Tuesday 4th September
I am fairly happy that I stopped when I did as it enabled me an early night and a great sleep ….Even when the storm hit around 10 pm lighting up my tent and the thunder shaking the ground and the dumping a few gallons of water on on it,
So it took me a while to get up even though I had planned to bounce out ha ha. But I was up and packed before 7 am.
It was a cold grey morning so I was glad of the hot tea and instant oats . Unusually I started with my rain jacket and hat on not so much for the rain but to keep the wind at bay as I had my final Bigalow peek to climb called Avery.
The climb was made harder due to the wet rocks that threatened to take me down with every step. As I climbed I met two people coming the other way . Maybe they were in the other tent , they had gotten up early to see the sunrise. But today it was low cloud or mist.
I pushed on eventually reaching the peak yes i could of done this yesterday and enjoyed the view but I choose not to. I pushed on and hopefully down.
My map shows down but I think it takes an average so to me it’s always more ups than downs . I pushed on on this roller coaster trail. as I began to drop down the mist began to clear allowing me to see Avery and beyond and the huge lake called Flagstaff Lake wow it was massive.
I began to spiral down through a huge field of boulders, they were huge like houses dotted through the woods . They must of crashed down from the cliffs above. I pushed on down the trail until I came to the junction to a campsite this was my goal for Yesterday but I stopped early.
I carried on and soon began more climbing. see my map lies, as I manoeuvred along more planks I began to hear voices and they were quickly gaining on me so I stepped to the side to let them pass .To my amazement it was Kaleidoscope and So-hum. ( name correction)
They had stayed at the camp that I had just passed.
So-hum joked that it’s all down hill now ..
Ha bloody ha I said ..Safe trails guys.
I re-joined the trail and continued on passing numerous snakes, who thankfully slithered out of my way. They were probably feeding on the tiny frogs and toads that the trail was alive with. I also saw my first salamander
I forgot to say but I chatting to someone a while ago about the fact that I hadn’t seen any deer for ages He explained that they got this disease carried by the deer tick and they had been wiped out but they are slowly returning so now you know
I pushed on down the trail getting great views until I reached the other side and got a great view of the lake . It looked amazing with the sun shinning on it .I wondered if I would get closer to it ?
They trail now changed to rock and was pointing down..so it’s similar to walking down a slide .
More fun to watch than actually do !!. at last this game was over and it began to level out. Rumble rumble went my tummy it was 11.30 and there was a perfect place to stop so stop so i did.
It was nice to rest in the sun .I was just packing up after a lengthy stop when SOBO came the other way .
There’s magic in the car park she said
That’s typical I take a long food break and now I am probably going to take another shortly ..
It wasn’t long until I emerged onto the road and saw a sign that read. “MAGIC” as I entered I could see Kaleidoscope and Ahum sat in loungers . Drop your bloody pack one of the Angels said .
Now hold out your hands .
He gave me a big blast of sanitiser.
Okay now grab yourself a bowl of pasta, what do you want on your sandwich?
Ham please .
Help yourself to soda, coffee, tea what ever.
The pasta was really good, I then I drained a lemonade.
Your sandwich is ready as he passed me 2 huge ham and cheese sandwiches.
they were so tasty as I drained another can of lemonade.
Then a large coffee and a coke.
It was so relaxing I could have stayed all day as I went to leave, they insisted that I load up with candy, cake and fruit and have I got enough water?
I did as I was told then another man arrived and stuffed 6 Payday bars into my pack . It creaked as I hoisted up or maybe that was my back, hopefully there are not too many climbs this afternoon,!!
I pushed on heading towards the lake and soon found a spot where I could get a better view. Omg it was amazing a vast lake so beautiful. I really wished that I had more time as I would have loved to put my tent up. On that beach strip off and do nothing. big sigh.
I grudgingly walked back to the trail and set off towards the next shelter that was about 5 miles away .
Amazingly the trail was flat and straight with no roots or rocks …. Am I dreaming! I was able to get a good pace and as I neared s road, I saw a sign that made me smile it was the original 2000-mile marker. The Appalachian trail changes each year as the trail is re-routed or an extra switchback is added. as I crossed the road 2000 miles was painted on it and then crossed out and 2020 painted beneath it again this made me smile.
Once across the road the trail returned to its normal roller coaster style which exhausts me . I put on music to hopefully boost my legs and sure enough the shelter appeared but I was being greedy I wanted more miles so foolishly decided to push on as I wanted another hour of roughly 2 more miles and there is bound to be a flat spot there!!!
I Pushed on and on passing some great spots but deciding that it was too early, my watch eventually pinged 6 pm
okay Snail now you can look I said to myself as I walked on until I came to a large bog ..any moose ?…. No. It was spanned by a zigzagging walkway, once across on the other side was a pine forest and as soon as I entered it there was the perfect spot for me .
I dropped my pack and soon had a brew on followed by supper oh great 17 miles
Miles left. 162