Day 6 From Low gap Shelter to Tray Mountain

Day 6
This was my first night in a shelter and it because of the pouring rain.
We all may out our mats and bags and only we were all in bed by 6.30 yes really.
I had heard bad stories about these shelters being infested with rats and mice..Nice
So I snuggled deep down inside my bed and pulled my hat over my ears.
It took me ages to go off as Mike on my left fidgeted for most of the night (and shivered) or was snoring in my ear.
But eventually it was morning and cold, very cold.
I was slow to move and totally unorganised, but soon tea was being made and I munched a couple of power bars.
Mike was the first to leave, he was hoping to get off at the first road get to town get some proper gear  then  get back on trail
Mike is a lovely man but has come on this trail I’ll prepared especially  these days as there is a plethora of information on the web.
His food, when he started was a bag of rice, plain simple rice, not precooked, or boil in the bag. Just  rice and a few energy bars.
His gear, well his clothing left a lot to be desired, Cotton shirts which are a complete no no as your freeze.The list goes on but we are all trying to help him.
So hopefully he will reappear with some warm and waterproof clothes.
So today was cold, but would hopefully warm up as  I do not  want to be as cold as I was yesterday.
I started in my shorts, my thermal shirt, rain jacket and woolly hat.
I was just leaving when  I noticed Mike had left his pot. Jess offered to carry it as we may catch him. Jess was  not impressed  when she  found  that  mike had left all his burnt food in the pot.
I was first out and on trail by 9 waving to the others as I left.
The trail looked  magical as it was covered in a light dusting of snow.
The trail was good and so i was making good progress  and so it wasn’t  long until I had to stop to remove a layer. I was just about to restart  when  Jess caught me. We traded miles for most of the morning until the trail once again turned to rock.I just can’t walk over it, I’m not as sure-footed so Jess was soon away  in the distance.
I pushed  on and then the trail began to descend , but it was steep and  slippery and so I was dead slow until the trail became good again allowing me to put in some pace.
Further along I came to a sign in the dirt i’m guessing it was made by the crew who left late last night hoping to get to a road.
The sign said sorry no road, I laughed to myself and pushed on .
 I  then recognised someone ahead , it was Mike limping and going very slow.
“Did  Jess give you your  pot” I asked?
Yer she had.
I passed  him and pushed on,  while it was flat i  wanted the miles , Eventually I could hear  traffic  that meant a road. I think this was where Mike was heading
As I  made my way down I could see some gazebos and people milling around.
Whoop Whoop it’s Trail magic.
A local church had organised food for us hikers.
I was welcomed in . I quickly dropped my pack as  2 hot-dogs were thrust at me.
“What else would i like “? i was asked on numerous  occasions ,
“Coke Gatorade. ?
“Water. Want a burger?
“Please Sit down rest.
“Where am I from?
“Am I going all the way.?
“Do I have faith.?
“Can we Pray  for you. ?  Why of course as i need all the help that i can get
“Another Gatorade. Apple? Crisps”
 I was overwhelmed but so so grateful.
After about  20  minutes  i dragged myself away  knowing that i  had  another large  climb to tackle .
The climb began gradually , but soon became steep. I caught  Jess who stood aside to let me pas . It was steep and cold as i slowly chugged up   the mountain
At last i was at  the top,  Typically it was straight down. The down was gnarly allowing Jess to  quickly catch me again . 
That last hill took  40 mins and there was one more to do, that  soon arrived  after another 40 mins I was hoping  i would be at the top
I passed  “Tray Gap”  Where is the bloody shelter , I pushed on, the  trail getting steeper and  steeper as the  temperature  began to drop .
It was almost two hours before I reached the top, I was knackered and  very very cold, too cold.
I grabbed a Lara bar, it was hard to chew as it was frozen and the water in my bladder was also frozen like me .
At last a sign for the shelter, I followed it  and yes there it was  but i wanted to camp  so i walked past the shelter and looked for somewhere for my tent.
I was frozen and so my fingers wouldn’t work and so it took me  longer to get my tent up . Once up i threw everything inside. before  realising  I was on a slope bugger, But it will do .
I was so cold and so immediately put on more layers before getting into my bag. I lay there for about an hour until I was warm. But I was still too cold to go outside so cooked in my tent.
So night all

Start 42
Finish 58
mileage 16 

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