Day 4

I heard my neighbors about 6:30. The walls here are paper thin. I tossed and turned until 7:30 and got up to prepare my salt foot bath. I didn’t feel as bad as I thought I would. It looked like a clear day. I’d rather be resting on the trail than here. I came here to hike not sit around and look out the window. I decided I would only do 4 miles to the next shelter and go as slow as I needed to.

After my foot bath I went to the kitchen to see about breakfast. I was told I would get an egg bagel. Alas, I saw only cereal and filled a bowl. A helper guy playing the Grateful Dead from his phone later came through and said I could make my own eggs if I wanted. I did. Some other hikers in the hostel gave me some electrolytes for my cramping muscles and I was ready to go by 10 am.

The hostel owner dropped me off at the trail and I hobbled up a hill for about a mile before sitting down to catch up on trail journaling. I spent 2 hours there writing as about 6 thru hikers passed. I got up to go at about 12:30 pm and hiked up a pointless mountain with no view. I saw my first blooming rhododendron.

The weather held out all day with warm temperatures and sunshine. I arrived at the shelter at about 3. No one was there and so I got nervous. I set up my tent down at flat spot below the shelter. I read about black snakes falling from the roof of this particular shelter in register.

At about 430 some hikers showed up to get water and they sat down to eat dinner. I went up to eat my dinner too. It was 2 older hikers Steady Eddie and Shock Top and they were very friendly. They had just hit the 500 mile mark and were eating dinner at this shelter before finishing their 25 mile day with 4 more to a campsite up the trail. We compared gear and they were impressed with my gear research. I did my homework.

As they were leaving, 2 section hikers showed up for the night. Hurricane and Obi Wander. Every time I use my real name to introduce myself, folks think I’m a section hiker. I have to keep explaining that I’m flip flopping, I’m trying to go to Maine, yadda yadda yadda. I had a nice second dinner with them.

I hung my first bear bag a little ways from the shelter. Got the rope over with one throw. I went off to my tent to get ready for bed about 6:30. 4 more hikers showed up and made camp as the sun was going down. I’m hoping to get up by 6 tomorrow to make it 10 miles to catch a 11:15 shuttle to Marion where I have a resupply box waiting for me at the post office. I think it may start raining tomorrow.

Mile: 520.1-524.2 (4.1)

Total: 38.8