Day 117

Saturday 4 Aug

My alarm went off st 5.30 I silenced it then the whole shelters alarms went off making me laugh.
Oh course it was still raining but you could at least see the lake in the distance.
I reluctantly let the air out of my mattress and slowly let myself down from the top bunk and headed to the privy wearing flip flops in the rain is suicidal but I made it back alive  I then went to retrieve every ones food bags from the bear boxes.
The first one I opened (there were 3 ) was disappointingly filled with rubbish.
The rule out here is you in you pack it out.
I think it was likely hikers but still very sad as someone will have to carry it out eventually.
I located the good bags in the second box and carried them back to the shelter.
I packed up, made tea then i was ready .
3 of the guys were going to get to Manchester today as they were being picked up. thats a big ask in this weather and the mud.
I hoisted up my pack said good bye and good luck with the PCT to Eva and marched out.
it’s was virtually the same as yesterday wading through thick deep mud, fording rivers walking in rivers and pushing through the  torrential rain .it’s weird I don’t mind the rain or the rivers but the mud just kills me.
My socks of choice are “Smart wool” as they seem to look after my feet and I used the same brand and style on the PCT with out issue and they seemed indestructible.
But here on the Appalachian Trail they are being destroyed. I brought 2 new pairs several weeks ago and thanks to this mud I pair is wrecked so I will be posting them back to Smart wool as they have a great warranty. yes walking for 10 hrs a day in mud will destroy most socks and today was my third day and I guess it will be the same tomorrow.
OMG sun the sun has come out and my watch pings 1pm. Perfect timing I pass a log so stop and have my lunch or rather snacks.
I don’t sit for long as i want to push more miles even though this mud as sapped my strength.
I zone out and scare myself when I come across a sobo then another and another.
Also this part of the trail is shared with the Long trail so will get busier.
The sun continues to shine as I slosh through mud and rivers . but oddly the bugs appear to be missing .
It no good the grit in the mud is rubbing my feet so at the next “Clean” stream I stop and remove one shoe and sock. wash the sock several then wring out. then wash out my shoe. as the inner sole has caked mud. once I’m happy I put it back on then repeat with the other.
Oh that feels much better but I only go about 200 paces then my feet are once again encased in mud.

I zone out to try and block put the mud as I pass a sign for the next shelter then In front of me is a gorgeous lake .
I stop and admire it for a few moments then push on again
I’m miles away when Samaritan comes pact, we do our normal banter then he’s gone.

I eventually catch them a little way up trail as they have stopped to get water.
“Where are you headed Snail?” Samaritan asks.
The next shelter will do me or maybe bit after.
Good call they agree. But as they are fast they will possibly push to the next one.
I’m walking but slowly as I try and read my map. then Waw passes me and we start talking as we walk.
I say I’m want to get to the shelter, but  it’s .5 off trail.
We both agree that there should be camping near to that location.
I say well :I want to get my tent up before it rains
Is it going to rain then ?
Can’t you hear the thunder,?
No I have music on. as soon as she removes her Ear buds then there is a very LOUD clap of thunder.
I heard that! Waw says.
We pass by the sign to the next shelter and continue on, cross over another bridge then scout for somewhere for our tents.
The problem is that there has been so much rain that the ground is saturated so nowhere is ideal.
I choose a spot and have my tent halfway up when the heavens open again ..Huge droplets. I frantically hurry to finish off and get my gear inside .
It’s not an ideal spot as water is running under the footprint.
When at last the rain subsides I go outside with my trowel and dig small trenches to move the rain water away from my tent, I then look for a stone so I can hang my line. once done.
I retreat yo my tent and boil water for my tea

” That is just so good!”  Next chores then xzzz


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