Nature’s Boot Camp
March 25 2015
The day started out foggy and grew bright. We had our first big climb and started meeting a lot of new people. We were in the March 23rd bubble of hikers. As we walked along, we could hear the loud booms of practice shelling and shooting from a nearby army base. We took a break at a gap and met some hikers who would become As I go and the Choir Boys. They were silly and fun to talk to. I went over to some army trainees that were parked on the road and asked if they had any snacks. We chatted for awhile and they expressed a strange sentiment to me: that hiking the Appalachian Trail was such a difficult undertaking they would never have any desire to do. I had previously thought of it as nature’s boot camp, so I was baffled and a little amused.
My mom and I had a dilemma about where to camp this day. We could stay just before Blood Mountain but not on top without a bear canister. To the surprise of our hiking bubble we decided to push on and stay on the ridge . I took my mom’s food bag to lighten her load over the next few rolling climbs. We camped with Fancy Pants and Fuego this night. Fuego made a roaring fire and kept it going late into the night.
I got my bear rope stuck in a tree. Fuego tried to help me get it unstuck with a tree branch and we got the tree branch stuck in the rope. Then we used a second stick to remove the first stick and got that tied in there too. It looked like a strange piece of suspended art when finally we gave it a good yank and everything came crashing down.
I am fairly sure that I met Odie from the Hiker’s Yearbook at some trail magic today! I saw him at different points all along the trail.
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