Start Milepost: 1217.8 Time: 06:00
End Milepost: 1240.0 Time: 18:15
Miles hiked: 22.2
Miles to go: 949.8
Temps: 70°, High 80’s°
Blue Side trails:
Overnight: tent at Allentown Hiking Club Shelter
Map: Click on map pin
I woke this morning optimistic that the ridge line I would climb today would be absent the rocks of yesterday. I was disappointed. While the climb was steady and steep and the resulting view was wonderful, the rocks reappeared off and on all day. They keep you on edge and prevent development of a steady pace. And of course they tend to unbalance some hikers and I was one of the unbalanced today. Just once. This time it was a hand that got bruised. And it was the meat of my typing thumb. So obviously the injury is not serious because I am thumbing away on this blog.
One hiker passed me after lunch while I was collecting water. She continued her hike after I inquired about her water status. She said she would wait and fetch it after the next shelter. I opted not to plan on getting water there; it was a .1-mile downhill walk to get it. And reports were it was a steep drop. After resuming my hike I overtook her on a long, steep climb to a new ridge line and was glad I had cameled-up before starting the climb.
My pace on the climb was akin to climbing hills on a bike. Just grit it out. No stops. After reaching the top, more rocks and then more rocks. Miserable. The technique for crossing the rock fields is to leap from one to the next. Said technique is how I keep hyper-extending my left knee. Still, I was game for a quick rather than a plodding crossing. There is a motto shared by several military units and one I heard first from General Mack: “He who dares, wins,” so I kept leaping onto rocks.
I am tenting at the Allentown shelter. My tent is being supported by six stakes. For the first time they could not be driven into the ground because the ground has only a half inch of soil on top of rock. I have placed a large, loose rock on top of the stake which is otherwise lying in the ground. We’ll see if it holds in the winds that are building as I write. If nothing else I am getting the breeze and cooler temperatures I had wanted the night before last. If the tent collapses on me during the night, I hope to sleep thru it!
Woodie’s Propel has helped keep me stay hydrated as mentioned in the last blog. While it takes longer at each water source to drink a SmartWater bottle and then refill the bottle, the benefits of the extra water are noticeable. Previously I simply drank from the filter without knowing how much or how little I was consuming.
This evening I hauled 5.5 liters up from the pooled spring .3-miles downhill. The extra 2-liters is unfiltered but hanging on a nearby tree ready to be filtered.
Edit: I mentioned last night there was but one outlet in the room. Actually there were two; the other one was for the TV and cable box that I mentioned. My error.
The sun has set. Time for shuteye.