Start: Unicoi Gap
Finish: Tray Mountain Shelter
Miles: 5.7 Total Miles: 58.6
Back on the trail after the better part of two days off.
Started with climbs up and over two good sized mountains. Today, fortunately, a lot fewer rocks to clamber over, for which I, and my knees, were obscenely grateful. I decided on a short day to avoid overstressing said knees. So only six miles overall from Unicoi Gap. I took it slow and easy and arrived at Tray Mountain Shelter a little after 1:00 pm. I felt a mighty temptation to continue on as it was rather early, but the closest potential camp spots were five miles away, almost doubling my mileage for the day.
Fortunately, a group of youngins, of the party animal persuasion showed up at the shelter soon after I did. I was concerned that I was in for a night of depraved debauchery, and wholesale consumption of illicit substances (well in this state anyway), but they indicated that they’d be moving on just as soon as they were mellow enough to do so. Apparently, the mellowness required some fresh brewed coffee, which they had to make from fresh beans, pounded in a bandanna with a rock. Their departure meant that I got to call dibs on the first spot in the shelter, which turned out to be fortuitous as rain set in shortly before sundown.
Tonight, in and around the shelter was Odin (sans Thor alas), Twizzler, Solo, Mcat, Chip, All The Way, and several others who’s names I either didn’t catch or neglected to write down.
We made a fire (also a first) that we got to enjoy for an hour or so till the rain arrived.
At this point I’ve been out in the woods for a total of six days and I’ve been in fog or rain or both four out of the six. Clearer weather is forecast in a couple of days but it appears it will be accompanied with sharply lower temperatures.
By the way, I had for the first time the Beef Stronganoff dinner from Mountain House, which I had been led to believe was one of the better dinners. It isn’t. I won’t be buying this one again. I had a Snickers to make up for the disappointment.