Today had it’s good and bad.
First the bad. I didn’t get my picture on McAfee Knob. All six of us in the shelter got up early because we wanted to be at McAfee Knob for the sunrise. As usual I was the first up. I have to get a head start on these young hikers to keep up.
I was up at 4:30am and hiking by 5:15. I hiked hard up the mountain racing the sunrise. Sunrise time was to be 6:31. The temperature was about 60 degrees so I was sweating pretty good about thirty minutes into my climb. I was going fast and hard and hit a branch coming from a log on my shin. It hurt bad enough I had to stop for a few minutes. I was back and forth deciding if I should cry or cuss. Instead I put myself in ultra Runner mode and pressed on. When I got to the top there was an rock overhang. Here’s what I saw just before sunrise. After I took these two photos I pressed on. Then I started descending. I thought I was watching carefully. I went down for a way and decided to turn around and go back up the mountain. When I was almost to the top Maple Syrup was coming down and said that a couple on top said we need to keep going. So I turned around and started descending again even though it didn’t feel right. After we had lost 500 feet of elevation and got to a campsite we knew we were misinformed. By now the sun was rising, my shin hurt, I still had 18 miles to go and my legs were tired. I decided I wasn’t going back up the mountain again.
I was a little bummed but decided that this hike was not about one picture. It’s about the whole experience and I’m having a great time.
So the day ended in Daleville, one of the few towns the trail goes directly into. I went to the Howard Johnson to check in and I had three packages waiting for me. You can have packages shipped to motels, hostels, outfitter stores or the post office. I had ordered from Amazon a waterproof case for my cell phone and some dehydrated meals for resupply.
I also had a package from my daughter Megan. A new pair of shoes. I told her exactly what I needed. My Cascadias have taken a beating. They have 57 Ozark trail miles and 728 Appalachian Trail miles. Approaching 800 miles. They have served me well. Here’s the old and new.
Also in the package Megan sent were lots of surprise goodies. Between me and my friends the chocolate no bake cookies were gone fast.
Everyone I’ve been hiking with is in town. Engineer, Maple Syrup, Timber, Road Runner and Sweet Spot.
Engineer, Maple Syrup and I went to Wendy’s at 3:00, Bojangles Chicken at 6:00 and Pizza Hut at 9:00. I think I’m full.
I also did laundry, got my hair cut and went to the Kroger Store.
I’ll leave tomorrow morning after the motel breakfast. Engineer and Maple Syrup are staying until lunchtime. So tomorrow night I’ll be one shelter in front of them. I’m sure they will catch me soon.