07-17-2018. Day 133. 8.8 miles. Cloud Pond Shelter to Wilson Valley Shelter (703.5 + 104.1 = 807.6 + 8.8 = 816.4 Miles)

Barren Mountain

I awoke to the sound of squirrel chatter. Everyone was still hunkered down in their tents. Birds were swooping into camp looking for dropped food. The squirrels would have none of that. The minute a bird would land a squirrel would charge it protecting its potential source of food. They could have all of the dirt bars that they could stand as far as I was concerned. By this time most of the food was gagging me.

The night had been comfortable and truthfully I didn’t get wet until it began to rain slightly at about 5 a.m. Fallon was carrying a tarp with her and I used it to cover my sleeping bag and me. I placed my backpack within its rain cover so it was protected. By this time my food taken from the other person’s bucket was rather skimpy. We had about 19 miles to go …… so for me two days of hiking since I knew that sixteen would be my limit in this terrain. We found Alex, Allison, and Amie in the morning and we were once again united less Jed who was still helping Mouth.

As you can see in the picture we were actually above the clouds and Cloud Pond seemed aptly named. In fact, when we woke we realized that we were on a finger of land that jutted out into the pond. We were nearly surrounded by water. It was really quite impressive.

Abandoned Tower on Barren Mountain

The promise for the day was rain. Within 0.9 miles we had reached the peak of Barren Mountain and stopped to take in the view. The rain began soon after.

In spite of the elevation we still had no true phone signal. By this time we had been well over a week without service and certainly no service to blog by. My story telling was taking a major hit. Zak climbed a bit of the tower to see if a signal was possible……… nothing.

Long Pond Stream Lean-to in the Rain

By 4.2 miles it had been pouring on us for quite a bit of time. It was lunchtime so we took the side trail to the shelter both to eat and get out of the rain for a moment. (See video on Facebook: Wayne R Garland).

Crossing Long Pond Stream (love the first picture of Zak crossing)

Three more miles brought us to Long Pond Stream and the beginning of a series of water crossings each more challenging because of wet rocks. Most of us opted to change into wet weather shoes for the chilly crossings.

The Crossing of Vaughn Stream

A mile later we were crossing again. This time Amie (Little Redcoat) was not quite so lucky. The current, weight of her pack, and slick round river rocks sucked her in. She fought to get her packed unbuckled and righted herself back onto her feet. A few steps downstream to retrieve her hiking pole and she was ready to go. She had been right….. that extra half an inch she has really paid off.

That Dang Knee!

There is not a hiker out here who is not totally aware of his or her physical condition and ways to protect themselves from injury. I’ve been through it…… there is no way I want off the trail due to injury.

A Great View of our Trails

As you can see all trails are rock free with easy grades.

And not one tree down along the way!!

BUT

Today we passed 100 miles SOBO and over 800 miles total.

Hike on!!!!!!

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