Day 34: Wet Clothes and Mice Track Meets

Mice Track Meet

The FarOut comments were right. The mice are active. Very active. They didn’t even wait until sundown to start speeding inside the walls and along the roof. Some described the mice activity as square dancing whereas it sounded like a track meet to me. I couldn’t hear them when I put the earplugs in, though. I was glad when I woke up and didn’t see anything of mine chewed through. It was a worry. I did wake up to the sound of rain though. It was clear during the night, but the moment us hikers planned on hiking, the sky opened up.

Putting on Wet Clothes

I took my time getting ready. None of my clothes were dry and I wasn’t overly keen in getting in them. Especially since my thighs were chafed and the tops of my feet were in worse condition than I thought. When it came time to peeling off my socks, I was gritting my teeth. My socks were sticking to the wounds. I didn’t even realize my feet were bleeding. One day, I will learn not to hike sockless when it’s wet. The debris gets under the straps and rubs my skin raw.

As I was mustering up the courage to put on my wet clothing, Fine Young Buck comes over and says, “I had a dream about you.” “Oh really?” “You asked me to take you to the doctor about your shrieking hiccups. I did and the doctor said that you have a condition called rapid fire tourets. Essentially, you start cursing up a storm, but it’s so fast, all we hear is your shrieking.” I cackled. My parents find my loud, single burst hiccup as an annoyance. My professors saw it as a distraction. My friends see it as a demon portal that allows demons into the world whenever they hear it. Apparently, it’s just me rapidly cursing. The more you know.

I’m glad it wasn’t overly cold that morning. Putting on wet clothes in the cold is worse than when it’s warmer. The bra was the worst. If you know, you know. I did finally put on my clothes and ended up pacing for warmth as I ate breakfast.

Dry Bumping

Before I headed out, I put a orange electrolyte tablet in my mouth and immediately choked on the sour dust. Hawaii looked at me and questioned if I did what I just did. I nodded. She then said, “You know, the longer I get to know you, the more I question…” “My mental health?” I supplied. “Yes.” I was tempted to make a noise that my sister and I do when we acknowledge our weirdness. I didn’t though. I kind of wish I did. That would really make Hawaii question my sanity. By 9:00, I was leaving camp.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on a horror movie set.

Allen Gap

The hike down to Allen Gap went by quickly. My thoughts kept me occupied. Mainly, I thought about how relaxed I am about gathering water. In the beginning, I made sure I had a minimum of two litters at all times. When I went through one litter, I had to refill it. Now, depending on the terrain and temperature, I can hike over six miles on one litter. I rarely carry extra now.

At Allen Gap, I met back up with Fine Young Buck, Sweeper, and Hawaii. The rain was finally stopping and we were all eating a snack. We needed fuel to get us up the next section. Several times, people would honk and wave at us as they went by. It’s like we’re celebrities instead of smelly hikers.

My Theme Song

With Disney music playing in my ear, I pushed on. I was loving it. One My Way from Phil Collins is going to be my theme for the Appalachian Trail. It just fits perfectly.

The Southern Cookie Lady

I was about to cross a gravel road when I saw a yellow sign pointing towards trail magic. Cookies, filtered water, and a place to dump my trash. It reminded me of the witch from Hansel and Grettle. Or a white van offering kids candy. I was a bit weary, but ended up following the sign. It was someone’s private property, but there were cookies. I passed Hawaii and Fine Young Buck was right behind me. It was a nice treat.

Little Laurel Shelter

The rest of the climb up sucked. It was steep and I was getting lower back pain. The Disney music kept me going though. I was getting hungry, but Sweeper, Fine Young Buck, and I agreed to eat at the Little Laurel Shelter. I pushed on and was glad to see a roof over the hill. I made it.

Hawaii was just packing up as I plopped my stuff down. Sweeper looks at me and says, “I wouldn’t mind stopping here for the day.” “Me neither.” Originally, we made plans to push it to the Jerry’s Cabin Shelter (16 miles away). I could have done it, but I knew that when I would arrive, the shelter would be full. I had to be in a shelter tonight. The night previously, I got an alert on my phone saying that my area was under a high wind watch. We were going to be getting 45 to 50 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph. I refused to sleep in a tent where a tree could possibly fall. Additionally, it was going to rain. Nope, nope, and nope. I played it safe.

Getting to a shelter early is nice. You get to pick where you set up before anyone else and have time to relax, decompress, and socialize. I did feel guilty about not continuing on when I could have. Especially when the sky started to clear up and the sun poked out. I did have time to dry my clothes, though. That was nice.

Slow Setup

I spent an hour eating as I read and listened to Fine Young Buck snore. I was still hungry. I took everything out of my bag to let it dry and repack my stuff. It’s never ending.

By 5:00, people started to show up. The shelter filled up quickly. We all ate dinner as the wind started to pick up. I put my stuff in the bear box and was quick to snuggle up in my quilt. Compared to last night, it was quiet. There wasn’t conversation, but there also weren’t any mice (that I could hear). All was well. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t rain inside with the gusting wind. That would suck.

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Comments 1

  • Steve : Apr 24th

    The Allman Brothers ‘Dreams” would have to be my hiking theme song, especially when when you have to wake up with the blues and put on your walking shoes


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