August 29th 2018
Crawford Pond – stealth site (mile 2157.9)
29.9 miles
Total miles: 2184


Around 1am I heard noise at the lake. I wondered whether it could be a moose. Then I heard “Puff? Do you hear that?” It was Jukebox. “I think it’s a moose” she said. “I think it could be a moose too” I replied. 

Peaches had woken up now and she suggested we go and investigate. I thought this was a very bad idea. Everything I have heard about a moose has been terrifying. But I did not want to miss out on seeing a moose at the lake so I got up and we all crept to the lake. On the way we woke up Professor and told him there was a moose at the lake. 

When we got there, there was of course no moose. The noise was just the small waves lapping at the shore of the lake. Yeah we felt a bit stupid but it was pretty funny. It’s strange what your brain can make you think at 1am. We called to Professor to not bother getting up but he was already out of his tent. We all used the opportunity to have a wee, there would have been no way I would have got out of my tent just to wee, but to see a moose, yes. 

It was so warm last night. I would fall asleep in my sleeping bag and wake up sweating, throw the bag off and then start to get cold straight away as my sweat cooled. Thankfully I fell asleep again pretty quickly and soon it was time to get up. My shoulder was really sore from my little incident yesterday. It hurt to put my sleeping bag away in its stuff sack. As we were packing up we had decided on a 25 mile day, but as the terrain looked so flat we could also try for a 30 mile day. I wasn’t overly keen on doing a 30 mile day. All along what I didn’t want to do was rush this section, but that’s exactly what I’m doing and I don’t even need to be rushing it! I have plenty of time but there you go. We said we would see how the day went and reassess as it went on. But I knew we would end up doing a 30 anyway. 

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We started off with Peaches in the front and she was clearing all the spider webs. Thankfully some southbounders came along and spider duty was over. We got to the shelter where Professor went to use the privy and we had done 3.2 miles in an hour. We were cruising. The trail was so nice. Smooth and flat. My shoulder has definitely been a bit damaged. I couldn’t let my arm hang at my side because all sorts of things were moving and crunching in my shoulder. 

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We carried on like that until we had done 10 miles in 3 hours 20 minutes. That was exactly a 3 mile an hour pace and we had taken a 15 minute break. We stopped to filter water and we decided to get to the shelter to have lunch. Having already done 10 miles my body was telling me it was lunch time already but we had to hold out until later. 5 more miles got us to the shelter at noon. I definitely slowed down a bit. I was tired and hungry and I was flagging. Peaches was out in front but only by about a minute. The trail got a bit tougher, there were a few more rocks and tree roots to contend with and lots and lots of bog boards. Mostly where there wasn’t any bog and it was just another obstacle. 

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It was so hot and so humid today everyone is struggling with chafe. We had a tiny hill before the shelter but it got everyone sweating a lot. I was so hungry when we got to the shelter I could have eaten everything in my food bag. Instead I ate a packet of peanut butter, half a tube of Pringles and a meat stick. I also ate the rest of my Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which I won’t be buying again because they are gross. Peaches kindly gave me one of her packets of cheese crackers so I slipped that in my fanny pack to save for later. 

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We carried on after filtering more water and we listened to a podcast to help pass the time. A couple of miles in I asked Peaches to take the pace down a fraction because I was getting a pain in my shin and a pain in my heel. I really didn’t want to be getting shin splints so close to the end. I took the speaker and went into the lead. They told me I was walking faster than Peaches, but I don’t think I was. I struggled to keep up with Peaches so I must have been going slower, although it’s easier on the body when you’re keeping to your own pace. 

So we carried on and listened to the podcast, which was an hour long so that passed the time. The trail was still flat and rooty and rocky. To my delight Hamilton was suggested as our next form of entertainment. I have been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack throughout the whole trip and I love it. I want the others to love it as much as I do. I don’t know what came over me but as soon as the music started playing I was off like a rocket. I was flying down the trail to the point where Peaches had run to catch me and tell me to slow down. As the songs chilled out a bit so did I and I slowed down. I can get really lost in the music and time goes really fast for me. I was supposed to stop at a stream but apparently I just went right by. 

We crossed a dirt road and there was some trail magic there. Chocolate chip cornbread with today’s date on. It was not to my taste but the others really enjoyed it. I ate my Twix and my cheese crackers and now all I was left with was 3 gummy frogs for the next 8.5 miles. We had a 10 minute break and some other hikers went by. Not people we have seen before. 

Another mile on and we stopped again to filter more water. We have stopped more today for water than we normally do but it is so so humid today. I had taken my pace down on request and we carried on listening to Hamilton while negotiating the roots and rocks of the trail until we came to the uphill of the day. It was only about a 400ft climb but it was steep. I tried my hardest to keep a good pace. Listening to the music certainly helped but I could feel myself slowing and it getting harder to breathe and just being generally tired and hungry. 

We were all sweating buckets as we climbed up the staircase made for giants. Now my leg chafe was worsening, I could feel the sides of my legs stinging. My shorts had been damp with sweat all day and now they were just getting wetter. Just before the the top the speaker died which made me sad. 

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While we were climbing we could hear distant rumbles of thunder and we hoped that the storm would miss us. At the top I collapsed in a sweaty mess. I felt light headed so needed a sit down. With the anticipation of a storm rolling in it then became an ‘every man for themselves’ situation. Professor and Jukebox left quickly and they must have pretty much ran down the mountain. Peaches was behind me and I was doing the best I could to go as fast as I could. There were a few heart stopping moments when my shoe caught on roots. 

The thunder was getting louder and it was getting darker and darker. There was some lightning and some very loud thunder to follow. I stopped to put away the speaker which was on the outside of my pack. I told Peaches she would go on ahead but she stayed with me. Then the rain came. Go. Save yourself I told her. I got my umbrella up just before the heavens opened and it really poured and the trail became a lake. My shoes were soaked in an instant and my pace reduced dramatically as I was fearful of slipping with the lack of grip on my shoes. 

A little way down I took a wrong turn and ended up going down to a viewpoint which was pointless because there was no view. It took me a little while to find the tail again but soon I was  back on track. After the rain eased off all my chafe started stinging. The stuff on my legs we uncomfortable but it had been worse. The armpit was awful, it hurts a lot. 

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I hadn’t expected to see anyone until the campsite but I saw Jukebox up ahead and she was upset. She was limping along with only one shoe on. She has some really bad butt chafe and elbow crease chafe and armpit chafe and thigh chafe and now her shoe was chafing her foot. I’m not surprised she was upset. She couldn’t walk along with a barefoot so I made her put her camp shoe on her bare foot. She wouldn’t put her shoe in her bag because it was wet. 

I hiked on ahead a bit and then waited for her. She wasn’t able to use her trekking poles because she was carrying her shoe in her hand. I told her to put the shoe into the mesh of my bag. I don’t use a rain cover so it was wet anyway. She wouldn’t do it and I had to raise my voice and adopt mum mode and force her to put it in there. We still had 0.8 miles to go to get to the camp spot. I was pleased to see professor and peaches with their tents set up in a little campsite in just 0.3 miles. It did mean we were 0.5 short of our goal and 0.1 short of a 30 mile day, but it was raining and the main priority was to stop walking and get dry. It was 7:30pm when we arrived so we had put in a solid 13 hour day. 

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It was still drizzling when we put our tents up and it then started to get heavier. I wasn’t too wet because of the umbrella but everyone else was soaked to the skin. Professor put his water on to boil and while they were all in their tents I watched the water. I gave him his boiled water in his tent and then I boiled what I needed and added it to my Bibimbap Korean Rice meal thing. I put some water on for Peaches and then I was finally able to get into my tent. It felt good to sit down. It was nice to get my damp clothes off and put some cream on my chafe. 

My meal wasn’t that great. It was a bit too spicy and the rice bits felt like they hadn’t quite rehydrated properly even though I left it for longer than the 20 minutes. I’m not sure I would eat that one again. The yellow curry is still my favourite. I was still so hungry and I ate the rest of my Pringles which were meant for tomorrow. I had to stop myself eating all my other snacks for tomorrow. It was really hard. 

It’s now 10:30pm and I’m just finishing up. It’s still raining. My legs and feet are in a lot of pain. The feel like lead weights and they are pulsating. My armpit chafe is unbelievably itchy and it has traveled over to the other armpit now. Everything is a bit damp and everything smells revolting. I am really thirsty but I don’t have enough water because I gave it to Peaches for her dinner and I didn’t want to go back to the stream for more. I also need to wee bit I don’t want to go out in the rain. Other than that, everything is great!


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 113

 

 


 

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