Jones Meadow [mile 295.6]
I managed a measley nine miles today. It’s days like this that remind me that I probably won’t make it as far as Maine. I hope nobody will be too disappointed if my big finish is in Connecticut instead of on Katahdin.
I didn’t sleep well and woke up late. Pear-shaped! I’m finding that the days don’t generally recover from that. I spent an hour or so and much of my phone battery trying to set up a mail drop for Damascus. (Thanks, brother!) I still haven’t figured out where to send to. I have more immediate issues.
This phone! A full battery yesterday down to 50% right now. That means once again I have to save up a chunk of updates until I can find a charge. This is frustrating. It’s also a concern, for safety reasons. Somebody out here says he has a ‘New Trent’ charger that weighs 4 ounces and is giving him 3.5 charges. Anybody ever hear of that? I can’t research until Damascus, but that would go a long way toward alleviating the problem.
The day was HOT. It also involved a surprise 5-mile climb with no water. Hikers were visibly wilted, even the young studly ones. Me, though… I was utterly spent. I couldn’t make it to the next shelter, which is another 5 miles. So I called it a day at about 4 PM. Early night, early wakeup, and hopefully tomorrow will be better. I’d like to set an alarm, but again, phone battery issues.
Nothing really spectacular to report. Broiling sun through bare trees, and dead leaves underfoot. Bugs. I got chewed up yesterday, and the bites itch fiercely. Today I sprayed myself. Also, my sunburn blistered in the heat. Yesterday I took a nasty fall (into a hole I didn’t see) and bruised my calf. Today my legs got tangled in a branch with thorns, which scratched up the back of my knee. Yes, I’m slightly damaged at the moment.
There are three shelters in this area that are basically plague houses. There’s a norovirus epidemic among the hikers, and those three shelters have puke (and/or worse) in them. I passed the first of those today. Trail maintainer “the Cleaner” was taking care of business: basically hosing down the shelter with bleach, and so on. Thank you, Cleaner! Thank you to ALL the trail maintainers. They make stairs and clear deadfall and pick trash out of the privies…a hundred and one thankless jobs, just for the love of the trail. Without them it wouldn’t exist. Talk about service!
And that’s all I’ve got. I’m all wrapped up in the next dilemma, which is how I’m going to resupply in Erwin without spending more money I don’t have on a motel. Not to mention taking more time that I don’t have.
Oh, don’t listen to me. I’ll be fine tomorrow. 😉
(No photos today. Battery.)
(Or maybe just one.)