And then, I lost the Trail. Used my Guthook App to find it and HEADED OUT THE WRONG WAY! Back toward where I started an hour ago! It’s not the first time I have been confused. This time, maybe because of the heat, I trusted my sense of direction. Bad move.
The Trail can look completely different when hiking the opposite direction. I hiked up over all those rocks, AGAIN, and came to a stream. The stream I crossed just after I started! I notice Water. Water is important. I had the picture of the spot where I would fill up if I needed to in my head. I recognized it from an HOUR AGO!
SHIT. SHIT. SHIT.
Now it was approaching 90. I turned around and started again. Up and over all those rocks again. My calves had joined my quads in a duet, and they were turning up the volume.
I got back to where I made my mistake, began descending toward the road and… TRAIL MAGIC!!!!!!
Thank you so much Tuxedo Trail Angels!!!!!
I camelled up, filled my bottles, and headed off with new found optimism.
I was FINISHED and had 2 miles to go to meet my friend John at the Fingerboard Shelter. It’s ONLY 2 miles when you start. It’s TWO, TOO MANY, MILES when you’re this exhausted. It could have been Heat Exhaustion. I was so nauseous that I had to drop my pack, put down my pad and lie down!
There was a breeze, thank the gods!!!
I considered setting up my tent right there and texting John.
But, I somehow, after drinking electrolyted water and eating a little, recovered. The human body is amazing. Even an old one.
Off I went.
Came to this pond run-off and filled my bottles with water to purify later, when I set up camp, wherever.
It got dark. I got my headlamp on. I stumbled to the shelter and it was so dark I couldn’t find it! After another 30 minutes, there it was! I whistled as I came around the corner if the building, just in case there was s bear inside sniffing around, and “Lifesaver” was there! He had come all the way from Katahdin! Then John showed up.
It was great. AT Hiking is like that. Hell and then great.
Ahhhhhhh! Almost forgot! The staff at the Park were amazing! These two showed us this massive mushroom! They were all great!