Saturday, September 24 - Day 184 - Mile 2092.5 - Chairback Gap Lean-to
Lots of rain this morning.
Today marks my last day of 6 months of hiking. (Double Check marked his 6th month anniversary on April 21st and Buffalo Bobby will mark his on March 28th). Six months ago today I was at Jill & Crag's still sorting through stuff in preparation for my trip, visiting a doctor because an allergy was bugging me and getting a haircut. The next morning Jane, Jill & Jack accompanied me to the visitors center to sign in and begin my trek up the approach trail. I only made it a little over 5 miles before I thought I had had enough and checked into the Hike Inn. My pack was unbalanced, I didn't have much of a clue about backpacking or the myriad things a thru hiker should know. It rained for six and a half days and I wasn't smart enough to come in out of the rain. Initially I did 5 or 6 mile days, finished happy but worn out.
Today I can get up at 5:00 AM, pack in the dark, hike and climb all day without breathing hard and enjoy an evening at camp, write my blog and not go into dreamland until 7:00 PM or so. The body is an amazing machine that works well and comes up to the task when challenged. I don't believe I've ever worked so hard or enjoyed it more.
Over the next week or so we'll wrap up this adventure and slowly return to our "normal" lives, family and friends, likely changed in ways we can't anticipate now.
Tonight, in the first half of the "100 Mile Wilderness", we are now jammed in this shelter looking forward to the promised easier terrain about 25 miles ahead and some sun tomorrow. The "Victory March". as Circuit Rider calls it, does have it's challenges. In fairness he did allude to some difficulties in the first half of the wilderness walk..and they're here.
Today was quite nasty weather wise thus the crowded shelter. We had heavy rain overnight and steady rain all morning tapering off to light rain and then a fine mist tonight. The trail today was particularly difficult due to wet rocks & roots, endless deep bogs, broken bog boards and steep climbs. It was a long tough day with short mileage.
The weather promises to be sunny tomorrow. Perhaps we'll have a chance to dry out. Today reminded me of my first week on the trail with all these wet conditions. We've been spoiled with pretty good weather while actually hiking so a day like today is that much harder.
Anyway we're chipping away at the final 100 miles.