting away about what is not yet to unfold. Then I glance up and see these fresh white blazes on the trees and rocks ahead and settle back down, reassured. All is OK tonight.
I hope to reach Kincora hostel tomorrow, but am not expecting to score a place to stay there, with an estimated 50 hikers between me and Kincora.
Another adventure for tomorrow.
- RT @dailystoic: "Difficulties show a person’s character." Epictetus ift.tt/2w2qaXB https://t.co/5euN1Wm0Jp 3 days ago
- Not so great for backpackers wrapping up a CDT hike though. twitter.com/lefsetz/status… 3 days ago
- RT @nytimes: Resist stereotypes about getting older and find ways to get the most out of life as you age, experts say https://t.co/ttTQ8snO… 3 days ago
- BG lived in Maine working the railroad before he found TheTrail. twitter.com/guthookhikes/s… 4 days ago
- RT @outsidemagazine: 137 wildfires. 7.8 million acres of burned land. This is not normal. bit.ly/2jpoA0j 4 days ago