Day 137

Friday 24th August

my alarm went off I silenced it then the next

it had just gone 7 when I finally emerged

Bugger in wanted to be up earlier. so why did switch of the alarms. I groggily got up visted the loo then the Bear box . there were so many hikers streaming out of camp as the shelter was packed last night. I made my way to the cooking area and made tea I was going to make breakfast too but I couldn’t be bothered .It was late and I knew it was going to.be a slow getaway.

I first needed to repair or sort out my pack . I grabbed my fanny pack the buckle looked similar. msy be thstcwould work . I cut off the buckles and removed the broken one from.my pack ureka!! it fits. thank god .

hopefully it will do until I can order a new one from Osprey.

As I walked out of camp I could still here the boys .

I continued up.the side trail back to the trail at the signpost to the camp I stared at it the distance was faded but read 1800 yards. still it was further than thst.

I pushed on happy thst my buckle was now fixed off would of been a night mare with out it and I would if probably gone into the first town.

The morning always start with a climb and so today’s was no exception. the views were great nut it’s a similar view for the last four of days stunning but once you have seen trees you have seen them domi pushed on and over more rock thst saps your strength and gets you’re heart pumping.

atvth

down I began to hear voices a d soon came across a group of 8 hikers . excuse me I said and they all stood aside to let me through. Thank you.

I pushed on while i had the momentum and energy. ha ha .

soon I was on the duck boards I like these as they are level and straight. meaning your not weaving in and out of the trees. which I find annoying once over the boards the trail dipped down and sharply.

This is the bit that kills my knees and it went down and down and down and down and down some more . the last bit was a stone stair case which again kills the knees I normally go down sideways as it feels better. but every now and then the step is steep meaning you really have to stretch your leg .

at last I was at the bottom and several creeks ran past

so Checked my map to see if I needed water or if I could push on. Nope there is plenty of water ahead . Great so less to carry. I did a small climb then I we in the forest on a smooth wide FLAT! path . that’s been a while such a joy to walk on I followed the creek along on this lovely path. I decided that I would take a break at 1pm or the shelter …..Whatever came first. It was the shelter..I dropped my pack and decided I’d make a brew. I was just pouring the water on to.my tea when iron man arrived.

he relaxed and had lunch as I did. Then a family and grandad and grandma. came along theyvwefe looking for a Falls . but I hadn’t see any neither had iron man. so they continued on .Then the Boys arrived Sasquatch and short mile looked as they had , had a swim. we exchanged insults then they pushed on as they were getting off at the road to resupply again in xxx xxx

after they passed kaleidoscope and ahem passed by. I packed up.and continued on

As I hiked on a man came up.the trail saying there is magic in the patking lot. Great thanks I said

I wasn’t long till I arrived there was Sasquatch short mile, Samaritan, Iron man, kaleidoscope Ahem and the lady doing the magic. we swapped a dozen more insults then the lady passed me a bowl of salad it was a chicken ceaser salad bloody tasty i washed that down with orange juics followed by a large chocolate milk. there were loads of muffins too..but a half hour before I had stopped for lunch typical .

the boys were going into town from here and the lady said that she would take them.I ambskways amazed at the generosity of people out here.

I wished them.well plus more insults and hiked out

thevtrsil goes down a d across a huge river.as I was emjoyingbtj view a customised car came by .itvwas a pickup and I lived it it had a 3.5 Chevy engine in it and looked fab

Once across the river it was approximately 7 more miles to camp and just for a change it was up

And steep I spent the afternoon climbing and by 4pm I was exhausted . as I sat on the top of another hill.

I checked my phone .I had service so quickly phoned osprey. I spoke to Christopher who was very helpful and would do his best to get the new buckle to me by Monday.

I felt chuffed. and as I hiked on was actually flying untill I got to the next big climb and my energy level dropped to empty.

how much further ..I calculated 6.30 and as I hike north the daylight is fading by 7 so dinner on the dark.

I pushed on my watch pinged 6pm great can’t be much further.. The trail has this annoying habit. that The last mile is like an army obstacle course thst true go kill you. and it’s even more fun when your knackered . tired and just want your bed..I was struggling fown The last climb when I heard voices behind me ..it was kaleidoscope and ahem..I let them pass. as thevtrsil to.the campsite was just in front.

At last I passed several tents , the privy and bear box. Then i saw Iron man..I set up.next to him then we ate together.

I expected Samaritan and his crew to arrive but maybe they have stayed in town

Night

Start. 1885
Finish. 1899
Miles. 15
miles left. 291

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Day 141

Tuesday 28th August

I had set the alarm for 5 am to hopefully hit the trail by 6 and claw back some of those miles.

But typically I woke to the sound of heavy rain so didn’t move until it began to slow.

Once it did I quickly packed up before making a brew and breckfast . I was sitting on a tree stump do ing my tea when the rain returned with vengeance. I covered up my pack and finished my tea.

My back groaned as I hoisted my pack I blame the wet tent.

It was just over 4 miles to the next shelter and up . As I walked my mind argues with it’s self ….You should of gone on . I needed to rest. I let them argue!!!!

The trail wasn’t that nice rocky and twisty such fun…… As I made my way up the sun decided to come out and so it soon became humid and me soaked. It was just over 2 hours before I reached the shelter. It was deserted except for one lonely sleeping hiker ..Bless.

I carried on past and down the other side. It was bloody steep too steep for my knees that. complained. It was another hour till I was down and emerged into a lovely little campsite. This was my actual target for Yesterday. But the pond was my choice.

As I made my way through I noticed some huge tarps a d wondered if there was trail magic ? But couldn’t see anyone. I then had to cross a wide river and in the morni g light it looked beautiful.

I was now time for my second climb again steep as I made my way up wyman mnt I began to hear voices .I presumed other hikers coming down .But as I got higher I could see it was a trail crew. They were replacing/ building new steps. It’s quite fascinating to watch as i stood there panting the lady crew said yes this mountain kicks your butt.

Thanks for that I said you could of waited till I was at the top.

I carried on up and 10 minutes later came across another crew doing the same. They had a large block and tackle to move these giant rocks . again I’m.impresed and thanked them.for their hard work .

Yes she was right this mountain did kick my butt. at the top I collapsed and took off my shoes.it was a great view now as I rested and ate a few snacks

Okay let’s go 1 down 2 more to go Old Blue mountain was.nect and this was a killer

its not a gentle path up these mountains it’s hand over hand climbing and it’s not straight up .you climb a bit you go down a little then you doodle through the forest navigate a big or two then you climb some more. then it’s s huge down before you climb again. Old Blue took me 2 hours and as soon as there was a place I could collapse into then I did.

Omg I am completely knackered and I still have about 8 miles to go for my target and it was 2pm

So I made a brew and ate the rest of my snacks . As I sat there another exhausted hiker appeared. Take my seat in done.

I hoisted up my pack and continued on and of course down . After a while I came to a spring and watered up. I still wanted to get to the shelter but in case I didn’t make it. there was water on the trail and nearer but I like the dog I g water if possible as I do not filter. I pushed on . come Snail you can do this and headed for mountain no 3 Ben is mountain

The climb started similar then I was back to the boards . theses had seen better days and so it was a change drying to keep you feet dry. I kept pushing but didnt want to fall as the trail here was so slippery

As I climbed even higher the wind came. It was fairly terrifying as many of the trees were bending and groaning and the roots were lifting on some. Great I thought crushed by a tree

As I came to an opening I great a great view of some amazing lakes in the far distance one is Lower Richardson lake they look huge.

As I was taking more photos Peach zoomed past. You gpingvyp the shelter Snailtrainer,?

Yes if my legs hold out i said

Peach then vanished..I’m sure he’s half goat , the way he skips down the mountains.

I was beginning to tire it was 6.30 it would take me at least another hour as the trail was rock, bog and steep slabs. and when I’m tired I go slower as that’s when I fall and hurt myself.

Where is that shelter I crossed over big plates of rock

I was worried thst msy be I missed it as I should be there by now

It seemed to take hours untill I spotted a tent. Thank fuck I said to myself. as I had, had enough. The best flat spots had been taken but as I was so tired I didn’t care. and so quickly threw my tent up. Imeaditly made a brew then made a Ramin bomb, ramin and mashed potato . but I added cranberries and bacon. Bloody good .washed fown with a second brew.

It was now pitch dark so straight to bed.

The wind is howling high above me @!

Start. 1936

Finish. 1953

Miles. 17

miles left. 246

.

Day 135 Zero in Goreham

Wednesday 22 August

I didn’t need to get up as I’m on a Zero

But I had chores to do, I finally

I emerged at 7 am .I looked at the sky it was Black. it looked very threatening. a few drops began to fall. Fuck it. I quickly dropped my tent and threw it into the barn. so had just fit it into the dry when it threw it down

I packed up and brought my pack upstairs. I continued editing video . phoned Big Agnes to get a new tent bag.

Samaritan and his team were going for breakfast so i tagged along. we walked to.the testurant in the pouring rain once at he restaurant , it was packed so it seemed to take a while to order and even longer to get our food. I had the hungry hiker thstvwas 2 eggs sausage home fries toast and French toast..I added bacon and a toasted blueberry muffin.

When it eventually came it was bloody good .

We walked back and I began to sort my gear again..okay I need to go to Wal-Mart.

I walked back down town and waited for the bus. itvwas 2 bucks .

I was soon At Wal-Mart. I looked again at suitcases and then brought a new drive to once again clean down my phone.

Once down I grabbed the bus back..Again I visted the post office and a d sent kit back.upthe trail.

Back at the hostel I relaxed.cleaned down my phone and watched tv.

At 5 I went and grabbed more beer then cooked pasta for tea. so made plenty and shared it with others.

Start. 1871

Finish. 1871

Miles. zero

miles left 319

Day 101 a pointless day With a Sting.

Thursday 19gh July

My alarm went off at 5 and I was up..sleeping with out the fly helps.

I let down my bed and then went to retrieve my food bag. The. I began to pack up ..The orange tent was soon. packed up and the female occupant was on the trail by 6 I was impressed.No breakfast I heckled as she walked out.

I quickly finished packing then made a cuppa woofed a mars bar and was good to go..See you up the trail I said to my fellow hikers.

It was a bit more rock jumping then the soil returned an d shortly I came to a road.I. crossed over. on the other side was a water cache . I gulped down a good litre then toppedup my water. I drew a thank you Snail on the bottle and hiked on through more forest then I came to a

solid wall of rock.FUCK !! I am going up that. it was a vertical climb . ten minutes of huffing and i was at the top. This isn’t hiking to me .but apparently on the AppalachianTrail it is . I had just got my breath back when I had to climb another. Then another. this went on for most of the morning ups and down pointless stupid climbs .

At last the scenery changed and I was walking around some gorgeous lakes. But then I was back to rock climbing it took me a while to get up on the ridge but the views were only of trees. as I pushed I vould hear the sound of cars getting louder and louder it sounded like very busy traffic. i began. to drop down big rocks to begin with then omg is was more of a scree straight down. I really was not impressed with this. It was crazy I inched my way down , making sure my food held before lifting my other it took a long 15 minutes to get down. Once again there was a large water cache at the bottom so once again I camaled up.

I was just about to walk when my fellow hiker Sundance from last night appeared. None where impressed with this section and we all thought the same. Normally by this time I wluld have done 10 miles. Today with the stupid climbs I had only managed 6 1/2. which was crap.

I hoisted up my pack and crossed the road then walked up a side road. It crossed the busy freeway and railway. Once over it turned right and I was in another State Park. I hadn’t been in the park long when I saw my first deer then another. it was really pretty In here . I climbed several small hills then again I had more rock faces to climb. But after I was back in more gorgeous forest and I walked around another beautiful lake. After I climbed another small hill

THEN !!!! OMG …What the fuck is that. surely I do not need to climb that it !. it was huge blocks of granite. I stared at it for a few minutes. Then I dropped my pack and fastened my poles to my pack as I wasn’t going to need them for this . Omg it was tough .madness and. few other choice words .

in places I had to remove my pack and pudh it the ledge. stupid game . Eventually I was at the top I walked another half miles then stopped for a break. As I was lounging Ossy and commander and another came past we chatted for a few minutes then they moved on.

Sundance shortly appeared again a few words then he was gone.

Okay Snail time to walk

I packed up and set off the trail being fairly gentle..After about 40 minutes I came to a sign pointing out the milages.

I snapped a few shots then moved on as unwanted those miles.

Eventually I came to a road. the hiker in front of me said I’m going this way

there is a vending machine.

that sounded a fab idea so I followed him down the road .6 of a mile. as I walked around the corner I was stunned to see a huge lake with a beach.

down by the beach were the vending machines and several pack. one was Sundance.

I quickly dropped my pack and fed a $20 into the machine and pressed the button for an orange ice lolly

For some reason I expected change in notes not dollar coins and quarters. The other guys laughed but then I fed them into another vending machine for lemonade. I quickly woofed my Lilly and guzzeld my cans of lemonade.

A lady and her son appeared and she was very chatty and very pretty . Her name was Domanick and she was fascinated about our hikes . we chatted to her for a while. I then put the rest of my change back into the vending machines for a other ice cream and another lemonade. It’s no good I need to walk

I visted the loo and filled up my bottles then said good by to every one . I was just leaving when Freight train and Pace arrived.

As I began to walk up the road Dominick followed me.

She wanted to leave some trail magic and wanted advice I suggested Sodas and fruit. satsumers, oranges . bananas.

Great she said. I pushed on back up the road then back to the trail. I was busy pushing when I stuck my pole in to a wasps nest..I was covered in the biggest I waved my hand dropped my poles and ran backwards I received about 8 stings 4 on.my ankle and leg 2 on my hands and arms.

But I had dropped my poles on top of the nest. It took me about 15 minutes to find a stick long enough to drag them to me with out getting stung again

I then wrote a note and left it on the trail. I think the best may of fallen from a tree.

When i was ready I ran across the trail avoiding angry wasps a d continued. but my side trip go the beach or vending machines and my wasp adventure had lost me a lot of time. I wanted another 8 miles but I don’t think it will happen but I pushed on regardless. I had just climbed Black mountsom and it was hot and then I decided Bollocks to it this will do. i quickly had my tent up . From the top of this mountain you get great views of NYC skyline. sadly my eyes see it better than my camera.

Then I put up my chair took of my shirt and shoes and made the most of the afternoon sun.

I was still relaxing when Freight train and pace arrived. Hey Snailtrainer is sunbathing again!!

Pace asks is he naked

we cook supper together then I turn in hopefully a better day tomorrow zzz

Day 75 Heading to Beard Den Hostel Mile 1004

The alarm went off at 5.30 I snoozed it. when it went off again, I let down my mat . Got up and went outside for a pee then let down my food bag. then began to remove my fly .

I put on my stove, as the water heated, I rolled up.my bag and pad. then stripped down . I eat breakfast drained my tea then I was ready.

I hoisted up.my pack and I was on the trail by 6.30.
The trail was even worse with this rain .I was sloshing through liquid mud and did for most of the morning .
This stuff really sapped my energy and it was a nice change when I entered the national park and was walking through some nice meadows., but it wasn’t long until the mud returned . It was like walking through tar , it was bloody hell., but I was still  making good time .

I eventually arrived at the start of the roller coaster. The  first climb was not too steep , but the humidity was a nightmare , and I was quickly soaked with sweat  that caused my hit belt to rub .making my waist sore
After my second  climb I decided to have an early lunch. At 11.30 I found a nice rock and relaxed for 40 mins , before returning  back to the climb. I headed up  which was shortly followed by a down    eventually   emerging  onto the road. Fantastic  there was trail magic
I had a cup of  juice and then was given a glass of wine and a banana. I sat chatting for  to my fellow hiker trash , for far too long.

Eventually I returned to the trail and my climbing  and continued  up, but it wasn’t long before ii began descending. As I began the next climb the thunder returned and loud . almost deafening. As I reached the summit  the thunder grew   louder and seemed much closer.
The rain now returned I lowered my head  and  pushed on.
I had four miles to go but I was tiring. and my pace became a plod.
The weather cant seem to make up its mind  as the  sun  now reappeared and  it soon became  hot , that was just perfect  for the  next climb, and it was steep.
I  then came to a  1000-mile marker whoop whoop.

Passing this large marker spurred me  on , until I came to another steep climb . The sun was  glaring down on my  , I was still melting, and this climb seemed endless. I pushed on and up and  kept climbing.
At last I was at the top and went in search of the hostel.
I walked in found a bunk then grabbed a shower OMG it was so good .
At last I could check in. The price was  $30  which included a soda. Pizza, ice cream and laundry. bargain .
I grabbed a pizza and put it in the oven. once cooked it was swiftly eaten . followed by a tub of ice cream and washed down with several lemonades
This was followed by several movies before  my bunk called

start 987
Finish 1004
Miles 17

Day 67 Shenadoah mtns

Sunday

my alarm went off early as I wanted to get up early and crush some miles. but instead I switched it off. Finally emerging at 6.30. but I was slow it took me ages to strip down and pack up, so it was 8 am before my feet bit the trail. As I walked several clean smelling hikers passed me by going South. They must be up early I thought. I pushed on amazed how nice the trail was and then debated to myself if I should have gone on last night.

No, I did the right thing. In the Shenandoah national park, the signposts are concrete blocks with the directions etched into aluminium bands. so, I must look closely to see which direction I should be heading.

My main concern was water as I was out, the next shelter was getting closer, but it was off trail. several hours later I arrived at

the marker post taking me the shelter was .2 miles to the east (my right).

I followed the blue blazes down the trail. Until the shelter came into view. I expected it to be empty but there was some one here. Her name was Sierra which I really liked she was a veterinary nurse. we chatted for a while before I went and got water. It was a piped spring and so u didn’t filter. I topped up.my bladder and gulped down a litre.

Sierra went and got water but as she filtered water leaked everywhere. I explained that she had possibly over tightened the connection. wrecking the “O” ring I suggested giving the. Company a call and get a replacement. I would have liked to have hiked with her, but she was only out for the weekend and was getting picked up by a shuttle later to go home and back to work.

I said my goodbyes and retraced my steps back up towards the trail. The next few miles were up as I made my way up Black mountain, but as I neared the top it began to get busy with tourists and their dogs.

I flowed the trail around the mountain taking in the amazing views. and chatting to the day-trippers.

I spent the next four of hours going in and out of the forest crossing backwards and forwards over the same road as I climbed. I was making good time and was looking good to get lunch at the loft wayside.

I was busy pushing when I spotted it …. A bear a great big bloody huge bear. I slowly got out my camera and began to shoot. he saw me. he looked at me he totally ignored me.

Bear

omg I saw a bear. I was so so excited. omg that has made my day. A round the next corner was a fawn and mum. they walked down the trail before bolting off into the woods. but hey I’ve seen my first bear and rather close too.

Soon I came to the trail that took me down to the wayside (cafe and gift shop) it took about 20 minutes down this side trail.

As I approached I cod see Bumblebee and her fella I walked inside and said hi

Bumblebee recommended the BlackBerry milkshake and her husband said the burger WAS good. Sounds good to me. so, I ordered a burger and fries, a blackberry milkshake a d a large sprite that I drained instantly. Yes, the burger WAS good. but omg the BlackBerry milkshake was the best that I have had ☆☆☆☆☆

after I finished my plate I pottered around the gift store.

Bumblebee grabbed a carton of wine. that a good idea so I grabbed one too. I so grabbed a few cards to send home

I sat outside to write my cards, but I had no cell service so couldn’t pull the addresses.

Oh well.!

Bumblebee then asked where I was heading. well if like to reach the 900 then crash I said.

They had planned on doing the same.

I brought I more coke that I promptly drank then I was away. back up the side trail and then back to the trail.

it was just 1pm when I re-joined the trail. the next shelter was 4 miles away, but I wanted the next one that was 12 miles. It was doable. but I’m a friendly chap and when people talk to me I chat back and so I lost about an hour. plus, some big climbs and the target became unrealistic unless I pushed on late.

Okay I will walk to 6 and see where I am as I crossed my last road I was nearing 900 miles

I knew that I needed to get water here from. The rangers station. so, followed the road until I reached the building. There was a tap. I filled up.my bottles then frank one so filled it up again.

I walked back up. The road and re-joined the trail I hadn’t gone far when I spotted Bumblebee setting up. Her tent.

Nice spot I said. and carried on but I was tired. after almost 40 minutes of walking I spotted a place that may do.

yep it’s fine. my tent was soon up. I hung my rope ready for my food bag then made my supper. I had a treat with chilli Mac washed down with red wine

A great day a bear and 900 miles

Start 979
Finish 900
mileage 21 miles
Remaining 1313 Miles

Day 65. Beer Legs

Thursday

It was get to the Brewery day, a mere 18 miles easy right .
I finished my cup of tea and stowed my pot.
Okay snail easy day ,I  should  be there by  3pm I told myself.
I hoisted up my pack. I waved  goodbye to the other hikers as I passed by the shelter and back towards the trail. I hadn’t gone far when Bob appeared heading to the shelter that i had just left.
“Wow what time did you start Bob”.
it was a nice cool morning as  I pushed on, but the trail was not to my liking it was horrid rock. Luckily it  had been recently been cut back so was easier to walk along .
The trail now began to head down and quite dramatically . God it was steep I felt admiration for the trail guys doing down this with their weed whacker.
Every now and then there was a clearing where you could look down into the valley.
But I was in a hurry and so didn’t stop . The trail continued down and would continue for the next 3 miles. I pushed on happy in the fact there would be ale at the end of the day.
Round the next corner sat Jingle,  I stopped and said hi, He’s Japanese and in his 60,s and got his name as he carries bear bells.
I continued on and eventually came to the road, I was just checking my maps when jingle arrived.
Hey Snailtrainer you coming to get breakfast?
It did sound like a great idea but then I had to hike a 6 mile climb and with breakfast in my tummy.
I politely refused. crossed the road and began the climb
It was fairly gentle at first with nice switchbacks . Then it began to go down again . Why are you going down you stupid trail . I was busy muttering to myself when Jingle appeared behind me.
What happened about breakfast ? I asked
“No hitch” he said.
I let him pass , then followed him trying to match his pace , the trail was still decendiong  until  i  eventually arrived at a stream
A hiker named Solo was  there getting water . Jingle stopped to  get water but as i had plenty  I pushed on .
The trail now began to climb and  steeply as i passed near to  the next shelter I debated whether  to  visit and  sign the book but  walked on by  The trail  quickly became steeper and rocky . Omg I thought my arrivel at the  Brewery may be delayed. I huffed and puffed as i slowly  climbed . I heard someone behind and turned to see Solo.  I moved over to let him pass,
“No your okay i like your pace ” he said
He tracked me for some time  until I needed to stop for a break and so at the next clearing I stopped and sat down on a huge granite slab.
“Catch you later Solo” I shouted.

I was struggling today as  the long decents first thing had taken its toll . These steep decents  kill my  knees and my fuel tank was fairly depleted. I took a quick break  and  wolfed down some snacks , guzzled some water before contining on .
I hadn’t gone too far when I came across Jingle who was also  taking a break .
The trail now began  roller coaster,that continued for the next hour before becoming just a very steep climb . There were switchbacks but I was struggling, it wasnt long until i neded  to stop again and  slumped down on a log .
God this is killing me, I glugged down more water and finished off my snacks .
I just sat there staring at the green canopy above.
Okay let’s go I hoisted my pack and plodded forward, I was still plodding when Rockwall appeared and raced past me . How does he do that, I muttered to myself.
After another hour I thought that i had  reached the summit, but it still climbed but  thankfully not so steep. I  dare not  check my map, in case it was still too far.
I came to the second shelter. which meant  1.5 miles to go, Come on Snail.
The trail continued heading up , Arrhhh  I was l knackerd but I pushed on and soon  began to meet people, clean people ! that’s a good sign.
At last the trail began to decend  and i could soon  hear traffic. the beer legs now began to work and I could now clearly see the road.
When i arrived i could see Jingle who was  sat on the other side of the road.
“There’s no shuttle” he said.
“I know I said you need to hitch.”
At that moment Rockface and Bob appeared so there was now four of us . Which makes hitching harder.
But the third  car stopped and somehow we  all managed to squeeze in, including our packs.
It wasnt long until  we were driving into the Devils Backbone Brewery.  Wow what a complex,  it was huge, camping, a sound stage, the Brewery, restaurants and much more.
We thanked our ride and headed to the bar. leaving all our packs lent against the wall.

I needed lemonade first, then I was ready for beer.
I started low before moving onto a 5% I was now hungry so ordered Ribs and a stout to go with it. Wow the ribs were amazing. The meat falling off of the bone and so tender. A Big thumbs up.

Jingle had drunk 2 pints before deciding to try  the taster which was six beers of his choice. (1/3pints) It was also his downfall .
As soon as he had  finsihed his last glass he slumped to the fllor   and  his day was over .
He had to be taken to his tent, but ended up sleeping on a picnic table over night  Legend !!
Several beers later, I thought I ought to go put up my tent before I can’t!!.
I wandered over to the camp site, and found a suitable spot , i decided to take a  30 min snooze, changed  my clothes before returning back to the bar.
I was not going to be late!

Start 826
Finish
mileage miles
Remaining 13 Miles

Day 64 Heading to the Preist shelter

Wednesday

I was up early retrieved my food bag and returned to my tent. I fired up my stove and began to strip down. I also made Instant oats as i needed energy as I had a huge climb shortly.
I finished packing drank my tea and I was ready.
Silver Back was just leaving so I set off after her. but she was soon out of sight.

it was a fairly cool morning as I started the climb. omg if went on and on . In places the grass had been cut and it l looked recent. Then I came across a trail worker. I thanked him for his efforts
As I climbed I met several snakes all the same kind but I didn’t know if they were Friendly I gave them a wide berth. I pushed on meeting three more trail workers all with their weed wackers.
So the trail was really nice to walk on I pushed on climbing phew it was warm and steep
Ping went my watch, right I said and decided to take a break . as I was resting 2 slack packers came by. Wow that was a hard climb one said.
I sarcastically replied you want to try it with a backpack on !!
I was just about to leave when Silver Back arrived but by the time I was on trail she had vanished. Wow she must be shifting.
I was now crossing some wide  meadows with great views all around
I followed the path as it wound its way across finally dipping back into the forest where I stayed for most of the day ocaiosnly popping out to get a view of the valley.
The hours where counting down as the miles fell.
But I was tired and my pace began to fade and so I was so pleased to at last see the sign that read Shelter. I followed the blue blaze untill the shelter appeared. There was a family who were section hiking.
I found a spot put up my tent  then walked back to the shelter  to cook tea.
I was joined  by the family  which was  was nice to  have the company.
As  we chatted a steady stream of other hikers began to arrive.  I was just packing  up  my  stove when  Silver Back appeared.
“I thought you had gone on” I said.
“No I stopped st the last shelter for a break ” she said.
It began to get buggy around the shelter so I retreated to my tent tp chill  and crash

Start 806
Finish 828
mileage 22 miles
Remaining 1362 Miles

My Video blog is a Day out

Day 61 Heading To matts Creek shelter Mile 783

Sunday 10 June.

I slept well and was stripped down and ready to go by 7
I was a nice sunny morning . hmmmm going to be hot I thought.
my first target was the next shelter maybe 3 miles away . shapes had come past my tent last night  and was heading there.
I was impressed as I was struggling this morning as  it was all uphill and very steep.
So steep that I had to keep stopping . come on snail  i ssaid  to  mysself to  motivated and urge me on . but appeared to be lacking  Umph , Why am i struggling ? As i had slept really well  and had eaten my fill last night
I pushed on ,eventually coming to the sign to the next shelter but as it was off trail I decided not to visit it.
As I passed it the trail became even steeper and had to really urge myself on  as i climbed trail  became much  smoother and  neater, It was really well mainatined and  cut back but it was just steep and rocky so I struggled to get any speed up.

It was no good i didnt seem to be making much progress so decided to stop for a morning break (. a sign that I am struggling )
I ate  a few snacks and glugged water. I was still relaxing when shapes passed by and was gone !
I finished my break then set off down the trail but I still didn’t have any ummph, even my normal plod was slow.
Eventually I came to the next shelter there was one tent left but I I passed it to get water I recognised the owner.
bloody goodd effort i said   laughing
This hiker  walks miles and late into the night . (Sorry  forgot his name )

I told him that today  I was struggling
He  pointed out that it was a very steep elevation. and that  the air was thinner

That made me feel slightly better  as  I filtered water
Then it was back to the trail, it was 12 miles to town but with more climbs I dont think I will get there today .
I continued climbing but this part was open with no shade and I was roasting as the sun beat down on me .Oh and did I say it was steep, oh and so hot.
It seemed to take me forever to climb it. but of course  once up it was straight down which annoyed me as my foot now began to hurt as I stumbled over the rocky trail
My map said I should be going down but I just kept climbing , when I came to a stream I filled up as I had decided to camp at the next suitable spot .
As I pushed on my energy  decided to returned , how mad is that I thought as I steamed into camp
I had just got my tent up and had begun to relax when the rain came big buckets of it the sky went black as the Sun retreated oh well I guess that I will be cooking in my tent again

Start 764
Finish 784
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1406 Miles

NB  my Vblog is one day out !!

Day 60 Heading to Floyd Mountain Mile 764

Saturday 9th june

Considering  that I slept by the road I slept really well. At 6.30 I got up and began to pack up. when I was almost done I put on my stove for a brew and made  breakfast.
I soon woofed and drank both, stowed my stove and I was ready,  hoisted up my pack and retraced my steps back to the trail. Again it was a beautiful morning. I pushed on and was surprised that I didn’t see anywhere to camp untill  I was almost at  the shelter. The shelter was .2 off trail so I didn’t visit it but pushed on past. I was busy climbing when a other hiker came past I have met him so many times but his name escapes me. The morning started as yesterday’s finished into a forest then out into a scenic viewing layby before heading back into  the forest  then back out into a  layby . The next one was amazing, as all the mountains poked out from beneath the clouds. wow.
Then I did one more before disappearing deep into the forest  the trail spiralled down but I could still hear cars so the road must run parallel.
I could  hear water and as I came around another corner I saw  a fellow  hiker getting water  as this was  the last water for 10 miles
I filled up then drank a litre, I didnt want to carry too much as there was  a  lot  climbing.
I crossed the road and  began myfirst climb  . it wasn’t too bad and the terrain fairly tame  for my feet. Once  i  had  reached the summit  the trail took on its normal rollercoaster  of  ups and downs . As i hiked the  temperture continued to rise . it wasnt so much hot but sticky .
I was miles away when the next shelter came into view.  I walked down to it and tdecided to have  lunch when the three Germans turned up.
The  german lady asked me where I had stayed.?
About a mile back I replied.
As we were talking Fish arrives.
Hi fish .
We talk about the hotel and the zeros .  Fish then lifts his shirt OMG his tummy is bright red from the Sun bathing at the pool
“Fuck Fish,. that looks  bloody sore.”
It is snail he replied.
Didn’t shapes put cream on it (,his girl) i laughed
We decide to do a few toasts  with the burbon that i am carrying then I am on my way. I feel that I am pushing , but it’s not long before the German train catches me. and I watch them go.
The hours and miles whizz by and I am soon coming out of the forest into a road by a bridge. this is the famous  swimming hole and  there are several people swimming. it looks so inviting but I decided to walk past and start the next climb  which  is long and steep .
This climb appears to go on and on and it hot very very hot and the sweat begins to sting my eyes . Then there are these little black flies that fly just in front of your face and drive you mad as well as the big buzzy ones that fly by your ears. arhh.

I push on trying not to look up . eventually I reach the plato and decided that I need a break . I glugged down the 1/4 litre of juice that I had in the side pocket. there  should be  water at the next shelter so not far to go but i had enough . but when I came to the next stream I watered up anyway

It wasn’t long unti I reached the next shelter no name hiker was here also xxx who was sleeping and an older hiker who was section hiking.
The shelter was really nice a large 2 story building. I drank more water  and was eating some snacks when Fish arrived.

For some raeson i fancied a  coffee so  fired up my stove. the coffee was delicious. as i hadnt made one in a while. I stayed at this shelter for far too long as I wanted a few more miles.
Fish was heading to the next shelter, I could maybe make that but 2.5 miles was more  my target.
I hoisted my pack and set off , as i walked the skies suddenly turned black ,boom boom went the thunder. I had enough water  and so just needed a flat spot any spot.But now  I was climbing so not a chance. I climbed for several hours and began to regret moving on. Boom went the thunder.i stopped and checked Guthooks it says I am near and yes I’m.here.
I looked about  and chose a spot and quickly put up my tent

Although i had enough water ,there was a sign pointing to water and in Guthooks it said it was a spring so I took two bottles with me and went to  top up.
Omg it was far and not very good water either. I filled up and was on my way back when the heavens opened great I thought it st least my tent is up . once back I was ready to hang my food . I had just got it over the limb when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned around and a few feet away was a large rattle snake. they can strike upto four foot.
Omg  I  quickly moved away ,thinking tat was lucky !!

I made tea in my tent. I tried  out a new meal that was rather tasty.  Itwas then bed time

Start 764
Finish 764
mileage 18 miles
Remaining

NB  my Vblog is one day out !!