Sunday, August 05, 2012

Day 106-Less Than A Third Left

From South Brown Mtn Shelter at mile 1770 to 1794

In the shelter register someone commented that the shelter was at the two thirds point in the trail. Portrait didn't believe it and checked the numbers. We indeed only have a third of the trail left and less than 900 miles. Pretty neat way to start the morning.

Less than 900 miles to go
We were joined for breakfast by Dirty Brown, Data, Anteater, Pilfer, and then a little later by Freebird. They had allready hiked four miles by eight o'clock and were planning on thirty more. I was planning on low twenties. Portrait and I left the shelter just after the first group of four Fasties while Freebird gathered water.

Portrait on the smooth trail among the rocks
Portrait was in the front and at one point I was going to ask him to slow down a bit so we could keep talking. The trail was nice, real smooth eventhough the guidebook warned otherwise.  The trail went through black rock lava fields, but the trail tread was free of rocks for the most part.  It was easy walking so I didn't comment on Portrait's pace but instead on keeping up his pace and keeping up with the conversation. After a bit I adjusted and it didn't seem like I was going too fast.

One by one we passed the Fasties while they were taking seperate morning breaks.
I had two bowls of cereal at the shelter and they stuck to my ribs so I was surprisingly not in need of my own snack break. I was also getting real joy out of passing the Fasties and didn't want to stop and let them leapfrog. I wanted to stay ahead until we all stopped at the creek ten miles from the shelter for lunch.

Lunch at the creek
I didn't get hungry until we had less than a mile to the creek and at that point I wasn't going to stop. I got to the creek still feeling great-it was such the opposite of the day before. The others all made it to the creek shortly after us. It was a lovely spot for a hiker picnic. We stayed for an hour and were the first to leave.
Right after lunch the trail started to go up slowly and continued to go up slowly for the next four miles. The clouds from the morning had departed making it another hot and muggy day. I was dripping on the climb up. Portrait and I didn't hike together on the way up, which left me to daydream about food (a veggie burger with all my favorite toppings).

Once up the trail went smoothly along for another five miles. I could see Portrait just ahead, but always just out of talking range. We took a break at four and I fully expected the Fasties to pass while I ate my candy bar, but none did. We hiked on, drifting apart, for a few more miles to the spring.

At the spring we met up with Ninja Tortuse. The spring didn't look like much at first, but we followed the water down and the flow got much better.   It was very cold and wonderfully clear. I took as much water as I could-the next water was fourteen miles away.

Leaving the spring we had two more planned miles. We hiked together now-I was slowed down by my extra six pounds. Still, the couple miles went by quickly. When we were less than .1 from the trail junction we hoped to camp at we saw a faint path leading to a flat area. We went down and found a lovely spot with a log to sit against, a fire ring (that we didn't use), and someone had even cleared tent spots. It was perfect. The Fasties zoomed on by our perfect spot while we were finishing dinner.

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