I had the privilege of breaking down my tent in the rain this morning. It wasn’t raining hard, but it was raining. Packing your backpack entirely in the tent is a challenge. But, that’s how you do it. Then you take down and roll up your tent as fast as you can.
I wasn’t the only one. Data, a super fast hiker was up at 6:00 doing the same. So was Poncho and his wife. Data started April 1st, two weeks after me and has caught us. He’s doing mostly 30 mile days. We’re going way faster than most. I only know of two hikers to pass us and stay ahead. Data and one other guy that I don’t know the name of.
I did 20 miles today and already went to Walmart for more peanut butter, honey and tortillas. Tomorrow when the outfitters store opens I’ll pick up my order from Amazon and be on my way. That is if it’s not storming. We have a chance for severe storms tomorrow.
Today was pretty uneventful except for this snake. He’s about seven feet long. I came off the trail and was getting ready to cross the road when he surprised me. I think Engineer said this is a Rat Snake.
Tomorrow morning while I’m waiting for the outfitters to open I’m going to do a pack shakedown and send some things home. I need to lighten my load. I know I’m sending home a pair of pants that are heavy and more for cold weather. Plus they don’t fit me now. They will within weeks of being home. I also have gloves, mittens, hat and a winter shirt I’ll send back. Then there’s some other little things that are going. Every ounce adds up.
I listened carefully to Data at camp last night. He works at REI and says being lighter makes all the difference. I’m also going to try carrying less water. It’s heavy. I’ll just have to stop more often at Springs and streams and filter my water. That’s what most hikers do.
Maple Syrup also has a mail drop coming to the outfitters. Timber may be moving on without us. He has a pretty challenging deadline for finishing. He has to keep doing big miles.
I also will eventually be breaking away from Engineer and Maple Syrup. First of all they are hard to keep up with. But when I get close to my daughter and son in laws house I plan to spend a couple days with them. Zero days that is. And hopefully they will be able to hike some with me.
I like Engineer, Maple Syrup and Timber a lot, but I don’t think it’s possible for us all to stay together the whole way. They have become friends and I presume we will stay in touch.
2 thoughts on “Leroy A. Smith Shelter-Delaware Water Gap Pennsylvania. 1293.6 done/896.2 to go. May 24, 2017”
wow, Mike, way to go, taking on the rocks — that’s quite a challenge accepted and met! I feel the pain in your voice as you talk about the friends you won’t get to spend more time with, but I’m confident you’ll meet more people that will enrich your journey. Keep enjoying the journey, and keep posting — it’s so fun to read your adventures. Parting thought — I hope you don’t wake up with a nice big snake keep warm with you! Hahaha…
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Now THAT’S a snake! So happy you have made such good friends on the AT
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