I had just gotten I to bed when squirrel arrived and decide to get the fire going in the shelter which was great as it took the chill off as it was cold
Several other hiker had decided to head to Climans knob to see the sun set early in the morning so had decided to sleep in their cloths and sport out their gear so they wouldn’t wake the rest of us when they left early.
at 3 am i thought we were being stampeded by elephants as the early morning hikers were making so much noise and their headlamps flashed around the shelter as if looking for escaped prisoners
So much for the silent getaway !!
I finally woke at 7 and was amazed to see only 1 other hiker and myself remained.
I quickly got out of bed, deflated my pad before heading into the woods.
I fired up my stove and put on a brew, as it came to the boil I stored my bag and pad and brought my pack outside.
I was enjoying my tea when a deer strolled straight through camp then stopped to eat grass taking no notice of me
I enjoyed my tea then decided to have an I instant oats in the hope it may give me more energy. Once eaten I hoisted my pack and set off down the trail. It was an awful trail littered with rocks and roots and steep , No way could I have followed the trail in the dark with the other Hikers to see the sunrise.
I pushed on and on arriving at the other shelter at 9 am, I was pleased to see several familiar faces of Tarzan, Tank, Big Red, Magic and Whitey.
I paused to chat awhile saying about the mass exodus of hikers early in the morning, They all laughed as it had happened at this shelter too
Later guys I said and headed out to the trail
This part of the trail was lovely, it passed through lovely forests and so the tread was pine straw and with the sun heat, the pine aroma was gorgeous.
I was heading for the Fire Tower at Climans knob which was almost 2hrs away but the sun was baking and the trail steep
When my watch informed me 2 hrs were up i decided to stop for a break , I was enjoying the sun when Tarzan and Whitey came by
“Are you going to the Tower” Snail they said
“I’m not sure ” I replied
“definitely worth a visit Snail ” they both replied
Bloody he’ll, I thought and pushed on, I hadn’t planned to go there but as it was recommended
I soon came to a sign post pointing the way and I am so glad that i I did as it really was worth the visit.
As i approached the tower it was very busy with many day visitors of all shapes and colours .I climbed to the top which also was very busy with tourists but the views from the top were amazing. I stayed for about 15 minutes before returning to the trail as I had miles to crush
I pounded miles all afternoon spending most of the afternoon decending but dreading the final up. At 2pm I decided to stop for lunch and to rest my feet
My next target was XXXX gap
It seemed to take ages to get there. But wow what a view when I got there.
As i walked And there was preacher and two female hikers giving trail magic . one was Long bird and the other Crispy
I had a toasted cheese sandwich served in tomatoes soup and it was oh so good.
I then drained a beer and then Creature passed me another.
I was just about to leave when crispy insisted I take another beer and would i also like one to pack out ?
Why thanks I said and soon drained another before stuffing the last can into my pack I thanked them both again ,before hoisting up my pack and heading out .
It was a fairly steep climb and I kept meeting numerous day trippers coming down
It was still a gorgeous day as I climbed and climbed some times I stopped to chat to the day trippers other times I just pushed on At last I was at the top and thankfully the trail leveled out .
at last I reached the shelter , it was fairly busy but there was space . so I grabbed a spot before heading out front to relax in the afternoon sun
I drained my beer then began to cook supper
I was busy cooking when Dan & Beth arrived. they joined me in the sun
During the conversation I said I have been carrying these gloves that i picked up all day! To my amazement BEth said I love you so much snail THEY ARE MINE !!
how spooky and amazing
So now getting ready for bed .
mileage 14.6 miles
Remaining 19 Miles