July 11th 2018
Port Clinton – Allentown Hiking club Shelter (mile 1241.1)
22.5 miles
Total miles: 1260.1

I had an odd nights sleep. It was so hot in the shelter, I didn’t even bother with my sleep bottoms and just slept in my shorts. I fell asleep without my sleeping bag on me, but when I woke up around 1:30am I was snuggled inside it and I was a sweaty mess! I woke up because I needed a wee. Having learnt from several mistakes I knew I had to get up and go otherwise I wouldn’t be sleeping well for the rest of the night. I think this might be the first time I’ve had to get up in the night for a wee on this trail. 

There was an older / larger guy in the corner who had a decent snore going on, which I got accused of in the morning. Bryce told me I was snoring last night and I said that was unlikely because I was awake with my headphones in trying to drown out the mans snoring. The proximity to the road was also a problem with the huge 16 wheeler lorries creating a lot of noise in the dead of night. 


I had mentioned a lie in yesterday but when 6:30am rolled around I had been awake for a while and I let the air out of my mat and started to pack up. After a quick phone call to my mum, as it was her birthday, the three of us walked up the road to a highly recommended cafe to get breakfast. I’ve still got a way to go in the whole learning from my mistakes thing because I don’t like American breakfast but I got swept up in it. They had a pretty extensive menu and I should have ordered a lunch item. Some sort of chicken sandwich would have been the best choice but no, I didn’t do that. I ordered stuffed French toast. Bad decision. I love French toast, but as a savoury dish, bread dipped in egg and pan fried and dipped in tomato sauce. Here they serve it sweet with cream and sugar. But I got muddled with remembering how much I like French toast and the sound of bananas and strawberries making my mouth water. I misjudged the part where the fruit comes served in between the toast and it has sweet cream all up inside it. 

It wasn’t awful but it just wasn’t right. So I got my way through two of the stacks and Peaches ate the remaining one. It was a good half mile back to the pavilion where we picked up our packs and it was another half mile to the trail. There is a house, number 75, that lets hikers fill up thier water from a spigot outside their garage. The lady was there and offered us water as we went by. We didn’t need any but I mention this because there have been some comments about it being an unfriendly town and we have found it to be one of the friendliest towns on the trail! 


The walk down the road back to the trail was roasting. My left side felt like it was literally boiling. Tantalisingly a lot of the houses on the street have swimming pools and they are missing a trick by not charging hikers $5 to have a dip! I was so glad to get back in the trees and back in the shade. The morning began with a thousand foot climb and I made it out to be really bad in my head. It was going to be the worst. Hot. Steep. Rocky. Just gross. But as always it wasn’t as bad as I had built it up to be in my head. It’s a mental trick I use. Make it feel like it’s going to be the worst and then you are pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be not as bad as you thought. For some reason my brain falls for this trick every time! 


So although the climb wasn’t a joy, it was hot and rocky and steep in places, it was over with pretty quickly. At the top there was a view point where we stopped and ate some snacks. I ate a guacamole pot and some crisps, not because I was hungry, but because I wanted my pack to be lighter. I’ve carried hardly any food for the last few days and now I’m carrying way too much and it’s a shock to the system! 


Where did you come from?!


I am surprised every time by how much garlic is in these little pots. It feels like there is raw garlic in there because it is so strong. Eye-wateringly strong. The trail continues to go up and down and up and down but much smaller that the climb this morning. It’s moderately to very rocky on the scale of rocks. There are the small pointy ones. The large boulders. And the medium sized ones which always have a wobbler in there. If I had to choose one it would be the large boulders because they hurt your feet less, but they are more painful for the knees. 

It was pretty constant, moving between the three types of rock. There was another overlook and I met a guy coming towards me. Are you going north or south he asks. North. That’s the way I should be going he says and turns around and walks back on himself. I think the others are at the lookout but I can’t be arsed to go over there so I carry on. The trail seems to follow an old forest service road and I have to check a few times to make sure I was still on trail, it was unusual for the trail to follow the road for such a long time. It was nice though. I was able to move a bit faster as the trail was not that rocky and it was pretty much flat. 

Along the way there were a couple of big groups of youngsters training in what looked like search and rescue. I know they were young because as I passed they said Morning M’am, and that made me feel old! 

I found some water and stopped to fill up and eat another guac pot. They are nice but I think I will be tired of them by day 3. I was unsure of who was in front or behind me so when Bryce passed and said Peaches was behind that solved that mystery. There were about 5 other hikers we are leapfrogging with today and we saw them a bunch of times. I sat down for another small break and then prepared myself for the other big climb of the day. Really these climbs aren’t big compared to early on in the trail, but there are big enough for right now. This hill was long. You could see the climb stretching out in front of you with the top always out of reach. 


Is that a riddle?!


The rest of the day was just a mixture of all of those types of rocks. I fell over twice. Once I landed on my bum with no harm done and the second time I fell forwards and landed on my hands. Also no harm done. Walking through these rocks is exhausting. Not jus my physically but mentally too because you’re having to concentrate so hard all the time to not break a bone. 

I caught up to Peaches and we did the last 3 miles together. By the time we got to the shelter it was 7pm and I was very tired and my feet were hurting a lot. Small things were irritating me and I knew it was because I was overtired. I pitched my tent outside the shelter and the other two decided to stay in the shelter. For me I knew that would be an irritant. I needed some space. There were also a bunch of other hikers here and the chance of one of them being a snorer was high. I was so lazy with my pitch. I just draped the fly over the top without bothering to stake it out. 


I ate my dinner which consisted of two guac pots and crisps. I think I will be sick of this guacamole at then end of this resupply! Last time those 4 little pots weren’t enough so I’m rolling with 12 pots this time! It’s just so garlicky. And it’s not doing my digestive system a lot of favours either because it’s causing some really smelly farts. My tolerance levels for people were pretty low and I could feel myself getting irritated by small silly things so I took myself off to my tent at around 8pm with the hope of an early night. I visited the privy first. I appreciate a comedy privy. 


I had messaged my friend Marvin yesterday for advice on the shoe glue he gave me when we were in New Zealand, I had been thinking today that I must message back and say thank you. When I turned on my phone at the shelter I had service and I had a message from him saying ‘you’re welcome’. I had left it too late and now I’ve upset him. We had an exchange of messages and I ended up having a little cry. I felt horrible for upsetting him so much. I have been terrible at replying to people’s messages lately. Usually I’m just so tired I read them and think I’ll reply to that later and then never get around to it. Not on purpose. Not for any reason other than I’m tired and I want to spend the least amount of time possible on my phone. I rarely look at Facebook anymore and even Instagram, which I love, has become a chore. 

Just today I was thinking to myself how long it’s been since I had a little cry! And I think it was a combination of things. Upsetting Marvin. Being very tired and sore. Missing home and thinking about family on mums birthday. Being irritable and sensitive. So I cried, but my tent was quite close to the shelter so I had to do it silently! Then I ended up being late getting everything organised and the inflatables blown up and my sleep clothes on. And now suddenly it’s ten to ten and I’m still awake and writing this. My feet have got a good throb going on, especially in my heels. 

Also I found another little hole in my tent net this evening. *insert heavy eye roll*

I can’t quite believe tomorrow is day 65. It feels like it’s flying by. And it means it’s 38 days since I had a day off. I guess I know where the overtiredness part comes from. 

Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 64