Day 44

Wed 23rd MAY

My alarm went off at 5.30 I reached up and switched it off.
It was still lightly raining outside . but I was snug and warm inside.
At 6.30 I got up for a wee , then retrieved my food bag. I was going to pack and go but then decided to have a brew . as the water haeted I  packed up .
I was on trail by 7am , come on Snail let’s hike . I set off repeating most of yesterday sloshing through mud and water . I have  never crossed so much water in all my life . it seemed endless, water water every where .

The morning was sunny and warm as I made my way along the trailtrying to avoid the water and deep mud and if it wasn’t those two it was crappy rock. I  began to climb and as I did the sun began to vanish into mist. I emerged onto a long open common. I’m sure the views would be amazing on a summer’s day  but I  had swirling mist . I pushed on quite enjoying the change of scenery,  the common stretched out for several miles then began to drop down. In the distance I could see more cows , another trailhead and a privy.
I walked over to the privy and opened the door. Yes yes a bin whoop. I emptied my trash, then used the loo.
I crossed over the trail head trying to avoid the deep mud as I wanted to keep my shoes dry for as long as possible.  Once  again I  entered  the woods  sand pushed on trying to avoid the stepping in the deep streams of water or falling over on the slippery roots .
arrrh bloody trail. eventually it got better and I gained more speed as my confidence grew and the pain in my foot numbed. I pushed on and on until I came across  the sign pointing to the shelter .
I walked over expecting to find it empty but there was a lone hiker called f-word who had hurt his foot so was resting.
Where’s the water I asked.
“Down there”, he cried in his thick southern Accent.
I went and got water that was icy cold .I filled 2 litres then dranka third straight down.
F-word said that there maybe trail magic at the next road .
So off I went,  I pushed and pushed for several hours later eventually arriving a sign saying magic. I walked in and found several hikers sat around fire and two large tarps set up.
The main guy said drop your pack and get something cold or coffee. I grabbed a coke and a banana and sat by the fire. I quickly necked the coke and  was passed another.
it would of been so easy  to  stay here a while  but i wanted the miles.
I  signed the book and was about to leave when I had more fruit put into my pack.
Then they  told me about a picnic up the trail with free shuttle.
I thanked them and left. I shortly crossd another  road and began to climb. it would be like this for about an hour. As i climbed  the temperatures continued rising and  the sweat soon began to hurt my eyes  at  last the trail began to flatten allowing me to  speed up. A little way ahead sat a bunch of day hikers
“There is cell service here they said.
So I stopped took out my phone and switched it on . imeaditly it began to buzz and ping
Your correct I said taking off my pack and reading my phone .
I sat here for about 20 minutes messaging my children and friends. before I had to drag myself away .
I gave chase to the hikers and soon caught them and passed them.
I began to hike faster and was whizzing down the trail, maybe it’s a banana thing, as i was  really flying I pushed on passing  the second shelter. but as it was off trail I did not visit it.
It was now 1pm  and I should take a break, At the next suitable spot I did dropped my pack , laid out the Tyvek ..took of my shoes and aired my feet and rested
I ate snacks saving the second banana to the end. yummy.
It was  40 minutes before I was ready to hike although the next shelter was only 7 miles away.
Refreshed I pushed on and headed towards the next set of falls. I could hear  them miles before i could see them. I slowly began to decend until at last I can see them.
I walked  up to admirer them, again they were quite spectacular , i topped up my water  then pushed  on.
As I hiked i could hear traffic for many miles . eventually I came out into sunlight and could see ther trail head and people resting. I thought I would go look see if I could loose some more trash. As I walked over two people by a car asked if I would like a cold drink or beer.
A beer would be great please. I was handed one which I promptly guzzeled so they handed me another
“Thank you  so much” I said . Sipping this one more slowly.
This  was  the place to get a ride to the picnic.I did think about it but decided to hike on so left .
Typically the trail climbed steeply omg it was steep and now bloody roasting  hot. after 2 hours I was at the top so switched on my phone  imeaditly it began to buzz and ping again so i stopped  for another 10 minutes  catching up before moving  on .

I arrived at the next shelter at 5.30. I ummed and arred for several minutes then decided to stay. The shelter was completely empty . weird .oh well i exploded my pack before going to get water . once back I began to cook.
Later 2 other hikers arrived we ate tea together before chilling

My day is done

Start 504.5
Finish 524
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1666 Miles

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