End of 5, 6 & 7

A Slight Glimmer Of Hope

Now that Becky has passed me my only desire is to not die on this mountain.  It would give my last boss to much pleasure.  A semi alerts me to a road close by.  Now I see a building.  There are hikers out front.  I am going to live.

The trail goes right through a breezeway of the Mountain Crossings store.  Our cabin is a measly 10 minute walk down the road.  A couple who were planning a thruhike next year offered to give us a ride so they could here how our first week has been.  When we pull into Blood Mountain Cabins I don’t want to get out of the car.  Anything bearing the Blood Mtn moniker is now taboo to me.

Once inside the office we go ahead and reserve the cabin for a second night.  We are going to take our first zero on day six.  Zeroes are days you don’t log any miles on the trail and instead just rest up.  As great as that sounds I know that day 5 is still not over.  The cabin is still getting cleaned so we sit down for pizza.  My first bite and I say out loud, “ooo, that’s spicy”.  I grab a half gallon of milk all for myself. We get a second pizza to take to the cabin with us.

We Have Guests

Becky then Claus get showers.  We put all our dirty clothes in the laundry bag and I am wearing only Becky’s rain pants until clean clothes arrive back.  My turn for a shower and for a brief moment life is great.  It is just Claus, Becky and myself.  The office closed at 5 and we have not heard from Elena.  We give her no chance of making it to the cabin tonight.

Knock knock knock. That’s a pretty solid knock I hear while washing off the grime.  Elena must have made it somehow.  I exit the shower to find both Elena and Phillipp standing in our midst.  Since the closed hostel caused Phillip to not have a place to stay Elena offered our cabin.  They went door to door to each cabin to find us.  She is without cash and offers us an REI gift card for her portion of the payment.  Nothing wrong with REI gift cards.  Claus  doesn’t seem happy with the new arrivals.

Trouble Everywhere

During the introductory conversation Phillipp makes a quick dash to the bathroom.  Our new guest is now throwing up his two greasy hamburger dinner.  The bathroom that we all must share over the next two days is violated within the first hour of our new guests arrival.  We all wonder aloud about norovirus.  I don’t care because I’m alive and just shake my head and go lay down.  Tomorrow has got to be a better day.  It surely can’t get any worse.

My first zero day starts at 1:30am.  That spicy pizza decides to forgo the digestion process and instead exit the way it came in.  Beads of sweat are all over my body in a cabin where the air conditioning is set at just below 70 degrees.  At 3:30am I do the same ritual all over again.  Is it just because of the spicy food?  Did our new guest bring a gift for us all to share in?

Rest Does A Body Good

Becky spends the day resting in the cabin for the most part.  She isn’t well.  Elena is not well.  Claus and Phillipp don’t seem to get along.  When one speaks the other acts like they are listening and then kinda rolls their eyes when they look away from each other.  I’m in the middle.

I take some time away to shop for food at the Mountain Crossings store and get a second shirt to carry and a new pair of gloves.  Claus and Phillipp get separate rides into town to resupply.  This is a clear example of how a combination of good people being brought together make a terrible team.  I know this is the last night we will see one of them.  I’m still just happy to be alive.

A New Day

Claus is up and ready to leave at 8.  I am sure he will get breakfast in the office and hit the trail to put distance between Phillipp and himself.  The rest of us spend the morning getting ourselves ready for the day.  Becky and I discuss taking another down day versus hiking.

Phillipp seems easier to get along with now that Claus is away.  He bought some beer yesterday and I have two and a Hershey bar for breakfast.  We all slowly get the cabin ready for departure.  Phillipp acknowledges his tension with Claus as a product of Claus’ staunch German attitude about things. Phillipp, who is half as old (I think), is more of a free spirit.

A Good End

It is approaching the 11 check out time and I’m anxious to know if my beer and chocolate breakfast is going to hold.  Becky gets a quick shower and I do the same.  Right at 11 Nancy Drew had another missing gear mystery.  This time it was a trekking pole.  I suggested she look in her pack but that wasn’t what she wanted to here.  We spend the next 15 minutes turning the cabin over to no avail.  It magically appears in her pack.

We make a quick stop at the Mountain Crossings store once more for some last minute impulse food buys and a rain cloud looms overhead.  We have had nothing but sunny days this whole week.  The grey cloud quickly passes.  My pack with two liters of water weighs in at 26lbs.  Becky is at 25.  I haven’t heard of any packs weighing in at less during our first week.  It’s just after 1pm and we head out.  We have just passed the point where 20% of the thruhikers drop out.

We only go about 4 miles before finding a suitable campsite.  A nice younger crowd with only a few  appearing to be around my age.  Elena and Phillip are here also.  We set up the tent, eat, hang the food bags, and I’m ready for bed. Becky stays up.  I’m counting Day 7 as a success due to no adverse affects remaining from the prior days.

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Comments 3

  • Ann : Apr 13th

    Hey there!
    I am loving this blog. What does hanging the food bag consist of.
    You all are doing great! Keep it up and finish your dreams.
    Love you guys!
    Stay safe

    • Sherry Brown : Apr 16th

      I was also curious about the food bag. Also I noticed in your pic you were using something to filter water. What’s this? I think what your doing is awesome!!

      • James Shepherd : Apr 17th

        We each have a food bag that at night we put all food and smelly stuff in that would attract mice, squirrels, and bears. I’ll tie a rope to mine and use a rock to throw the rope over a tree limb so I can pull the bag up and suspend it in the air about 10 feet. Just a way to keep mice from eating holes in your stuff to get at the food. Some shelters have bear boxes that you just put your food bags in but they still get mice in those. My bag is made of Kevlar threads so mice can’t eat through it and ruin my food.

        We use Sawyer water filters. Mine was $20 at Walmart. Becky bought the next size up because the water flow rate is a lot quicker. We get our water from springs preferably. Streams can get contaminated pretty easy so fresh water springs are preferred. If you add the purifying drops with one of the filters you can drink the dingiest water and stay really safe from disease.


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