Appalachian Trail Mile 228.; Camel Gap Trail Junction

Sunday, May 21, 2017 (Day 18)

I am at Tri-Corner Knob Shelter. I am tired. It rained all day today. I did not travel far. I arrived in the early afternoon. My pace was slow. Maybe it was the fresh resupply. Maybe it is the two books I am carrying. Maybe I should watch my pack weight.

Or, maybe I should not stress about only travelling 12 miles. If I just stay consistent,  it will be alright.

I was actually looking forward to staying in a shelter. I wanted to stay dry…or at least keep my stuff dry. Dry my stuff out. Everything is just so wet.

There is lots of chatter. A section hiker offered me a swig of whisky. I let a few ounces of the amber liquid waterfall into my mouth. It tastes sweetest in the woods. I don’t think I will stay at Standing Bear Hostel. It is just .2 miles off trail in about 19 miles. That’s what the others are talking about.

***

…I kept going. Just as night was falling. I was restless, i had stopped too soon. The rain had let up. I hiked another 5 miles in the dark. I enjoy night hiking. The visibility was low, as it was extremely foggy, thus obstructing the travel of light from my headlamp. The sunset was beautiful. City lights shone to my left, mountain ranges to my right. There were bright flashes of lightning far off in the distance.  No thunder. The stars were shining brightly. The night sky was clear.

As I was nearing the next shelter I began to think of how awkward it might be to fumble on site in the dark cracking twigs beneath my feet and bearing unnatural light, the clinking wiry sound of hanging my food bag on the cables. Not to mention, the shelter may be full. I came to the Camel Gap trail junction. There was a nice flat spot to the left of the trail. Enough to cowboy camp. I decided to risk the rain. It was 12:30 in the morning. If I stopped, maybe I could get some rest.

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