Miles Hiked: 13.0
Miles Left: 1306.8
Ending Location: Blackrock Hut, Mile 878.5
One of the nice things about getting into camp so early last night was I actually had a chance to read. I know I should have been updating my journal but I needed some downtime. Over the course of the evening I finally finished my first book on the AT, “Anathem” by Neil Stephenson. It was about a religious order that studies math and was a nice diversion as it exercised a non hiking portion of my brain. For my second book I started reading “Maze Runner” which I heard was like the Hunger Games and had an interesting concept. Basically instead of exercising my brain I figured it’d be like sitting down on the couch with potato chips and watching Jerry Springer. The reason I’m mentioning this was when I woke up that morning and looked at my guidebook I realized I had a choice of either hiking 13 miles or 26 miles if I wanted to stay at a shelter. Since 26 miles wasn’t really an option I decided to take the morning off and just lounge about instead. That turned out to be a good decision since my body needed the extra rest. So I went back to sleep and when I woke up the second time I finished yet another book on the AT. Oh and if anyone is interested, I’d recommend skipping Maze Runner. Interesting concept, poor character development and plot. That being said, I’ll probably still read the other two books in the series to see how it turns out. Reminds me a lot of my experience reading Twilight now that I think about it…
Once I actually got packed up and on the trail I made great time. That being said the trail itself was fairly nondescript with a lot of ups and downs with no views. There certainly were a ton of day hikers out though. It was the most packed I’ve seen the trail yet. At one point I took a break and had fun climbing a tree overhanging the AT and greeting people as they came past. Hey it doesn’t take much to amuse me!
I once again arrived into camp early, but there were still a bunch of people who arrived even earlier. Finding a tenting location was a challenge but eventually I got squared away. I’m getting better at sleeping on an angle which is an essential AT skill. At this point more and more through hikers have been switching to hammocks to avoid that problem all together. Hanging out at the shelter with everyone else I found out if I had hung around the last shelter even longer I would have seen a bear. Apparently it had waited for just about everyone to leave before it moseyed on in and started going through all the trash that the weekend hikers left. Remember people, pack out what you bring in!! The other random thing that happened was a couple people started swapping shoes. It all started with one through hiker who had been carrying his old pair of boots while he broke in his new ones. He was going to toss them the first chance he got, but a section hiker with bad blisters took them instead. Then another hiker took the section hiker’s shoes since they were practically brand new. All I could think though was who’d want to even touch a through hiker’s old boots? I don’t want to even handle mine! That was pretty much it for the evening though and I went to bed soon afterwards.