Start Milepost: 18270.0 Time: 06:38
End Milepost: 1843.7 Time: 16:50
Miles hiked: 16.7
Miles to go: 346.1
Weather: cloudy, windy, cold
Temps: 20’s°, 50’s°
Blue Side trails:
Map: Click on map pin
Last night’s Garfield campsite was OK. I had to duck under a fallen sapling to get to the tenting site. It would be a small chore for the caretaker to cut it out. He was interesting: he asked to use my limited roll of TP! Of course I let him. Then the chit he gave me for a free bowl of soup and two pastry items was non-standard so using it today was a challenge! The twenty degree temp that he said was arriving last night might have been twenty degrees too low. Regardless of the temp, I got ten hours of great sleep last night with only one WC visit to interrupt me. I woke at 05:24 only because a couple in a nearby site started a conversation; otherwise I’d have gotten even more sleep.
The hike today was a bear early on but I was motivated to get to the first hut and get a bite to eat with the chit I was given. Wrong! No food at 08:00! They didn’t even offer a cup of coffee. I was so surprised I did not even refill my water bottles. On that topic, my Platypus water bag sprung a leak on a side seam. It is now useless. The Sawyer squeeze bag is a little too small for filling the two liter hydration bag, although does an adequate job with the SmartWater bottles.
And on the topic of water – it was scarce today and will be more so tomorrow. And I do not have filled bottles now. Yipes!
I passed on tenting this evening at the Ethan Pond shelter – after walking .13 miles to get there, it looked too dark and too far uphill to suit me. Had I stayed I might have been more aware of the water situation tomorrow.
I am now camped two miles farther up the trail in a stealth spot I created fifteen feet right of the AT. A young couple gave me a thumbs-up when they passed by. They said it was far better than anything in the next mile which was good news to me. Anything farther on would also sit next to a road and train tracks. Although – I can still hear road traffic in the distance.
Back to food. At the second Hut today I stopped in and got a bowl of soup – in the gulags they called it gruel. OK, it did have some black beans in it, but not many! The bread was generously sliced. The pastries were very small considering the $2/each price tag! Nevertheless, I bought two extra pieces for supper dessert.
I begin tomorrow with the remainder of today’s downhill and then begin a climb to Lakes of the Clouds Hut – almost 4000′ of climbing. That is supposed to be my campsite tomorrow night. First I need to solve the water issue with limited filtering capability. When I do find a source, it will give me a long break as I work with the small dirty water bag. Think glass half full – bad analogy.
Hikers are still passing by and commenting to each other about my “nice tent site”. I think I got lucky! (It is after 19:00 and I got here just before 17:00)