I was more than thankful about my good fortune the afternoon before with the water resupply. As a matter of fact I even found myself wondering if my poor choice to not resupply with water miles before was meant to be so that we would all have the opportunity to meet under adverse circumstances. That was way to heavy for me to consider so I immediately returned to Dick, Jane, Sally and Spot mentality. For those of you too young to know that my my first grade reader back in the early 50’s.
My New Bear Bag called Ursack. The Jury is Still Out
When I was backpacking with my nephew Scott and his friend Yanni last fall a mouse managed to chew a hole through my Summit to Sea bear bag. Off to REI I went. Instead of finding the same bag I came across the Ursack. Supposedly it is bear proof and you don’t have to tie it up in the trees. I’m not at all convinced of that claim but none the less so far I have tried it several times with success. That may just mean that there were no bears hanging out close to me but I’ll continue to believe the sales pitch until some intelligent bear has read the ad and decides to challenge its accuracy.
Bonding On The Trail
I was soon ready to go. About a mile down the trail I came upon a day hiker urinating along the side of the trail. He scrambled to recover as I approached.
“Legs of a 19 year old and bladder of a 90 year old,” he proclaimed.
“Yes! And when the need arises it is now! Immediate!” I responded.
“Yes!!!!” He replied as he walked away in the direction that I had come from.
Thus ended our moment of male bonding on the Appalachian Trail.
13:58. Trayback Mountain
I felt decent up to this time as I climbed up and over Trayback Mountain. The top reminded me of a mini Mount Katahdin in Maine. Somehow the very peak was a pile of broken rocks. I had always thought that these rocks were the result of glaciers ages ago which slowly receded leaving either solid or broken rock in their wake.
As I walked by some woman was demanding that her small child climb down the rock face in the second picture rather than follow the trail which led up the back way. The child was protesting and I didn’t blame him. It was no place for a small child. If I’d only had a slingshot….. a warning shot across her bow might have helped.
14:36. Bacon Strips of Pennsylvania
A little over a half hour later I came upon Bacon Strips. She was hiking from Harpers Ferry to Georgia and returning to Harpers Ferry to hike North toward her home in Pennsylvania. She said that everyone that she was meeting was either retired or dealing with some type of mid life crisis. She said that she was the later. I didn’t ask.
We did talk about women solo on the trail. She said that she had never felt safer. As a matter of fact the closest she had come to “feeling weirded out” was around another woman.
16:54. My Hike Becomes Ugly
The day had become cloudy and chilly even though the chance of rain was down around 5%. The mileage wasn’t piling up as I wanted and I had not yet finished the dry area with no water source. I would once again need to get water for cooking. The only hope was Loft Mountain Camp ground which was closed but an earlier hiker had noted that one spigot was on in front of the white cabins. The nearest strong source was 3.4 mores ahead which I was not going to make. Besides a cold rain and wind had begun. When I made it to the. camp ground I climbed to the top of the mountain where the sites were. It looked like a ghost town. Trees were down everywhere with roads blocked and camp sites a downed tree mess. There was no one anywhere. I could not find any water anywhere and by that time I was soaked completely with the cold wind blown rain. I opted to find my way back to my entry point and find a tent site off of the top where the wind would be diminished, That proved to be difficult but I finally put up my now soaked tent with my soaked body and tossed in my soaked equipment with me right behind it. I cooked supper in the small vestibule in the front of my tent and then hunkered down in an attempt to get warm. I would call that moment misery.
I had failed to reach my mileage goal, I had not found water and my equipment and I were soaked on a day that it wasn’t supposed to be raining. Life doesn’t get any better than that!!!
I knew that tomorrow would be a better day and I’d be rejuvenated enough to hike on.