May 25th 2018
Roaring Fork Shelter – Hot Springs / Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn (mile 274.5)
17.9 miles
Total miles: 284.5


So I woke up this morning at there was another person in the shelter! I heard nothing. It freaked me out a bit. Then it freaked me out a bit more when he said “hey In-a-Rush, I’ve been trying to catch you. Can I hike with you?”. In-a-Rush didn’t seem phased by it at all but I thought it was a bit stalkery. 

So I didn’t hear another person coming into the shelter, I certainly didn’t hear the mice. I had 18 miles before I got to Hot Spring and I was determined to move as quickly as possible to get there. I ate a mini blueberry muffin and set off on my way. Podcasts on. Head down. One foot in front of the other. Quickly. 

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every morning I have fluid pooling around my eyes. It’s a good look.

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If you look closely you can see someones discarded tampon applicator. Nice.

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I was pleased with my pace and I was pleased with the trail, it wasn’t too up and down and there weren’t too many trip hazards. I was able to do the first 10 miles in 4 hours which is my PCT pace. I just kept marching on. There was nothing much to remark on about the trail today. There was a lot more downhill than up, which is why I was able to move at a decent pace, and it all looked the same. Trees with lots of low green vegetation. I didn’t really notice any wildlife today, probably because I was moving so fast! Ha! 

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With 7 miles to go I stopped for a mini break on a log and ate a handful of fake Cheetos. They are kinda gross. I passed 5 people today, I really was hiking well today. 

With about a mile to go my stomach let out a deep deep rumble. That tiny amount of food and just one litre of water on a really really hot day wasn’t enough. I got into town at 2:30pm. 18 miles by 2:30, I was pleased with that. 

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I looked for the hostel but I couldn’t find it and I was about to cry when I realised I was hungry and thirsty which was making me have an irrational response. I headed to the diner, where I met the guy who came into the shelter late last night. He said a lady just paid for his food. That is the one thing that hasn’t happened to me yet. 

I ordered a Mountain Dew, and it was huge, and I drank the whole thing before I’d even ordered any food. God bless America land of the free refill. That neon goodness got filled right back up to the top. I ordered this burger sandwich thing with sweet potato fries and I shovelled it in as fast as I could. 

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They told me where the hostel was and I went over and got the second to last bed. They do a four course dinner, but I was too late to sign up for it. Not that I would have been able to eat that much after my late lunch. I was shown around this awesome house that you really shouldn’t miss if you’re hiking the AT. It was so eclectic inside with so many cool bits of furniture. Apparently Earl Schafer – the first guy to hike the AT stayed here in 1948 and hikers have been staying here ever since. I love this house. I could live here. It would be a great place to take a zero. But I feel like I have to keep moving. 

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A guy called Matt was showing me around and we got into a conversation about the PCT as he is going southbound this year. We were talking for ages and I felt some discomfort in my bowels. Not unusual after eating a big town meal, I deposited everything very quickly into the toilet. Not great. 

I then spent a couple of hours battling with the internet. I tried to upload the blogs, I tried to upload videos to YouTube, but ‘28 hours remaining’ just wasn’t working for me. I didn’t know what’s up with the internet on this side of the states, it was better in Indonesia! So I gave up. I was getting stressed and it just wasn’t worth it.

I took a shower, but there is no working laundry in town so I put my stinky hiker clothes back on. I went to the Dollar Store, the only store in town, to resupply. They had some really terrible food options and I am really struggling to find things I want to eat. I mostly got crisps and chocolate. I’ve really not been eating that much anyway. 

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I was rinsing my bandana out in the sink and a guy came up to me and asked if I was Puff Puff. He had hiked the Te Araroa too, so we had a chat about that. But he turned it into a competition. “How long did it take you? When did you start? Oh I did it quicker than you.” 

Ok. You’re not my type of guy. 

It turns out he was the guy from Estonia who has been ahead of me by a couple of days since the start of this trail. “Oh I’m going slow on this trail because I’m hiking with a girl.” Okaaay. 

He wants to do the PCT next year and he wants to do it as fast as he can. He mentioned starting in April and I suggested that he might want to wait until May if he wants to go that fast to avoid a lot of snow in the Sierra. “Snow. I am not afraid of the snow. I am from Estonia. The snow does not scare me. You know the rivers that you weren’t supposed to cross in New Zealand, I didn’t care, I just went straight through them.”

That was my cue to leave. I said “oh well, do whatever you want to do” and went to my room to reorganise my resupply. 

Having given up on trying to update anything I had the evening free to chat which was really nice, otherwise I would have just been on my phone all night. I chatted to Matt and answered all his questions about the PCT southbound, so I was happy to be able to help him out. We stayed up late and it was 10am by the time I got to bed. 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 17

 

 


 

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