August 18th 2018
East B Hill road – Bemis Mountain Lean-to (mile 1952.8)
18.8 miles
Total miles: 1978.8


The bunk room has space for about 14 people. What I liked about it was that it was completely dark. No natural light to wake me up, but at the same time I had no idea what the time was. I could have slept in there for the whole of the day, but sadly that wasn’t an option. It would have been a nice place to hang out for a zero day, but expensive to stay for 2 nights. 

Our clothes were still in the dryer but we still had an hour before we had to leave. For $5 you can get ayce pancakes in the morning. I wasn’t going to do it because I don’t really like pancakes that much and I didn’t think I could eat my moneys worth but I was ravenous when I woke up. Plus, these weren’t ordinary pancakes, they came with a warm berry compote and syrup and they really were delicious. I could only manage one though, and when I thought I could eat another half I couldn’t so ended up eating one and a quarter and feeling really sick afterwards. 

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We picked up our clothes, packed our bags and stripped our beds and then got on the old bus with a couple of other hikers to go back to the trail. The bus ride was half an hour which is a long way from the trail! But there were 80’s music videos to keeps us entertained. The video to ‘whip it, whip it good’ is truly awful! 

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The bus doesn’t leave until 8:30am which is a bit late and we didn’t hit the trail until 9:15am. The first part of the trail should have been relatively easy. It was a gradual uphill and the trail was a lot smoother than usual. It was a nice cool temperature, perfect for hiking. But I was still slow. I was just clinging to a 2 mile an hour pace. I am just so tired. I feel like my muscles are wasting away rather than getting stronger and I feel like there is no strength left in my hips or bum. It sprinkled with rain for a few minutes but then we were lucky that it held off for the rest of the day. 

I struggled my way to the shelter and there were a bunch of other hikers there and Peaches. Jukebox had already moved on. I sat for 5 minutes max as I shovelled down a handful of crisps and knew I couldn’t linger if I wanted to make it to the next shelter 13 miles away. 

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The day got a bit harder after that. A steep rocky descent went down to a stream and I was able to maintain a decent pace on that, then it went right back up again. A steep rocky ascent to the top of Moody Mountain. I lost time on that. The trail was difficult to follow and difficult to find in places but if in doubt look straight up. 

Another descent and then the big climb of the day up to Old Blue Mountain. This was a bit of a slog. Again steep and rocky, with a small reprieve in the middle and then steep and rocky to the top. The top was covered in cloud and by this time it was 4:20pm and I was behind my 2 mile and hour pace. I was hungry and I had run out of water. 

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Today was a funny kind of day. I didn’t really see anyone or talk to anyone. The forest was strangely quiet, not even the sounds of squirrels or chipmunks. Just the sound of the wind in the leaves that was it. 

When we went into town yesterday I wanted to get some food and I really wanted some protein. I was hoping for a burger but it didn’t work out and today all I could think about was eating chicken. To try and distract myself from the hunger and the quiet I binge listened to a podcast called The Infinite Monkey Cage. It’s a science podcast and it’s really good but I don’t think it’s a good idea to binge on it. They were discussing dark matter and dark energy which makes my brain hurt, and in another they were talking about us being a computer simulation and we are being controlled by some future human race, and if we are just a computer experiment then what’s the point of our existence. It was too much for my little brain to take! 

The next 6 miles was a series of downs and ups and I was hoping to make up some time. I stopped to get some water, it was delicious and clear and cold. Hopeful we are leaving behind some of that yellow water. And aside from that I only stopped twice to wee. The trail wasn’t as nice as I had hoped it would be and there were big mud patches to avoid and planks to walk across making it a bit like an obstacle course. I wasn’t walking I was leaping and jumping from rock to rock to solid mud patch to lethal tree root. The ups were short but really steep and the downs were the same. 

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It was utterly exhausting. I was physically knackered and mentally drained and it felt like the shelter was never going to arrive. I was looking forward to lying down after 10 hours of continuous walking / leaping / slipping. I got there at 7:20pm. There were a bunch of tents set up and 7 people in the shelter including Jukebox and Peaches. It’s a shelter designed for 8 so they bunched up a bit and made room for me. 

I ate my really nutritious dinner of a giant slim Jim and some crisps, and a handful of caramel popcorn. I’m still hungry. It gets dark so early now and by 8pm it was getting dark. 

There is a sobo here smoking weed. I wish they would move away from the shelter and realise that not everyone wants to breathe in their second hand smoke. He also mentioned how he likes to get up early and make coffee and take his time packing up. This is exactly the type of person you don’t want to come across in a shelter. And now he’s the only one in here snoring, and he’s doing it very loudly. 

I am beyond tired tonight. I did think today ‘I wonder if I will make it?’ I will, but it’s going to be a struggle. 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 102

 

 


 

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