03-23-2018 Day 17. Mollie’s Ridge Shelter to Derrick Knob Shelter. 12.1 miles (189.4 + 8.8 = 198.2 Miles)

Im not sure if it’s acceptable to pray to make it through the night without having to get up to relieve yourself but I did last night. No one wanted to get up. The thought of crawling out of my sleeping bag did not appeal to me at all!

I got on the trail about 08:30. No Name and Bear Bait wanted about 18 miles. My mind was set on 12. The moment I began hiking I knew that 12 would be a challenge.

Russell Field Shelter was next up at 2.5 miles. It was the longest 2.5 miles ever. The footing was treacherous and it was all I could do to stay within the track created by those before me in the snow. I didn’t see another soul until I reached the Shelter, No Name and Bear Bait we’re filling up with water. They were soon gone. My YakTrax were doing well. As a matter of fact I could see where others had fallen. I was still on my feet but it was not without looking like I’d had one too many drinks.

Your mind definitely wanders while you are hiking like this. Reading all of your messages would be great but for the most part I have no signal which is frustrating. I can tell you all that I am doing ok. Yes there is frustration. Yes I am tired. But I’m well. At times I’ve been angry at myself. I’ve lost my vest and last night realized that my mug broke off the back of my pack. Evidently I left my mittens in the last shelter. These are stupid moves on my part and I’ve got to be more attentive.

But I’ve also almost hiked 200 miles in terrible conditions.The group who began with me has shrunk….and I’m still standing. Well…. hiking.

The views today were outstanding although difficult to achieve. Today’s hikers included Piddler, Buttercup, and Not Dead Yet.

Tonight I reside in Derrick Knob Shelter. There about 12 of us here but it is not packed. I’m quietly lying in my bag typing as the others talk. It’s a quiet crowd tonight talking about careers. Its more like a networking symposium in the woods. Rain was supposed to begin at six but so far we are dry. That makes it a good night on the trail. Tomorrow is supposed to be rain for our arrival at Clingmans Dome. Another landmark will fall as we hike on.

3 thoughts on “03-23-2018 Day 17. Mollie’s Ridge Shelter to Derrick Knob Shelter. 12.1 miles (189.4 + 8.8 = 198.2 Miles)

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