Sherpa carried my pack (said he wanted to try it out) for nearly 8 miles, and I think I slowed him down!
I had planned to hike 10 miles or so to a campsite for the night and then divide up the next 18 in two manageable sections.
I loaded up my pack and headed off for a 17.5 mile day! Granted, it was not the typical Rocksylvania I’d been hiking, but still, 17.5 with 32 lbs is far for me. I hiked until near dark and set up my tent outside the Rausch Gap Shelter with my headlamp on.
By far my favorite Shelter so far. This whole section was well cared for.
I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual.
What I want to say is. Thank You Scott. You are a great guy with endless energy! That chance meeting at Bake Oven Knob has turned into friendship. You have really helped me on this crazy quest, with grace. You are a true Trail Angel. Thank you.
That’s the Port Clinton photo Scott also took. My favorite picture so far. It says, “happy” right? Plus, my path ahead is there. Pretty great photo. I must have forgotten that ahead of me was that cliff up out of there!
I had no idea what was next. That is the joy of it all. Adventure. I LOVE adventure. Always have. This SOBO from Rt 501 hiking is great! I had heard that “Rocksylvania” started here going north. It was true. I had some “hiker highway” ahead, and out came my camera.
“Holy shit. I went 17 and a half miles.”
“How can I be this tired and not injured?”
“I can’t lean over. My hands are numb.”
“What is wrong with me?”
I will alway try to hike until dark now, maybe. It’s less time in the tent. When I’m hiking, all I want is to be in my tent, sometimes, but the night can be really long and the more tired I am, the better I will sleep. Sleep is necessary. Not to be rested. While I’m asleep I’m not thinking about, and hearing BEARS outside my tent.
Every rustle of leaves. Sometimes I’m just about asleep and a noise jolts me upright, blinded by the my mummy bag cocoon I’m locked into, trying to unzip fast and prepare myself for the BEAR FIGHT I’m about to have!
Again, I say at these times, “Why am I doing this? What is wrong with me?”
And by now, I have forgotten it all. 👍😀👣
This next section was incredible. Marked and maintained beautifully. Lots of hard work went into the care of this section. I will find out who to thank.
With lots of iron content!
Some sleeping Rhododendron:
Another section completed. Another 2 days of the physical challenge and beautiful suffering that winter on the Trail delivers, again. I pretty much love this. A little because it’s over and I’ve had a good night’s rest.
The good feeling of accomplishment drowns out any of the difficult memories of the hike. That’s how it works for me.
It really works for me.
WIL (what I learned)
In below freezing temperatures, pack your water bottles inside your pack, upside down, and close to your body. A good reason for my bigger pack. Water freezes top down. An upside down bottle will not have a frozen cap. My bottles stayed liquid in 12 degrees. Cool.
PS. I don’t know how to caption pictures. Sometimes I precede with a colon. Sometimes I describe after the photo is posted. If you want to, tell my what is best for the reader, please? How should I do this?