Appalachian Trail Mile 844.6

Friday, June 30, 2017 (Day 58)

I woke in the middle of the night last night to a small, hard, concentrated force, plummeting in to my face. It landed precisely in the space between my nose and upper lip. It was startling…and painful. I lifted my hand to my teeth to ensure they were all still in tact. I am glad I don’t sleep with my mouth open.

It is 7:10 am now. I must get going. There is a nice climb today, over 3,000 ft.

I was taken by the beauty of the morning.

I stopped for breakfast at Harper’s Creek before the climb. I hopped to a rock to get the best flow and found a cigarette butt in its center. I put it in my bag of trash. Please, leave no trace.

I came to a sign that signified the possibility of blue blazing to Maupin Field Shelter. It would cut off 3 miles of the climb. I decided against it.

Leaves caught in the crook of my elbow, torn from their stalks as I climbed. As I neared the top I felt positively euphoric. Endorphins rushed through my body as I sweat out the water I drank from the creek below. Oh, Three Ridges Mountain…what a climb you demand!

And then…an orange! Someone had cleverly propped it safely in the limbs of a tree! I had to employ the very tips of my toes and fingers to reach it. I placed it in my pocket with satisfaction, and hiked on.

I took far too long of a break at Maupin Field Shelter and now…I am hiding from the rain. Or, let’s call it “taking cover”…that sounds less shameful. I am not sure what came over me. There had been a light spritzing here and there, yet I thought nothing of it. Then shortly after departing a delightful spring where I consumed two liters of water and took two to go…it happened. It began pouring. Before I could think things through…I was already pitching my tent. I was just so caught off gaurd.

It is 7 pm. What do I do in this situation? I have only travelled 12.5 miles. I found the climb difficult today. My body is tired. It is still raining in spurts outside. I suppose, at this point, I sleep. As long as I make it in to town tomorrow I will not be losing any time. I was likely going to stay the night either way. I enjoy night hiking…but it always seems to catch up with me. So…what is the solution? I will resolve to rise early.

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