Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 6

I woke up early before everyone else and I knew we would take it easy today, the group I am hiking with doesn't mind hiking later and just taking it easy. This was perfect as I was so comfortable in the bed I hardly wanted to get up and get moving. Although another part of me was antsy to be on the trail again. It is actually hard to sit still once you start this type of quest, the trail was calling as were friends that were slowly moving ahead of us, now by a whole day. You wonder if you will catch them or see them again.
Note* pants hanging to air dry (this is how hikertrash dry clothes after hand washing)

see the Lays?
Hot Spitz and I on a break

79 years young and on a rest break

Cowrock Moutain, GA

Gatorade, Remedy and Hot Spitz

84 years young and 79 years young

Hog Pen Gap crossing

Gatorade, Me, Beef Jerky Pie (Too Long) and Remedy Photo credit: Remedy

Hitch photo cred: Remedy

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

We slowly got moving and I wanted to reduce my pack weight, so I sorted through my things for the oh.. twentieth time it felt like to pull out things I didn't need to send home. I decided to send back a nalgene, that I was only using to collect dirty water and would be find without it, some down booties as my sleeping bag was more than efficient and one more thing that is escaping me now. These things didn't really add up to much weight, maybe a pound if I were lucky, but it felt good to send things back since I will now be carrying the full UL2 on my own and no matter what they say this thing is heavier than I thought. I am guessing a bit over 3 lbs. I headed out just after Hitch, who gets antsy too and was ready to move. I met up with him at Mountain Crossings while packing my gear. I also picked up some additional Gatorade powder, a must out here as dehydration is rampant and some pepperoni. I am craving cheese and pepperoni. It is all I want. I am not eating my Oatmeal anymore but still carrying some of it. I did also leave some behind in the hiker box at the hostel. What is a hiker box you may be wondering. It is a place where us hikers leave behind things we don't want, it can be gear, clothing, supplies and food. They are little boxes of gold and some people are said to even support their whole thru out of these boxes. I am not that much of minimalist, so there is no way I could. However, they do offer some gems. I picked up a new bandana from Mtn. Crossings. So though I got rid of things I picked up a few things too. My pack now weighs in at 36 lbs!!!! What?! OH WOW! I am going to get better at carrying one liter over two liters of water and pay closer attention to water sources this should reduce my weight a bit. The rest of the gang showed up, Beef Jerky Pie (Too Long) is feeling better today and Remedy is going to also send stuff home. Hot Spitz is here and Gatorade too. We didn't get on the trail until maybe 11:30. Beef Jerky Pie and I set off and were followed and leap frogged with Hot Spitz and Gatorade, Remedy was a little behind from mailing her posts. We all seemed to have heavy packs, but we were also packing out yummy goodness from the night before. Some had beer, I had cheese (this is like gold on the trail), burgers, veggies (more gold) and even potato chips. If you look close at Gatorade's pack you will see the bag of Lays on the top. :) I love this group too. Each person is so unique out here we all compliment each other in some way with what we bring to the trail. Each person has a gift to offer or a talent. Believe me these things matter and are quite spirit lifters and we each help each other out. Bonds are forming fast as we are all we have out here besides our packs. On the trail there is no judgement, no cares for material goods, no concern with who or what you were in your former life, you are now only who you are or make yourself to be on the trail.

The day was gorgeous, cool and perfect for the long hike, we were doing 12 miles today and let me tell you this was the best 12 miles. Easy peasy day filled with mostly ridge running as we call it, meaning not many ups and downs and right over the ridge tops. We rolled into camp (almost literally as it was down hill and the legs are wobbly and stumble by days end) about 6 ish. Just enough time to get camp set up, get water and start cooking. This camp was so full because it was the WEEKEND! What day is it anyway? We have no concept of time on the trail until we see lots of day hikers and notice that our camps are full, oh yeah it is a weekend for sure. Boy scouts were everywhere, there were three groups and had to be 50 people at least at this spot. The next day was calling for rain in the evening, no one had great signal so we were getting some reports from the scout troops. Temps would be dropping and rain would start in the evening. So we knew we wanted to get an early start to get to the shelter if not to town before the rain.  Beef Jerky Pie and I set up tents with Hitch among a group of scouts, there wasn't much choice. No fire tonight, everyone seemed to tired to worry with it. I quickly made some Macaroni and Cheese with Tuna and old bay. This stuff was a miracle for my body, any night I ate this the next day I would feel amazing. I do not like tuna, but made myself believe at least for a short while that I was eating crab dip or crab in my macaroni. If you are from Maryland you'll understand this. If not Old Bay is the seasoning in which we Marylanders steam our Blue Crabs in. We love it! It is hard to describe, it is spicy with a salty taste but just right. We put it on everything here, we even have potato chips calls crab chips. YUM. It worked, I got most of it down before I was tired of it. and had to make myself finish the rest. See you don't want to dump food in the woods because of the critters that will come. So either you finish it, share it or put it in the fire.. or rinse and disperse it through out the outskirts of camp. Again, you don't want to put food near camp. This is how Bears and other animals actually end up coming into camps. Let's keep them wild and away from us humans instead.

I went down to chat with the gang at the shelter for the night, Hot Spitz, remedy and Gatorade who were enjoying their beers and left overs and I shared my cheese and they shared some goodies with me. After one more refill on water and filtering it was time for bed. It took me a bit to fall a sleep but then I did happily convinced that no wild animals would dare come near this camp. It was full of snoring hikers everywhere. If I could have recorded in the dark the tents set up all over with various sounds of snores, snorts and etc; coming from them I am sure you may find it somewhat entertaining.  Tents are great shelters, but they are NOT sound proof. You hear every conversation, giggle, movement and noise (humanly and not so much so) from them. This can be a little overwhelming at first, but like with everything else out here you get used to it.

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