Into Hot Springs

Day 42

Walnut Mountain Shelter to Hot Springs 13.1 miles – AT mile 275.2

Card of the day – The Tower

Today we go to town, and I for one can’t wait.  Fortunately we’re taking a zero in town tomorrow as I need to sort a lot of stuff out.

It’s drizzling outside my tent so I’m taking my time over breakfast and catching up on my blog.  My post about leaving the smokies now has about 20,000 views, which for little old me from Blighty is amazing, after all it’s just my daily ramblings and observations of my journey up this long green(ish) tunnel.

I was squirting some water into my cup and bowl ready to wash them out when I had the thought about how precious water actually is.  At home we’re spoilt.  You turn on a tap and out it comes, usually in either hot or cold varieties.

He, where I am right now, if I want water I have to walk 0.1 miles down a massive hill to a little spring, hopefully it has a pipe or a well placed leaf.  This one has a plastic pipe imbedded in it.  I have to collect it in my filer bag, then filer it into a smart water bottle so that I know it’s good to drink.  If I’m in camp I usually carry 3 Ltr back to my tent, and yes that means going back up that hill and down the 0.1.

Now if I want that water to be hot, for a cup of tea for example, I then have to pull out my stove and pot and spend the next 3 mins waiting for the water to boil.

Trust me, we should all appreciate tap water more.

Walking through the woods in the rain, all you can hear are the rain drops and the clanging of poles.  It’s as if all of nature is hiding from the weather and only the foolhardy thru hikers are out in it.

My rain coat has now developed a smell all of its own.  It’s a cross between stale water and sweat.  You constantly try and beat the odds of either being to wet from the rain or to wet from sweat as you always sweat in your rain gear, especially when going up hill.

Bluff mountain was one such hill today but I got the climb done in 45 mins baby!  It only hurts when you’re hiking after all.  I was dead chuffed with that time, and whilst I would not say that I have my hiking legs yet, I’m definitely stronger.

We past a sign at Garenflo Gap that informed us that it’s only 1924.7 miles to Katahdin, that means we have hiked 14% of the trail so far.  I think that’s quite impressive..

We stopped for lunch at Dear Park Mountain shelter, that’s 10 miles in 4 hours!  It’s amazing what the call of beer and a burger will do to you.  And town was within reach!  I was in a bar with a beer by 2.30 having done 13.2 miles for the second day in a row.  The staff stopped to celebrate 4:20, which I thought was rather odd, but I guess it’s that kind of town.

We’re in an air b&b for the next few days.  It has a hot tub, so we’re all going to relax and  let our battered bodies heal a little.  This is the life!

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