August 27th 2018
Thompson Brook – East Chairback Pond (mile 2105.1)
19.3 miles
Total miles: 2131.2


I slept pretty well with the white noise of the river until 3am when I had to get up to wee. I hadn’t gone just before bed and I knew it would be a mistake. After that it took me over an hour to get back to sleep. That meant that I really didn’t want to get up in the morning. 

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4 days of food

I heard Jukebox rustling and put off getting up by 15 minutes. Thankfully Peaches overslept and I wasn’t the last one to get ready, but it did mean we left camp later than we would have liked to. 

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Just half a mile down the road was a big stream crossing and we had to take our shoes off and wade across. There was no way I would have done this in the dark last night! The trail went straight up and crossed over the railway line (yeah weird to have a railway through the wilderness!), and we stopped to get some water. We had gone 1 mile in one hour. Not a great start to the day. 

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The trail wasn’t too bad until we got to the next shelter where we started the biggest climb of the day. Just before then we hiked uphill to a huge, and rather impressive, Beaver dam. I’m not sure how but we got turned around and we started walking south on the trail back from where we had just come from. We were walking on pretty oblivious and we ran into a woman we had seen earlier who said we were going the wrong way! We must have only gone 0.2 but how annoying! 

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When we got to the shelter I went to use the privy and the others carried on up the climb. We had arranged to eat lunch on top of Barren mountain so I knew I had a bit of time. I needed that time because the climb was tough. Mostly big vertical rocks, there was a nice flatish interlude in the middle where there was also a nice rocky lookout, and then the trail climbed again, not so bad this time until the top 0.3 where it got steep and rocky and I kept looking at the gps and it kept saying I had barely moved. 

At the top I ate lunch of a meat stick and half a bag of crisps. I am having to be really good and ration my food. It was nice up there and when the sun was out it was absolutely boiling. 

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For the next 5 miles I took the lead and we went up and over Chairback Fourth mountain and Chairback Third mountain where we took a little break. We were all tired and all moving slowly and we decided to put a podcast on to help us get through the last 5 miles. For most of the morning we had been reminiscing about all the places we have stayed and ranking the hostels along the AT. That definitely passed a chunk of time. 

I’m not sure if the podcast helped or not. Time dragged and it felt like we were never going to get there. Peaches was out in front followed by Professor, me then Jukebox. I was falling behind them and Jukebox was falling behind me. None of us were moving very fast. We were all exhausted and we were all sweating so much today it was really taking it out of us. 

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My whole body was hurting. My feet, my ankles, my knees. Just every part of me was sore and it was a struggle to keep going. The trail was just a series of small but significant ups and downs. And although we could see the lake we intended to camp at when we were 5 miles away we had to go in this big western loop taking in Columbus mountain and Chairback mountain to get there. 

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With 3 miles to go I must have looked at my gps every 0.2 miles in the hope that we were closer to camp than we were. I had only had one wee today and that was back 15 miles earlier when I stopped to use the privy, and I had drunk more than I usually do today. It must have all come out as sweat. 

We had some really steep descents over big rocks and Jukebox nearly fell and nearly took me out. Luckily everything and everyone was fine but just one slip can change so much out here. 

Finally when we reached the turning to the pond we still had 0.2 miles of steep downhill off trail to get to the pond. When we got there there were already a bunch of tents set up and we found an area which wasn’t exactly ideal but it would have to do. I am definitely on a slope and will probably spend the whole night slipping down to the end of my tent. 

I was pretty hungry by the time we got there and I have these just add hot water meals that I picked up in town. They were expensive but I figured that I had to eat something so I went with them. Thankfully Peaches and Professor are still carrying stoves so they are able to heat some water up for me. 

The pond water was surprisingly ok, a lot better than we got earlier in the day which just tasted like bog. My meal had to ‘cook’ for 20 minutes! So I went and did all my chores, got changed, blew stuff up, got my tent ready. When it was time to eat it was so worth the wait. I had Thai yellow curry and it was actually delicious. It had chunks of cauliflower and broccoli in there and the sauce was so nice. I definitely could have eaten a 2 serving packet but they were 12 dollars each! If I had been served that in a restaurant I wouldn’t have been disappointed.

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The mosquitoes were really bad here so I ate as fast as I could and jumped into my tent. Everything is throbbing. My feet are really hurting and my legs feel like they could do with being elevated but instead I’m lying on a downhill slope. I attempted to have a wee before bed and it was the most yellow most potent wee I’ve had on trail. I need to drink a lot but I don’t want to be up in the night. 

I’m sure I could write more about today but I’m too tired..,.


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 111

 

 


 

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