Day 201: Danger, Will Robinson!

Belters Campsite [mile 1719.1; SOBO 700.7]

Some things you just have to laugh about.

The power came on in Salisbury at 11:00 last night. I have no idea what caused the outage. I jumped up and turned off all the lights and slept fitfully until about 6:00 AM.

Salisbury is a town of leisure, apparently. The grocery store doesn’t open until 8:00, the exorbitantly priced bistro doesn’t open until 8:00, even the general store–slash–cafe doesn’t open until 8:00. And the post office doesn’t open until 8:30; that’s the one I really needed.

So I got packed up then went to the bistro for breakfast. It was insanely expensive. No more restaurant meals for me! The southern diner days are over. Kaput. But the good news is that I managed to send home 2 pounds of stuff. Surprising, right? Goodbye, Tevas! I have no more camp shoes. Goodbye shorts and summer sleep stuff! All I’ve got now is fall/winter kit. If it’s hot, I roll up my pants legs. If the trail is a game of chess, with an opening, a middle, and an endgame, then my endgame has to be about speed overall. That means weight reduction even at the cost of some comfort. I can tolerate the discomfort for 5 or 6 weeks, whereas 3 months of it was too much.

After the post office, I hit the trail. It was a very cloudy morning, with severe storms predicted for the afternoon. I wanted to get as far as a shelter if I could.

The terrain was relatively smooth, but washboard up and down. Some pretty steep stuff, too. Once a small deer bounded away crom the trail. Run! I thought at it. They’re coming for you soon!

The rain started right around 1:00 PM. At first it was tentative, but it picked up steadily until once again I was hiking in a downpour. You’d think that if the rain is a downpour and the terrain is uphill, they’d somehow cancel each other out. But no.

I spent a lot of time looking for the trail today. I mean a lot of time. I’m not used to these roadwalks. Once I accidentally ended up on private property, and there was a balrog skull on a wall! Which totally makes sense, because then I came to a balrog bridge: “You shall not pass!”

How come nobody takes ‘Gandalf’ as a trail name?

The trail meandered through a pretty wilderness area by the Housatonic River. Then came another roadwalk. An SUV pulled up, and all of a sudden bubble lights started flashing blue. Uh-oh, I thought. What law did I break? Or is he going to tell me that the trail is closed because of the government shutdown?

Neither was the case. He told me to be careful because the county was on a tornado watch until 5:00 PM.

Oh crap.

I thought the dangerous stuff was supposed to be over. Connecticut, what are you doing to me?

I knew I couldn’t get to the next shelter in any amount of reasonable time, so the choice was to stealth (illegal here) or run for this campsite. I try to color between the lines—to obey the laws, I mean, which is sometimes tricky because they often contradict one another. And safety’s always first, anyway.

But Belters. Yeah. I figured at least I could hide in the privy. But when I got here, the privy was one of those al fresco ones—no walls! LOL. Yeah, the privy already went to Oz.

The wind was picking up. I scouted all the tent sites and wasn’t thrilled with any of them, but I used my best judgment and here I am. The tornado watch is over—yay!—and now it’s just a night of rain. Big Agnes and I will be fine.

I do miss those camp shoes, though! 😉










Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Day 201: Danger, Will Robinson!

  1. Marge

    Love the Keep it Simple cup! You are sooo prepared for almost everything, right? Does anybody sell porcupine repellent?

    • I was having breakfast and that’s the cup they brought me! =D

      I might want porcupine attractor! I want a better picture!

  2. Shari wb

    This was a great post!

    I had to download the pic of the falls. Beautiful!

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