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 so crappy, roots ,collapsed trail that it took me half an hour to get near to it.
but I didn’t visit as I wanted miles today and there were two big climbs first then 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 did 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 decent 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 was lovely to walk. but soon the roots and rocks returned . I decided that in would push until 1 pm and hopefully covered 10 miles which would be good on this cluttered trail. as I climbed yet more rock 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 did eat with my Ritz biscuits and some jerky.
I savoured my tea . it always tastes so good out here .I enjoyed my snacks and tea but those miles were waiting .
I was just packing up when when So-hum and kaleidoscope appeared
“hi guys “I said
Where did you crash Snail ?
“the next spot after you” i laughed
They laughed before hiking on
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 before carrying on . I then 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 .
before i watched them sped off. Then next part was walking over rock slabs which I like . but then it was time to head down over huge rocks,t his 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 im on the right route after several hundred yards I was at the shelter chair back gap shelter.
I passed straight through before starting 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 that 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 ? I asked
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 I spotted 4 grouse i watched them for several minutes.
I continued on this man roller coaster 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 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