300 miles and what a day!

Day 46

Little Laurel Shelter to Flint Mountain Shelter 14 miles – AT mile 308.8

Card of the day – 10 of Swords

A crowd came into camp late last night, and by late I mean after 7pm.  They were talking and making noise till well after 9, not even trying to be quiet.  Naturally there are some tired and pissed off looking people around here as I make my breakfast at 7am.  Hiker midnight is at 8pm and usually most people respect that.

I knew there was rain on the way so I hurried to get my camp broken down and was just leaving as it set in, just after 8.  I left without getting and water and unfortunately for me I missed it at the next spot.  Apparently it was right there where it should have been and every one else found it.  Hay ho, these things happen, and I learnt never to leave camp without enough water!

As you hike along today you come to a sign that points to a bad weather route.  Now Kegstand and Underhill had put in the group chat that it might be a good idea to take this if the weather is bad, because it really is exposed!  I don’t think a spot of rain is bad weather really?  That’s what we call summer back home after all!

Naturally I took the high route and was rewarded for my bravery (read stupidity).  You go past the 300 miles mark and get a really good view at Howard’s rock! Well I suppose you do if it’s not raining and you’re not walking through clouds like I was.  Alas for me there were no views, which was probably a good thing, given the sheer drops and my fear of hight’s.

The hike over the ridge was epic.  It’s been by far my most life for-filling hiking on the AT and maybe ever.  I was full of adventure and risk and dare I even suggest danger?  I was euphoric as I scrambled over those rocks, which at times really were vertical hand over fist climbs.

Once I got through the high pass and was full of my own success, the trail reminded me who’s boss and I slipped and banged my toes into a rock, that will hurt later.

I stopped for lunch at Jerry’s cabin where Underhill and Kegstand were waiting out the rain, and to be fair the rain was just about done with for the day.

Whilst I put on a dry top, I had omitted to take off my wet teeshirt, so whilst the plan had been to wait for Beam and Short Stop, I ended up heading out again on my own as I was getting cold.

The rocks were not quite finished with us as I made my way and at times it felt like I was orienteering across a field in the mist, it felt like home.  There was even a point where we crossed an old dirt track onto a bold which could have been any entrance to a farmers field on The Essex Way.  I joked about how many similar pictures I had of just that scene on my phone already.

At about 2 the mist finally lifted, and it became a bluebird sky with the sun beaming down on us.  The weather here is truly crazy.

The last mile again was a killer!  I’m not sure why they always seem to put shelters half way up hills but that seems to have been the case the last few days.

This has now been our longest time away from civilisation and I’m starting to feel it.  At least for tonight I’ve got a flat tent spot.

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Comments 2

  • Vernon : Apr 27th

    I was under the impression that hikers midnight was 9PM.

    • Craigen “Cool Breeze” Smith : Apr 28th

      I don’t think it’s set in stone to be honest, but from my experience it’s been 8pm


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