Day 151 heading to Monson

,Friday 7th September

I was up and packed early but it was a cold morning and fairlyfull .but I was walking by 6.45 as I wanted to get as close to Monson as I could .

I had another climb to do first then hopefully it was down hill ha ha.

I was feeling good as I hiked along the trail and the climb was good . I came to a short hand over hand section then it became normal . I climbed higher then came to some amazing rocks they were huge and the trail passed through them and around them.

it was then a short scramble and then.inwas on huge slabs of rock again as I climbed above the tree line. Wow what a view I was staying st a vast lake and the clouds or mist hung above it like a blanket. I stood admiring the views before pushing on and up.

at last I reached the summit and received even better views. It was fairly flat up here as I looked all around me. there was a north summit. thst I could of but today I wanted miles

so began to walk on . again the views were spectacular. as I started my decent I ran into a sobo. we exchanged greetings a d I continued on . It was still early but the sun was trying to shine.

I headed down with the occasional up just to annoy me.

on the damp.muddy parts I began to see many moose tracks so stopped yo state into the woods, how do these big animals disappear?.

The trail then became nice as it passed through several pine forests and now with the sun they smelt wonderfull one of my favourite smells put here on trail

Once out of those forests. I was walking in an old river bed that was covered in small boulders that I struggle to walk over as they strain my feet twisting my shoes

At last I was out and then walking on stepping stones which made a change from.the duck boards. I was now joined by another creek thst I was to follow for almost the rest of the day ..

Some times I walked beside it other times I was high above it. but was always there. It was just 12 okay I’ll stop for lunch shortly as my tummy was rumbling. and I had eaten most of my snacks.. I pushed on crossing several streams then arrived back at the river. itvwas fsirly wide and o couldn’t see how to cross then I noticed a rope stretched across. how’s do i use that?

I then noticed 2 other hikers sat on the other side..How did you get across I asked.

We are sobos we havnt yet ..thnk it’s croc time!!.

Oh I replied taking off my pack then removing my shoes and socks. I put on my flipflops slung in my pack grabbed the rope and gingerly stepped into the water it was freezing as I inched my way across and as it got deeper the rocks got slippy. but I soon across struggled up the bank in my flip flops and decided that it was definitely lunch time..

The other 2 hikers were stridder and xx. we chatted for a while then I moved on itvwas 1pm and I had covers 10 miles whoop I may be able to make town . I hoped that the trail was going to stay nice!!

I soon met another hiker I warned him.thst he was going to get his feet wet.

Have you passed another hiker? he asked

No only the 2 sobos i said and carried on .

I then met another and was going to say the same untill I noticed his badges . showing thatc he was a ridge runner.

He told me about the trail ahead and thst there was one more river crossing but thstvi should be able to rock hop it.

days in for most of the day I continued to flood this creek mostly by the side. and now and then hi .above when I carved it’s way through the canyon.

The shelter. I reached the next shelter. great I thought I’m.making good time .I will stop at three for a quick break

I walked on passing several walows and briefly stopped to look for moose. nothing

the locals call them swamp donkeys. as they love these places.

I pushed on until I came to a spring so topped up one of my bottles. just in case

I was still.making good time nut I was beginning to tire . so I was pleased when my watch chimed 3pm and there was a perfect spot to stop

I transferred some more snacks to my side pockets . ate a couple of snacks then checked my map. 6 miles to go it’s now 3 so 6pm. or half past.

yep I can do this . I pushed and pushed. at 5 I came to another walkway through another bog. but as I walked across it was sunny see thst moose had been here and possibly lied down as the grass was all crushed But no.moose to see.

Perhaps if I stop looking for them!!

As I crossed a mother dirt road I also passed a snowmobile course . this ran by the side of the trail for some way before heading uphill. It was now time for board walking again and inbetween them were the most knarly roots . are I. but then I began to hear the sound of traffic . Fantastic as this seemed tonurgevmecon and at 6.30 I was stood by the road.

I but out my thumb and watch car after car zoom.past me

.then a pickupcame the other way. stopped asked where I was going and then did a u-turn.

I passed you he said , I don’t know why I didn’t stop.

I threw my pack into.the back and jumped in thanking him.as it was getting dark so expected to camp in the car park.

He dropped me by the post office. I thanked him.and began to walk towards the Shorehouse

as I walked along o met Samaritan coming the other way with pizza

Bloody he’ll we both exclaimed.

He was staying at the other hostel.so I said if there is no room I.may see you later.

I made my way to the bar asked if there was any space.

As I step of there. I heard Snailtrainer!!! it was her Dudeness, who I hadn’t seen since hot springs . It was good to catch up but she was busy cooking so I said I’d grab her later.

I was shown my bunk and how it works. then I grabbed a shower and came downstairs to the restaurant.

I found a table ordered a beer then a starter of fried mozzarella . Then a 12oz rib eye. salad and fries and a pud oh and a few more beers.

I then recognised the hikers that I had met today so joined then for a good night beer.

great day

Start. 2054

Finish. 2076
Miles. 22
miles left. 114

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Day 150

Thursday 6th September.

as breakfast was not until 7am there was no rush to leap out if bed so I may there dozing.

at 6.45 I got a call that breakfast was in 15 minutes.

I walked downstairs . grabbed a coffee and sat at the laid table. There was just of orange juice and water. a plate of sliced banana and melon. one by one others arrived . The German lady 2 sponges. the Ausssie, so-hum , Kaleidoscope and one other. then plates bag a. to appear a large plate of home fries, scrambled egg with cheese and mushroom , bacon and French toast. we began. to dig in as it was so good. we chatted as we munched.

soon it was time to get ready to leave and my stuff covered the bedroom floor.

I stuffed my pack then dragged it fown stairs and onto the porch. I then settled my bill.

I then finished packing got fresh water and stowed it. I then commented to kaleidoscope that the skies looking black. Dave the owner then appeared saying there’s a storm about to hit I would wait it out guys . As soon as he said this there was a huge clap of thunder and then it chucked it down huge raindrops that bounced off of the ground .

It rained hard for about 20 minutes . Did the 2 girls go out I asked referring to the Aussie and 2 sponges.

Yes they did So-hum replied.

At last the rain began to ease. right guys I’m outta here I said . and slung my pack up into my back. grabbed my sticks and marched off down the road.

In the UK when we have a storm it clears the sir and makes it fresh. here it just makes things hot and sticky.

I walked along the road then rejoined the At. It was fairly steep for the first 10 minutes them it began to even out. okay Snail 7.5 miles to the peak of my first climb. Are we ready legs.?

I pushed on through the forest and I had to admit it.was a really nice trail. no rocks or to its twists or turns just a straight path. I like this and speeded up but it wasnt long before the trail decides to dive downwards and steeply. Why when you want to climb up the trail takes you down . and Typicly as soon as I was down the climbing started again. I began to follow a creek slowly back up the mountain

it was then that I heard the familiar voices. behind me and stepped aside to allow Kalidascope and So-hum to pass. catch you guys later. they were hoping for a 15 I may be able to son that depending on terrain as it was just 9 when I hit the trail.

As I walked I found that my water bladder tube must. be kinked so I stopped by a pile of cut logs that are intended to make bog bridges . I sorted out my drinking tube had some snacks and to got my headphones out. okay Snail let’s climb this mountain. I turned up the volume and began to screech(singing ) to the music.

I shortly caught the girls. did you get wet I asked laughing.

We might have done the Aussie replied . I walked with them a while. then pulled away ..It was then the climbing started a good 10 minutes of hand over hand. Then a nice trail began again .The sun now decided to come out and it was hot a d oh so humid. I hadn’t tied my sweat cloth to my pack so I had noyhingbto wipe my forehead and eyes. dam . but I still pushed on . I was making good ace thanks to the lovely trail. it eventually turned to slabs if rock and I quickly climbed up. st he views getting begtercand better then post he’ll I’m.here and in good time.I was st the summit. whoop .let’s home the downs not too scary.

But again with the At you can’t just go down it need a to tease you and play with you . then it may let you go down. As I crossed over more slabs of rock I came across Kalidascope and So-hum taking a break .

Nice spot I commented.

Take it Snail we are just going .

That was a better climb than I expected I said.

yes thats whst we thought so-hum replied. so you may make the shelter then Snail ?

I laughed all depended w hats in front. but I’ll try.

I dropped my pack and decided to make a brew them ate some cheese and biscuits .

Then it was back.to.the trail. I felt pumped as I continued on my way the sun a to shinning and I just love the smell of the pine forests when the sun is out .the strong armour of pine.

I shortly emerged out into sunlight which is where electric pylons stretch. . I looked bothbwsys in the hope of seeing more moose …..

The trail.then dived back into the forest but in the dustamcecwas another beautiful looking lake. 10 minutes later I emerged out onto a road thst ran around this gorgeous lake..I stood staring at it for several.moments before dragging myself away. as i walked around it I spotted my two companions lounging on a small jetty. You been in I asked ?

No not yet Snail.

so left them.to it and continued on . the trail.then turned left to Ford the river. It looked as it had recently flooded. as the surrounding grass had been. flattened. I hoppedcacross the stones and arrived safely on the other bank.

It was a big muddy and some large stones to.navigate then the nice trail returned . I pushed on as the trail climbed and decended after about an other hour I came to another river .I decided to water up as I was my companions sped past . see you at camp SNAIL.

Once I was done I set off After them passing several water meadows where I paused to check for moose. there were tracks and poo but no moose.

I think.im.looking too hard I laughed then rejoined the trail

I was in the zone and the trail be and a blur until i reached the next river.

Kaleidoscope and So-hum had their tent up. Great you made if snail . what is this it and its not even 4.30.

I wanted to go on .but my tent was soon up I push more miles tomorrow .

I ate tea with my companions whilst trying to train a chipmunk . then the sleepiness took over

.

Start. 2040

Finish. 2054
Miles. 14
miles left. 136

Day 149 to Caratunk

Wednesday 5th sep

I was up.early and ventured down to.the bog in hope of seeing another moose. I don’t know what i expected

.Both there was no moose. so.i walked back.to.mybtent put on a brew and packed up

I hit the trail. by quarter to 7

it was a beautiful.morningcand soon came to another beatiful.lake. called east carry pond. It was beautiful.in the morning sunlight. as I walked around it I came to a gorgeous beach.maybe I stopped too soon!!!.

I pushed on around the lake then I heard voices it was Kalidascope and um-hum.hi guts nice to see you I was just down there .

We chatted a bit then I. pushed on I knew thst they would soon catch me .

Once past the lake the trail. climbed a bit then it was pretty flat . Such a nice change.

as I crossed several.muddy patches I could see numerous Moose tracks . but sadly no real.moose . I pushed on

through the forest that was so pretty in the sunlight .

I pushed on and soon came to the hut bit didn’t visit it but it then.opened up.onto a huge lake .again so beautiful this time the trail.walked around the outlets over rocks which were a touch sketchy then I followed the out letter turned into a lovely creek that bubbles it’s way over the rocks with large waterfalls . I began to follow it down the mountain

eventually I emerged onto a road and saw the familiar motor home of ossie and his wife’s. But it looked deserted.

as I crossed the road I re joined the creek . This was to be my companion for the rest of the day.

two hikers came past who.i had seen several.times before . Don’t rush snail hecdaid there’s about 30 queuing for the ferry

Thanks for thst. I was planning to take a break but if it’s a large queue I may as well wait untill I’m.there.

I pushed on following the creek stopping now and then To admire it’s sheer beauty. then I I recognised a familiar face coming towards me . It was ossies wife

Hi ya SNATRAINER how are you . we chatted for a while and she repeated the same info. don’t rush there’s a big queue.

I plodded on and was soon caught by Kalidascope and So-hum. We chatted as we walked ..I wasn’t planning in staying in Caratunk just post office and out. bit of see you guys later.

eventually I arrived at the river and could see them both down at the shore. This was the ferry a canoe and he took two at once and hurrah there was no queue. I watched then cross the river and the he returned . it was my turn. I was soon across.i thanked my boat man and began to.leave

So-hum then dived back into.ghe water and swam back across he’s fucking nuts !!

Laters guys I called. and headed into town. By now the sun was roasting.

I passed by the hostel a d thought too hot to hike .

as I walked in Samaritan was sat on the Porch .Hey Dude how are you?

I joined him.on the porch in a rocker. The other two had hiked out and he was trying to decide. what to do

I found out that the post office didn’t open untill 2pm and it was now 12. so I booked a room and grabbed several cold tins of lemonade and rejoined him.

It was deciding whether time I 5.5 or push to 11miles .

At last it was 2 pm and I borrowed loaner clothes while mine got washed. to walk to the lost office to get my replacement charger.

Great it’s in . god it was sweltering as i made my way back. I managed to get on line and answer a few emails but it was slow . I managed to get a replacement mat sorted and possibly my socks . Phone was a no as I need signal Arrrrhh.

But I did manage to order some clothes to go home in.

So-hum asked what I was doing for dinner.

I thought the brewery.

so at 5pm we got a ride there .It was a great place .

We sat outside and ordered.i had the steak fillets with loaded fries and a huge salad. but it got messed up so I received double Omg it was vast. so I was completely stuffed

I fancied a few beers to take back but they only did a growler so 64 flozs it is

Once back I sat on.the porch just relaxing with my beer untill the bugs drove me inside.

Start. 2028

Finish. 2040
Miles. 12
miles left. 150

Day 49 Bland VA

Monday 28th May

I really slept so well and was amazed to find that my tent was dry as I had heard it raining during the night.

I only packed up retrieved my food bag. made tea, stamped on the beer cans and I was ready .

it was about a mile-ish to the Grocery store/ restaurant.

I pushed on laughing to myself as I passed numerous tents shoehorned into tight spaces.

a little way down the trail I came to Happy feet and Bob Marley who were packing up . we said hellos and see you for breakfast .

i pounded down the trail passing through a large burn area . I wasn’t sure if it was a controlled burn or other. it seemed fairly recent as the smoke still hung in the air.

little further I spotted a wild turkey, then another but they kept hiding behind trees.

I pushed on and eventually exiting onto a asphalt road.

signs warned me to be safe as it was busy. (I saw nothing) I followed the road until I came to a huge pylon. The pylons stretched down the valley to the highway. I kept walking untill I began to see houses then I saw the grocery store and Bob. Hiya Bob.

I left my pack and entered. the owner was busy cooking breckfast so I grabbed a soda said I’d pay in a mo and sat down.

so ordered the breckfast plate which consisted of two Biscuits and gravy 2 fried eggs and bacon.

Biscuits are similar to British scones covered in white sauce.

that is biscuits and gravy and it’s rather tasty washed down with coffee.

They also do a good range of foods to resupply

Bob had the same as me . as we sat there a stream of hikers began to arrive.

I polished off my breakfast .grabbed another soda and a few bits then i was ready.

Bob was complaining that his tent was soaked

Happyfeet, Fish and myself said really as all of ours were dry.

Outside we a adjusted our packs . before setting off.

It was a road walk for about a mile then the climbing began.

I was felling good but the first climb was steep and endless and really sapped my energy plus I had a big breakfast inside me .

I chugged up the first hill god it was steep . the next few hours was a typical rollercoaster up and down up and down.

I eventually reached the first shelter, but as it was off trail I decided not to visit it so pushed on . The rest of the day was similar ups and downs with not much to see.

it was then that I decided that I wasn’t going gomlush today and that I would stop at the second shelter and stop .put up my tent and relax for the rest of the day. Yes Snail a short day and fax a d have an early night.

Happy with my plan I pushed on . and feeling happy began screeching at the top of my voice (singing)

I was miles away when I emerged onto forest road.. and there were of me congratulating me . Why?

It took a moment for the penny to drop … But I was at the 600 mile mark .Whoop whoop.

just then a car pulled up and asked us if we fancied a beer.

God yes so we all grabbed a beer while we had our photographs taken.

Then they produced cakes and doughnuts and food and more beer

Again thank you so much

I was just enjoying another beer when Bob arrived.

I said I was only going to the next shelter 2.5 miles away.

Bob the. suggested that there was a grocery store 9 more miles away that served food and beer.

Well Bob .if my feet can do it I will be there.

Bob is fast and headed off. but I had only go e a few yards when the heavens opened up.

It absolutely chucked it down. but I just pushed on splashing through the water. one and one.

I zoned out and just pushed I weirdly enjoy it . it’s cool.i don’t need to drink so much and I can sort of switch off.

Up and down the trail I pounded into I reached a sign for the next shelter. Naw not today . and pushed on past and on and on I crossed road and bridges . splashing and sloshing through the rain..

I stopped and got water in case I did not make the store.

I began to climb passing great campsites after great campsites. No not to day I shouted as I past them by. so was still climbing but once on the ridge I stayed there thank god. I was miles away when I ran into another hiker going South then another and another . six in total . I must be getting near I thought. but when I checked my map I was still 3 miles away

I then overtook a hiker a very rare thing for me to do .

But I spured me on and my legs began to .move faster .

I was shifting down the mountain untill the trail became a muddy mess and I was bringing every where and was scared that I may face plant.

The rain had made it treacherous I was holding onto tree branches as j was frightened that I may bend my poles. at last it evened out as I entered a wide meadow and cod hear the rush of water.

I was still decending when I came to a huge bridge. I videoed it as I crossed. but as I crossed the bridge began to sway scary.

Once across o saw a hiker and tent . Which way to the store ?

Tame a lect it’s a 1/2 mile

I set off all g the road. jumping into the hedge when cars approached.

seventy I are I ed st the garage/ Store. I dropped my pack and went inside . asked about camping $6 shower and laundry. That seemed a deal so I paid then ordered chicken strips and chips.

I took.mine honest outside S with the aircon it was warmer outside. It was then that I noticed. Bob and sidestep. Hi guys

I sat down and ate my dinner ..but they were going back to the water fall to camp.

I finished my chicken then went to look for the campsite.

I noticed one tent do set mine up near. there were showers but no towel and washers but no soap nut for $6.

I dumped all my clothes onto the machine squirted in some shampoo I found and hoped for the best. then I jumped in the shower. the water was hot and it was good to be clean.

When donevi walked. ack grabbed a six pack ice cream and gas and walked back to my tent.

The other hiker was about so we need up chat to g and drinking

night

Day 48

Sunday 27th May

As I had Cell service I edited and looked at far too much stuff and ended up going to bed far too late .

so slept well though and was up and packed by 7am drank my tea and was on the trail by 7.30.

some people yesterday were saying that they were getting up early to watch the sunrise..But it was another pea- souper. I set off down the trail crossed into the woods and began to defend down a huge steep hill. My knees were not quite awake and so it was slow and painfull. 3 faster hikers appeared so o stood back to let them pass.

The next three hours were PUDS. Omg they drive me nuts and to make things worse they were all rocky. My right foot seems to be healing but I still have to be careful with it and this stuff doesn’t help. Up and down up and down such fun .

I was just chugging up another up when I noticed a friendly face . Hi happy Feet.

bloody He’ll snail nice to see you.She was camping with another bloke called “Bob Narly”. I wished them well and continued on

after four hours my bladder ran out so I decide to stop for a snack

I was filtering water when an Austrian chap came past. he was rather portly and was not using sticks .neither did he have any knee braces on.

I am amazed at you I said.

Ox knees was his reply. I was still impressed.

I finished filtering water and set off towards the shelter

it was about an hour away and wasn’t long till I arrived.

There were about 5 hikers here but the only one I knee was called fish.

I dropped my pack then took my fly and spread it out to dry in the sun. then had lunch and chilled .

One by one the hikers left stating their destinations which I thought was rather funny.

But then I wanted go get to the road and to the cafe. ready for breakfast. that was 22 miles or rather that would be my days total.

I was just getting ready to leave when happy Feet and Bob arrived. I said my goodbyes andumd the other hikers said that I’m trying to get to the road. or when my legs had had enough.

It was hard leaving the shelter and now the sun was shining with all its might.

Then trail was much nicer Nd I soon began to push out the miles . yep I can get to the road.

as I made my way along I had to omg over numerous fallen trees

for somecreasln this made me smile. The next water was at the road and this would be the last water for a while. So I needed to top up.

as I began to defend I b

can to hear voices and could make out water.

K wondered if it was kids playing?.

But when I emerged out from.the forest and crossed the bridge I could see that it was trail magic.

Kate passed me a beer and then handed me a doughnut which was Devine. I drained the beer then grabbed a coke as I peeled and ate 2 satsumers.

Thank you so much I said as I devoured a blueberry muffin

Would you like to pack out a beer or 2 ?

Two I said . yes please and shoved to beers into my pack

I thanked them again then headed back to the trail.

I had only gone a little eayvwhem I had to stop for water.

Typically weighed down with water and beer the trail climbed up and steep . and it was hot very hot . The sweat running down my back was running into my shorts and so my butt cheeks began to chafe.

But I didnt want to stop.as my bum became more and more sore. only 4 miles to go. but I don’t think I can stand the pain .

Boom went the thunder. perfect I thought I will grab the next flat spot a d so Typicly there are none. so I push on .

As I rounded a corner I could see a tent it was Fish. Great spot I cried. I carried on down the trail walking like John wayne.

On and on I went…. then perfect. a corner. I can get in there.

My tent was soon up a d once up I threw every thing inside before attending to my sore botty .

then I found a tree to ha g my food from.

next tea. couscous and salmon tonight walked down with beer.

once o was fed I hung my food bit the weight broke the branch. bugger I said then found another limb

Once done i retired to my tent with my tea.

location mile 588.4

miles hiked 19.2

Day 58 heading to Dalesville

I slept well apart from being women by a beady eyed mouse. my fat as I slept with my tent open. well I asked him nicely to leave then went back to sleep

I was up.by 6am but wasn’t ready to hike untill 7.30.

when I walked back go the shelter there were many usual faces. I said my hello then made my way back to the trail. I followed Poppins for a while until they stopped for a break.

there were many campsites as I walked and with the luxury of bear boxes. so I could of pushed on a bit more last night …..maybe.

The trail continued on with its typically up and down.so I was fairly pleased that I didn’t hike on.

Once Vain it took me up.to the ridge to climb some rocks and then back down. As I walked on o began to meet more people heading the other way. Day hikers.section hikers egg.

Now and then I would catch a view of the lakes far below .

I was looking forward to a real.bed something that I missed out on at the last town. These thoughts seemed to help my legs and I was beginning to crush the miles.

I emerged from the forest into one of the many cleared areas that the electric pylons walk across. That must of have been an amazing engineering feat as they stretch for miles over the distant mountains. But these areas normally give you great views and no they did not disappoint. Wow amazing. I stood staring for a few mins before moving on.

I then bumped into a dad and daughter out for a few hours hike. we chatted for a while and his mother was from chippy a town not far from.me.

I pushed on coming to railway line not far now I thought .

That seemed to spur me on and soon I was standing at the busy main road.

I could see Howard Johnson’s so set off towards it arrived hot and sweaty. please have a room!!!!

As I was booking in Fish appeared. he had made it the night before. May see you later , but he was expecting company.

I checked the hiker box. and there were several beers so I squirreled them away and headed to my room .

it was a roomy sou me fantastic.

I dropped my backed stepped out of my clothes and straight into the shower. Omg that was so good.. Once clean I grabbed my stinky clothes and went to the laundry. . Great chores over so I opened up.a beer

Then I wandered around the motel. found the pool and sat relaxing with my beer. I chatted with my other hiker buddies drank a few more beers. I could of sat here all day but I wanted to visit the outfitters. It was in the other direction all g the very busy road .

I found the store so brought a few bits and of course a 12 pack. then to the outfitters. I brought several pieces of spare kit then bumped in to Red Fox s or Jo one of the guys that I had started with many many weeks ago.

have you had lunch I asked?

No what do you have in mind?

I fancied the BBQ place

okay see you in 20 mins

When i got there Peach and bumble bee was there. we chatted then I ordered.

I went for thel local style Ribs and wow they were so good havnt eaten ribs in a while .must try more.

After my fill I walked back to my room decanted the food from.boxes into ziplocks then joined other hikers by the pool.

Later I decided to try the Mexican for dinner as it was just across the road. The food was good but they were putting up chairs fairly early which was disappointing .

I walked back to my room watched a film then it was xxx time

milage today 10 miles

Day 72

I woke up early as my alarm was teing me to get up so i wuickly switched it off.

I eventually woke at 8 am got up put on the coffee and stepped into the shower .

After stepping out I watched garbage on the tv and then decided to write some postcards.

Okay I need to leave I eventually managed to pack up and leave. I walked back to reception and checked out .They also took my postcards so that was a result .

I was just about to hike out when another hiker said hey snail have you had the breakfast?

so about turn and into the restaurant .I went to the counter and loaded my plate then ordered more orange juice and coffee. Then I went around again . and then one once more but then found the fruit.

one more juice then I was out and it was now 10 omg it’s late and I also I want to visit the next town and post my tourist stuff to my friend in Texas.

I pushed on 7 miles to the road and then I need to hitch

The morning seemed to whizz by may be it was a good night’s sleep in a real bed .

ping went my phone. cool we are doing well. the miles falling . .occasionally I stopped to get a view of the country side or to cross another road.

Eventually I reached the road or rather the main entrance to the park..

walked out and to the Rangdr bootb. and asked which way I needed to head.

I then walked to the road and held out my thumb.

Soon I was heading into Lurray

the couple actually dropped me at the postoffice. I thanked them as they drove off.

since onside the post office I had to almost dismantle my pack as the stuff that I wanted to post was typically at the bottom. I choose a box then put all my excess gear into it and posted it up the trail.

Once done I really needed a wee so visited the nearest which was the train museum.

it was fairly interesting . I asked if they had a stamp but sadly not ..Okay once my chores were done I walked back to the. freeway and held out my thumb.

I was fait lucky as I was picked up by the ridge runner and so I learnt a great deal on the journey back.

She was off to the first shelter and had her saw and secatears.

we walked for a while it I was faster and took off. I was heading for. Elkwallow wayside . I was Hopi g to get there by 4ish. have supper and hike on .. I pushed on listening to the lound rumble of thunder and occasionally I got a light sprinkle. but rain was coming even though the sun shone with all its might.

I began to hear voices but I couldn’t make out what direction they were coming from .Then two hikers appeared. behind me one I hadn’t seen before the other was Bob Narley.

Hey man how are you doing .

See you at the wayside.

It was about an hour later that j arrived at Elkwallow wayside.

I dropped my pack and went inside . I ordered the chicken strips with fries . a lemon soda. a milk shake and 2 beers .

I went outside to eat my dinner as I did the sky turned black and I had just finished eating when it threw it down..I sheltered under the veranda.

Omg it rained and it rained .

FUCK FUCK I can’t put my tent up.in this . as I sat in despair staring at the rain . Bob and his companion appeared

this is not good Snail. They had planned on hiking to the. ext shelter at least another 6 miles away. They are fast but it now so dark .

I watched as they shut up the shop andocked every thing up .

I really wanted to camp right here but it’s Naughty lol.

The rain eased a little so I had a reckie of the area . Just to.the right was a picnic area . Right that will do me . I said bye to my fellow hikers and headed out. with my pack .

I found a good spot and managed to put up.my tent quickly without it getting too wet. Then I hung my food bag. I had eaten loads so no need to cook again so straight to bed .

Milage 17 miles .

Day 144

Friday 31st

Paul had put an extra sleeping bag in my tent as it was predicted to be cold . So I was so toasty last night and there was no hurry to get up.

But my body clock woke me at 6am so I dozed listening to the pinecones dropping on the tarp above my head.

At 8 I funky emerged visted the porta loo then wandered back to my tent. It was like my pack had exploded in my tent there was stuff every where.

my new buckle had arrived from Osprey so I fitted that and adjusted the hip belt . glued on my hiking patches .then began to pack. My new tent stuff sack had arrived so I swapped that over.

Again I seemed to have a ton of food . one day I will get that right. I wandered back to the main area there were a few hikers moving out. I sat at the table while money penny (English gal) cooked me breakfast while I waited I grabbed a brownie made by local lady . which are fantastic.

I drained my coffee and grabbed another. then scoffed my breakfast. It was a gorgeous morning as I sat in the sun. I really didnt want to move.

Paul came back from shuttling and said you guys are going to have great views on the summit’s today.

It’s no good I need to move. I went back.to my tent and finished packing. Then i hoisted up my pack Omg it’s heavy . I said my good byes and walked up the drive and back to the road. it’s .3 back to the trail . I passed several hikers going the other way

One asked me about the Hiker hut. I said that I liked it and thst it worked for me and that he does do shuttles to town.

I reached the trail head crossed over and began to.hike it has just gone 9 am .

It was nice and cool as I headed into the forest . it was going to.be several large climbs but oddly I was really looking forward to them

My first was going to be Saddle Back mountain, the biggest climb of the day .The start was fairly gentle. .passing several lovely lakes . I met many sobos and short hikers. crossed several bogs then the climbing started. then Kalidascope and her man came through . Fuck am.i that slow . we gave each other abuse laughing see you guys up the trail.

It was just over 3 hours till I submitted Saddle back and wow the views were totally amazing .Wow it was a great day to hike a clear day so I could see for miles.. Kalidascope and ahem were just finishing their lunch as I arrived.

So as they got up.i took.their spot. I enjoyed some an a is but really I could of dat here all day as the views were just breathtaking.

eventually I hiked on as I had my next mountain to climb named the Horn, but of course I have to go down first. From the top of Saddleback it was easy to see my route and in the distance was Kalidascope. Wow they got there fast but yes they are fast.

The down wasn’t too bad and I was soon climbing again and the up was fairy sketchy in places. As I climbed I ran into another trail crew who were replacing some stairs (Rock steps) Great job a said puffing and panting . Before continuing on.

At last the trail began to get easier . thank you . And i began to climb up more of the huge rock slabs so it didnt seem.to take too long untill i was at the top of the horn whoop whoop. Again the views were incredible .okay Snail 1 more to climb today then we can look to camp .

The down from this one was fairly crappy .huge rocks to clamber over . knarly roots to trip you so I came down fairly slow in fact incredibly slow . But I don’t want to fall and hurt myself or break some thing especially this close to the end .

Eventually the trail flattened out .As I was about to head down a bit more I passed several other hikers . I chatted to them. and they said thst they were helping Pappy. This is the 87 yr Old hiking the

Applalacian Trail.. The last time i saw him was in the Shanadoah’s As I continued we met, So I grabbed another opportunity to get a photo with him . What a great inspiration your are I said . Then on to my final climb Saddleback Junior.

Again the climb wasn’t too bad. I had to navigate over many bogs before once again I was on rock . Again once I had submitted the views just kept getting better. I could see my whole route thst I had just completed. I stood staring for several minutes before starting the decent.

As I’m about to decend a group of 10 young students puffed their way up. They are on orientation or to me Team building .

Once they had all climbed up I began my decent. It was steep.and slippy at first . which then turned into mud.

I navigated around these until the duck boards reappeared .

The trail st last became nice allowing me to put in some spurts of speed.

I shortly began to smell that typical smell associated with Privys or rather human Poo.

I must be close I thought then saw the privy. Maybe it’s the rock or water source but they seem to be built a long way from camp..

Tents I can see tents and then.the shelter. I dropped my pack found a flat spot then put up my tent.

The other guys were here, camping nearby in the woods there were 3 others here. a lovely lady . and xxx

I grabbed water then began cooking supper..one of the other hiker has hung his hammock in the shelter .

after dinner I lit a fire and we sat chatting. As we did another group of students arrived. who were doing another orientation

They headed a little way into the woods.

As we sat chatting by the fire I was asked if I had tried a ‘Smore’ Nope what is it ?

It’s a marshmallow that you toast so its golden then you sandwich between 2 biscuits and a square of chocolate. it’s better if the biscuits have been close to.the fire so thst the chocste is soft or melty.

Sounds yummy and I know my DAUGHTER would love it.

As we talked on . one of the guys from.the group came over to ask if we minded if they came to the fire after they had eaten. The rest of the hikers said to him this British guy doesn’t know what a smore is !!

Oh he said then returned several.minutes later with all the bits the biscuits , the chocolate and of course marshmallows.

Then they demonstrated how to make one.

Wow I’m.hooked I love them. I sat a little longer then returned to my tent. I chatted. a wjilecwith the group of students then itvwas. time for Zzz

Start. 1970.5

Finish. 1981

Miles. 10.5

miles left. 210

Day 148

Tuesday 4th September

I am fairly happy that I stopped when I did as it enables me an early night and a great sleep ….Even when the storm.hit around 10pm lighting up my tent. the thunder rocking the ground and the dumping of 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 7am.

It was a cold grey morning so I was glad of the hot tea and instant oats . Unusually I started with my train 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 thst 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. Well they had gotten up early to see the sunrise. But today it was low cloud or mist.

I pushed on eventually reaching the peak whoop whoop . 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 rollercoaster trail. as I began to drop down the most 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 boulders field these were huge like houses dotted through the woods . They must of crashed down from.the cliffs above . .as I pushed on down the trail I came to the junction to a campsite . this was one of my goals for Yesterday . but I stopped early.

I carried on and soon began more climbing. see my map lies .as I manourrd 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) hey guys Hi snail , they had stayed at the camp that I had just passed.

So-hum joked thst it’s all now down hill .. Ha bloody ha I said ..Safe trails guys.

I rejoined the train and continued the plod . as I plodded on I began to see numerous snakes . who all zoomed out of my way

.they were probably feeding on the tiny frogs and toads that the trail was alive with.

I also saw my firs .salamader thst I hadn’t seen for ages.

I forgot to say but I chatting to someone a while ago about the fact thst 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 there you go.

I pushed on down the trail getting great view now and then untill I reached the other side and got a great view off the lake again. it looked amazing with the sun shinning on it .I wondered if I got close to it ?

They trail now changed to rock and was pointing down..so it’s like me walking down a slide .

More fun to watch than actually do !!. st last thst 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 we did.

It was nice to rest in the sun .I was just packing up after a lengthy stop when a sobo came the other way . There’s magic in the car park she said S we chatted. That’s typical I’ve bad a long break and I’m probably going to take another shortly ..

It wasnt too long until i emerged onto.the road and saw the signs thst read. “MAGIC” as I entered I could see Kalidascope 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 somewhat do you want on your sandwich?

Ham please .

Help yourself to soda, coffee, tea what ever.

The pasta was really good and then I drained a lemonade.

Your sandwiches are 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 of stayed all day as I wentbyonleave they insisted thst I load up with candy and cake and fruit . and have I got enough water. I did as I was told then another msn arrived and stuffed 6 payday bars into my pack . It creaked as I picked it 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 in would of loved to put my tent up.on that beach strip.off and do nothing. big sigh.

So instead I walked back.to.the trail and set off towards the nect shelter thst was about 5 miles away . But amazingly the trail was flat and in a 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 itvwas the original 2000 mile marker. The Applalacian trail changes each year as the trail is re-routed or an extra switchback is added. as j 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 tea returned to its roller coaster style which tends to exhaust me . I put on.my 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!!!

So.i did I.pushed on and on passing some great spots but deciding that it was too early .

my watch eventually pinged 6pm okay Snail now you can look.. but I still walked on then I came to a large bog ..any moose ?…. No..

It was spanned by a zigzaggy walk way .Once 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 follow ed by supper oh great 17miles

Start. 2011

Finish. 2028
Miles. 17
miles left. 162

Day 146 2000 miles !

Sunday 2nd September

I was just finishing packing when the 2 south Africans of Springbok and quarterback came past.

So being Anti-social Springbok said .It was a really nice campsite.

Yes ,well maybe I should have camped there.

Okay Snail we will race you up the mountain!

Ha ha funny . I set off After them but they were soon out of sight . Until I caught them on a an over hang admiring the view. I stopped too as it was an amazing sight. some mountains poking out of cloud a beautiful day and mist in the vally

I returned to my climb South Crocker mountain first then north Crocker. The first climb seemed to take forever . a path to begin with then screaming over rock until a nice trail reappeared at last was at the top. Several tents were slotted in a clearing. This was my possible goal last night. but then I decided I would climb it in the morning being fresh.

I carried on along the trail and began to head down .I stood to the side as two other hikers came up the other way .

Snail the girl Said !!

Omg it was Amazonian. I hadnt seen her since celebrating the 300 mile marker back in Virginina. we caught up on gossip who was still running etc hugged then continued in different djrections as She was flipflopping. Oh the South Africans said dinner at 6.30 at the wolf.

The next climb wasnt too bad and so didnt take long to summit . after that it should be a fairly easy trail to the trail head then town.

I pounded down the trail lost in my own little world.thinking of the end the finish at Katahdin. and finally getting home.

I was miles away when I arrived at the 2000 mile marker. Omg unsaid to.myself and imeaditly dropped my pack. I stayed at the sticks on the ground forming the numbers. before grabbing my camera and snapping away.

I was overwhelmed a bit so decided to sit and have lunch.

I was happily munching when 3 smily faces of Sasquatch, short mile and Samsratin appeared .We gave each other abuse. posed together for more photos and caught up on goss and what they had been.up to

They were going to head to town resupply, eat and straight out again .I had planned to stay have a shower catch up.on stuff and hike out in the morning.

Okay guys see you in Town. as they sped off along the trail.

It was almost 3 More miles to town and still down hill.

I shortly appeared at the trailhead . i asked a couple of passing cyclists which way was town. I thanked them and crossed over the road. Put down my pack and held out my thumb. Soon I had a ride. my pack was in the speedboat I was in the back of a pickup.

It seemed a long drive.as I passed some beautiful cabins .

At last we stopped and the driver let me out.

I grabbed my pack and walked over to the white wolf motel. There were about a dozen packs lined up outside so I dropped mine there too.

As I walked inside the boys were there. I joined them ordered a beer booked a room and enjoyed my MASSIVE Wolf burger. washed down with another beer and Pecan pie for desert.

I paid up then headed to my room . It was clean and tidy . I dropped my pack grabbed my phone and money and negannto head to the shop. as I walked along the veranda I passed a hiker box. always have a rummage! I grabbed some breakfast a Ramon and a few other bits .The boys were still shopping when I got there..I brought some fruit 2 apples 2 oranges 2 plums a 6 pack ice cream and lemonade

I wished Sasquatch, short mile and Samsratin good luck .catch you guys up the trail. as I headed back to my room.

I put the food and drink into the fridge then jumped into the shower. Oh hot water feels so good .I emerged all clean.

Then began to go through my chores. ordered new shoes .logged a support call about my sleeping pad.orfered a suit case to get my stuff home. It then dawned on me that it’s Labour Day on Monday a Usa holiday so I can’t contact the post offices bugger oh well.im.only chasing socks so no biggie. It will wait.

I t was now 6 pm and I was joining the South Africans for dinner. I got dressed and eentbto the restaurant which was fairly busy. I joined them st their table . they were eating onion rings so I ordered some too plus a beer . and I thought I would try another Lobster Roll. as I had the huge burger at lunch time .

We chatted away as we ate . in the table behind was the other crew of sir mixalot, bleep etc.

I finished up paid the bill then joined Wander woman, Passenger and ossie at the bar before retiring to my room.

My power block had been plugged in all day now appeared to be charging. Maybe it just needed more time though I think 1 cell is dead .

I switched on the tv and watched a few films whilst eating my ice cream and drinking beer.

Start. 1995

Finish. 2002
Miles. 7
miles left. 188