During the night the rain pelted the shelter’s tin roof and kept me awake until about 4 AM. It is so dark in the woods, especially on a rainy night. You can’t see your hand in front of your face.
I was looking forward to seeing the Vermont stars, but the clouds and tree-cover have prevented me from star gazing. It’s hard to believe that tomorrow we will have been on the trail for three weeks.
Dennis has lost a lot of weight. I, on the other hand, have not lost as much. Though loosing weight was not a goal, it is an outcome to walking up and down mountains for eight or more hours a day while carrying around thirty pounds. So are the sore feet and legs, the insect bites, scratches and bruises, but these are to be expected. We both have been taking Advil at night, and Dennis moans in his sleep. We both move like old people in the morning as we set off on the trail.
I usually start off first because it takes me a good fifteen minutes to get warmed up and into a rhythm. Dennis eventually catches up, he is so much faster than I, especially downhill.
Today is my birthday, the second that I spend in the hills. The first was a five-day hike in the White Mountains of NH when I turned thirty. I did not want to celebrate, dreading the big “Three-O.” At that time, the young culture could not trust anyone over 30. At the same time, if you hadn’t “made it” by 30 your chances for success were slim. Being childless also complicated the conflicting emotions.
This time I rejoice turning 65. I’m old, grey-haired, and in good heath. I have had a great life and a wonderful partner to share it with. And, I no longer have to pay unrealistically high premiums for health care. Medicare at last!
Since we only had 8 miles to hike to the David Logan Shelter, we enjoyed a relaxing morning, leaving the shelter at 9:30 AM. This morning I added a packet of Romano cheese to my coffee instead of sugar. The taste was not all that bad, once I sweetened it, but the smell was not appealing. Guess I should put my glasses on before opening packets.
Near Bloodroot Mountain I had phone connections and called my mother. Phone coverage has been almost nonexistent in the Green Mountains, especially for T-Mobile. Aftwards we snacked on Luna bars. The chocolate coconut is yummy!
Trying to cross a cluster of fallen trees, I was paying attention to placing my foot and hit my head on a protruding limb. I cut my forehead and it bleed profusely. There are so many things in the woods to look out for, especially for someone who does not have good peripheral vision.
We arrived at the shelter around 4:15. It took us six hours and forty-five minutes (including breaks) to hike 8.1 miles. Dennis said we must be getting old.
This shelter has a porcupine gate to keep “Mr. Prickles” out. Porcupines love salt and will chew shoes and anything the contains human sweat. They even chew the sweat off the steps where many hikers sit. “Hummingbird,” the twelve-year-old hiker, was afraid they would lick her hair. I’m not sure where she got that idea.
For a change, I was able to gather firewood, get water for shower and supper, and tried putting the tent in the shelter, but it was to large for the allotted space. It felt wonderful to clean up and put on the camp clothes. Warm weather makes such a big difference: 68° F at 5:30 PM.
Olive, stopped by but decided to hike on. Later, Hornet arrived. Nice to have others around.