July 24 th
I woke to rain lots of rain so lay dozing in my bunk . eventually I got up and began to pack
There were several hikers who couldn’t make up their minds whether to stay or go.
I hoisted up my pack said goodbyes and marched out.
it was spitting but not heavy as I made my way up.the trail. as I made my way all g it was sad to see so many blow downs . They must of had a huge storm a d again that must have kept the trail crews busy cutting them to clear a path. I must of walked through at least a mile of blow downs . some had not yet been cut so were fun getting around or over them. then it was back to rock and in these conditions it was mad or in polite terms challenging I went over several times . Jarring my knee that quickly complained.
I tried to shut out the pain and pushed on . The rain stopped but then the forest became unbearable it was airless and with the humidity I was dripping wet and breathless.
ping went my watch telling me 2 hours were up which meant I would soon be at the road that led to the deli
Sure enough the road appeared and I headed left it was about .. 4 miles. But soon I was at the deli. I dropped my pack outside and entered.It smelt lovely coffee and bacon. mmmm
I grabbed a few snacks then went to the counter..The man had just finished making up an order. Excuse me but what ate those you have just made ?
egg and bacon rolls came his reply.
Can I have one too I asked.
No he said they are someone’s order.
No I said I meant can I order one too.
He laughed and said yes , coming right up. you want ketchup on yours ?
It looked good I paid and ordered coffee too and a huge Danish.
I went and sat outside to enjoy my breakfast. the coffee tasted so good and my breakfast bap hit the right spot. a SIM enjoying my breakfast other hikers from.the shelter began to arrive. I finished off my roll. then began on the Danish which again tasted so dam good.
I drained my coffee and so grabbed another and a bottle of orange juice.
I sat and continued to munch, polity saying hi to the locals as they came and went.
one guy was interested in leaving some trail magic for us so asked what should I leave. I suggested fruit.vegetables..sodas..maybe a beer okay he said I will do that and drove off.
I finished up, thanked the owner again . Then headed back.up.the road to the trail
The rain returned , please stop i said to the sky. I was soon. pounding down the trail climbing then going down then climbing. as I got to one of those amazing walls the man who was at the Deli appeared . I’ve left some trail magic for the hikers but then he pushed a glass bottle of wine into my hand. This is for you he said.
No there is that proverb. Font look a gift horse in the mouth..so I smiled by best smile and said wow your so kind. when under my breath I was saying WTF a glass bottle of wine for me to carry cheers .
I shoved it into my pack and marched away waving.
The rain returned again making the rocks and the tree roots fun..I mean really FUN. I went over twice..the wine surviving.
Eventually I came to the first shelter of the day I stopped signed the book took some more painkillers as my knee was complaining and set off again .. by midday it was the winds turn to play which was scary when large branches crash to the ground by hour feet. I can’t hike. watch my feet and gaze at the trees at the same time. I was so pleased when it was the Suns turn to play as this seemed to deter the bugs from .annoying me.
Eventually I came to another huge lake and could see a man with his 2 dogs one which was swimming. The trail wound its way around the edge of the lake. at 3 I decided to take a break a d found a large rock to sit on. I drank a coke that I had carried out from.the deli and a few snacks . As I began to hike the rain came back but only a drizzle. I.pushed on climbing slippy rocks. trying not to fall off or down . a challenge in itself. I was miles away may be the concentration but then the next shelter appeared. as it was not far off trail I went to look ..signed the book. But as there was no water I didn’t stay. But the German chap did. I pushed on spiralling down until I emerged onto a road. it late I was tired I needed water. there was a house nearby so I walked into the yard. There were people there so in my best English accent. I said excuse me sir would it be possible to fill my water bottles. Of course he replied there is a spigot by that hose. I walked to it follow ed by two large dogs . The man then appeared and helped me .
Thank you so much all the streams seem to be dry.
We chatted a while then he wished me luck.
I walked back up the road and there was an enormous oak tree.
after hugging the tree i passed into a large field .The trail.passed from field to field then it was duck board time again I walked along these slippy boards trying not to fall into the swamp.
Eventually they finished and once again I was on dry land and back into the forest..I passed several great camp spots but walked straight passed
I crossed over another large wooden bridge and I was on another of those amazing walkways through the marsh. Again it went on for several miles
I hadn’t gone far when the sky turned black and then whoosh. The rain came in buckets.but there was nowhere to hide or shelter so I walked on hoping that the rain may be brief. eventually i arrived at railway tracks .I sheltered under the information post until the rain had eased. then I crossed the tracks and headed back to the trail.
On the other side of the information board was notices informing me of a bar/Inn cafe with camping …. But I failed to see this but continued blindly on.
I crossed the road and headed across several.fields at the gate of the last field was a water cache and information about the bar/ Inn cafe which I now read ..But hey I don’t go backwards do moaned to myself and pushed on as it was now getting late and me tired.
I now crossed several more fields and still.nowhere to camp at last I entered some woods . great must be a place soon but no I pushed on and one .it was almost another half hour to I spied somewhere suitable . I dropped my pack and soon had my tent up.
I we just relaxing in my chair when Samaritan came past shortly followed by Smiles and crawl daddy they had all had enough so joined me.
I showed Smiles how to open my wine on a tree. then cooked supper
Miles. 21 + 1 mile to Deli (22)