Heavenly trail magic!

Day 52, 18.5 miles

We’re on trail at 7am and soon leave the nice pine plantation.

At road crossing we use the porta pottie. A lady pulls up with her dog I tell her we are waiting for the bus since we’re under an awning with benches. I don’t think she gets the joke. She says we’re her heroes for thru hiking the trail.

We walk around the pretty lake as it starts raining. We pull out the umbrellas and for the next hour tell each other how much we love the umbrellas. It’s too hot for rain jackets and this way we stay dry. We’re happy with the temperature and clouds and this way the rain doesn’t bother us.

Greenleaf gets some more water at the lake. It’s nice to have multiple sources in a day again.

We are excited because my Instagram friend Runa is coming to meet us with yummy food. We don’t know what she’ll bring so we entertain each other with food fantasies.

We take a side trail to the parking lot she’s at and are so freaking spoiled! She asked what we liked and I figured she would bring some of the things I had mentioned but she brought all of them! The Lemon squares and cantaloupe Greenleaf always fantasizes about and turnovers and a fruit and a veggie tray! And soda and juice! We inhale the pastries and demolish the veggie tray. It tastes so good! It’s so fun to chat with a fellow thru hiker and traveler and we reminisce about trips we have in common and talk about hikes we’ve done and ones we still dream of. She brought a canopy to sit under which is great since it starts raining again. The temperatures drop and we finally tear ourselves away to stay warm and make more miles.

We climb up to a viewpoint and down to elephant rock. We can’t figure out why it’s called elephant rock but someone must have had some wild imagination.

There are a few day hikers today but for a Saturday in a supposedly busier area it’s pretty quiet. The gloomy weather probably didn’t help.

At some point the mosquitos come out again and I lose my cool. I had changed into my sleeveless dress but am now back to long sleeves.

As it keeps drizzling and the mosquitos don’t leave, we don’t take a break for 3 hrs and I’m getting tired and grumpy. My sandals and socks have been soaked since the morning and I can feel friction happening on my big toes again. Because we’re on trail I’m hiking in my Keens again but the fit just isn’t perfect.

We walk through a field and finally stop at a beautiful clear stream. I sit down on the bridge on my rain skirt and Greenleaf gets more water. It’s still lightly drizzling but I don’t care too much. The mosquitos are mostly gone. We snack, we drink, we rest. I eventually do pull the umbrella out again and we rest some more.

Once I feel better we continue in the grass and head for the woods again.

We were wondering about staying at shelter number 2 but every campsite and shelter is booked. We take the side trail to check it out and while the view is nice the shelter itself isn’t very inviting. It’s got a dirt floor and some benches on the side. It’s pretty dark in there. We laugh as we see that the pit toilet is out of order. My guess is that’s it’s too full because what can break down in a pit toilet really?

We continue and find a flat spot in a thinned out pine forest near some rail road tracks which luckily don’t seem to get too much traffic (or any at all).

As we’re about to go to sleep there is a crazy overzealous whippoorwill being very noisy while the mosquitos buzz around our tent and we hear fire works in the distance. At least no traffic sounds this time.

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Comments 1

  • Debbie Anderson : Jul 18th

    My son is an enthusiastic hiker and I enjoy reading about your journey as well as listening to my son talk about his hikes. Please keep writing about your hikes and share with us.


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