Sat 23rd June
It was a good choice not to walk yesterday especially with all that rain
I woke at 6 am as Tree hugger was up, and was having an early cooked breakfast then he was going to slack pack the next 2 sections
I should meet him later today going the other way.
At 7 I got up and went downstairs . Scot thought I said 7 but 7.30 also worked.
I sat on a stool in the kitchen and chatted to Lost & Found and onion as they finished their breckfast. I poured myself a coffee and chilled.
Scot was running Tree hugger to town then he would cook for me.
I ate the same as yesterday. Fried eggs and toast. Scot makes his own jams and I loved the BlackBerry lime and pineapple bloody good. I polished off my breakfast drained another cup of coffee followed by a large orange juice.
I was now trail ready .I went back upstairs and grabbed my pack. before returning to the kitchen, where I put fresh water into my bladder.
Okay all packed, Scot suggested that I weigh my pack ……….. OMG IT was 46lb that’s far too heavy . but it’s mainly food . But that should get lighter.. But tomorrow I have to tackle the .”Roller coaster” Yes that is it’s name several miles of straight ups and straight downs . I am so looking forward to that.
I thanked my hosts . had a group photo then I was off.
I walked along the road and was amazed that several cars stopped to ask if i needed a lift to town and I hadn’t even got my thumb out. I thanked them but said I was rejoining the trail.
As soon as I was on the AT it was up and very wet. with rivers of water running along the trail and tumbling down hill. I desperately tried to keep my feet dry so I was constantly crossing back and forth to avoid the deep parts. I arrived at a fast flowing creek , but there were enough large rocks for me to keep my feet dry.
I spent a few hours climbing then as the trail evened out it became all soupy again so more fun to manoeuvre around it. But this is painfully slow.
As I was decending down Into another forest I met a familiar face it was Tree hugger. Dam I said I was hoping to meet him much later in the day
He must be really flying as he only had 7 miles to do to get back to the hostel.
He told me the condition of the trail ahead and then he was gone. That’s the advantage of slack packing over me carrying .my stuff.
Oh well . I still thought that I was doing well a.d should be able to reach at least 18 miles.
I debated with myself wether to stop for lunch at 12 or 1pm .
I decided to reach the next shelter then I could get water at the same time.
Again it was so humid that I was completely soaked and could wring out my shorts and top. may be I will change at the shelter
The shelter sign then appeared so I stopped . as I was thinking another hiker was coming up from the shelter.
How far is it I asked ?
50 yards. he replied.
So I needed down the Blue Blazed trail. When I reached it there were 8 people there. I said excuse me and grabbed and signed the book.
Are you all Japanese I asked?
No we are Koreans. I chstgrd for a while took pictures of them with their own cameras
before they left me in peace to eat. I sat down at the table and ate my snacks in my wet soggy clothes.
Maybe it’s the salt ? But as I sat munching several bees began to dive bomb me and then their were more on my poles.
This wasn’t gun so I hurriedly packed up and set off.
I passed several more Koreans going South the. several other day hikers .
Soon I emerged onto a bright open meadow. Sat on a bench were a couple. any nice views they asked ..No sorry only mud.
I continued on and crossed over railway tracks then under the freeway.
I then found the trail again and continued on . I crossed several bridges before starting one of many climbs .
I looked at my watch .. It had just gone 3.30…. I will walk to 6 I decided that should give me miles.
I pushed on passing the next shelter, I paused to check my map and see she. water was 3 miles .Yes perfect, although I could hear the rush of water nearby. It was a very wide creek that rushed over many rocks . But that made it much easier to cross. I managed it with out getting wet hurrah.
The next part of the trail was very soupy and I struggled to avoid the mud. .I then came to the junction and the next. shelter but I wanted those extra miles so pushed on.
I was slipping and sliding through more mud when I came across a group of scouts they were just put for the night. . a little further on I came to an ice chest . but it was empty apart from.water. I grabbed a gallon and glugged some down then filled up my bottles just as it started to rain .
It was for cash heavy rain and storms at 3 it was an hour late !.
I quickly walked on and luckily found a tent space . I quickly got out my poles and set up.my fly . put down the footprint then assembled my tent . It was down now a huge downpour and I hurriedly got my stuff inside. I stripped off my wet things and chilled . I was just about to cook. when the rain stopped and the sun came out and then it was really hot. Bloody typical …..
I got out and sat on a rock then began to cook. .I was annoyed that I had stopped too early .
but it was nice to have an early night. I finished cooking and hung my food . then had an early night
I will try to get up early tomorrow. as I will start the “Roller coaster” a series of large climbs and decent. for 17 miles I am so looking forward to it ha ha