Monday 10th September
my alarm was going off as I wanted an early start . I wanted an 18 today but I snoozed and snoozed again
I eventually crawled out at 6 am oh my god it was cold so I retreated and got my puffy and beanie on then went for a wee and retrieved my food bag
I put on a brew and began to strip down when I was ready I stowed my puffy but left on my beanie,. finished my tea then I was away. It wasn’t far to the next shelter but the trail was crappy, roots ,collapsed trail that it took me half an hour to get near to it., so I didn’t visit as I wanted miles today as there were two big climbs and the rest of the day was not much better
As I started my first climb I was hoping for sun as my hands were freezing , Some gloves would be nice. I began doing finger exercises on my poles to keep them warm. As I climbed the temperature began to warm up thank god, but not too hot to climb in. After about an hour of dodging roots and hand over hand climbing I had my first view which were amazing I was at the top of Barren mountain whoop
The next climb was named the “Chair-Back” my fourth mountain. but I had to descend this one first and it was an awful descent ,rocks and more roots . it was exhausting me and it was still morning as I pushed on but not too fast that I fell.
It was now beginning to get hot as I weaved in and out of the forest trees.
In places trail maintenance had been carried out so the trail was lovely to walk. but soon the roots and rocks returned . I decided that in would push until 1 pm and hopefully will have covered 10 miles which would be good on this cluttered trail. My watch chimed 1 pm and there was the perfect spot for me to stop.
I dropped my pack and started a brew. Got out my cheeses and cut thick strips off , which I ate with my Ritz biscuits and some jerky. I savoured my tea, that always tastes so good out here .I was enjoying my snacks and tea but those miles were waiting .
I was just packing up when So-hum and kaleidoscope appeared
“Hi guys “I said
Where did you crash Snail ?
“The next spot after you” we all laughed
I set off after them , it wasn’t long till I caught them both sat on stones having lunch.
There was water there so I grabbed a bottle too. I continued on until i came to another new piece of trail (redirected) and it looked much more friendly then the old
After some climbing i was on Columbus Mountain, I was just admiring it when So-hum and kaleidoscope arrived we chatted about the mountains In the background .
I watched them sped off, the next part was walking over rock slabs which I like . but then it was time to head down over huge rocks this bit I didn’t like.
As soon as i was down it was time to climb the next one, I emerged by a campsite but continued on until i reached a trail junction. Here I got confused , I couldn’t see any blazes. I walked little way down one trail, when I looked back could see the southbound blaze. Okay I’m on the right route after several hundred yards I was at the shelter “Chair-back gap shelter. I cruised past and began my descent down, crossing several bogs. I spent the rest of the afternoon on a seesaw or rather that’s what it seemed . It was now 3 Pm I was tired. I decided I would settle for 16 miles as this terrain has been bloody tough. Suddenly I was passed by Kaleidoscope and so-hum.
“Where did you guys get too” Are you enjoying this trail , as I’m bloody struggling with it .
They agreed that it had been a hard day and then they were gone .
I pushed on annoyed that I couldn’t go faster, around the next corner there were 4 grouse i watched them for several minutes. before continuing on
This roller coaster continued on until ping went my watch it was 5 pm .I stopped to check my map as I did so a hiker called Twinkle passed by
“See you at the campsite !! She said
I had 1.5 miles to go and the map said down .
I was tired , but it wasn’t far to go, I have got this. I pushed on and down, it was steep and covered with many planks to cross, i emerged out by a road crossed over and back into the forest . To my left was a stream so decided up water up
A little further along the trail was the ideal spot, Twinkle was here and another hiker . “Do you mind if i camp here”. I asked
“Not at all, we are just eating then are going to push on”
I dropped my pack and began to cook
They were concerned about the rain tomorrow
miles left. 84