10-19-12

Days since my thruhike began: 184
AT miles hiked today: 8.1
Total AT miles hiked: 1667.9
Miles to complete my thruhike: 516.3

I'm sleeping in the James Fry (Tagg Run) Shelter. This is a nice shelter! I like the ones that have bunks, especially when the bunk is a nice height to sit on, but not too high so I'm afraid of falling off and can't get up easily. I know we climb mountains, but do we really have to be gymnasts to get up on an upper bunk? I mean, at least give us a ladder. They even put ladders on the mountains, sometimes, you know. A bunk bed should not exist without a ladder to get up on it, in my opinion. So I got one of the good, lower bunks, which is even better than most because it also has posts that allow me to wrap my tent around the bunk to block the wind. I feel kind of like a kid again, building forts with chairs and blankets and crawling inside. It is definitely warmer in here than if I hadn't put up a windblock, plus I get some privacy.

The water source is at a spring that is a little hike of its own and once there I found some shallow puddles full of leaves and debris, so I followed it down a ways to find an area where it was barely trickling over a mossy rock. I should have gotten water on the AT where the shelter trail intersects it, before coming up here. That was a much better water source. We met a section hiker called Downhill here. He told us about the Pine Grove Furnace fall festival happening at the state park tomorrow. Stonewall showed up later and we built a fire and made plans to go to the festival. I want a caramel apple (no nuts) and hot cider!

We had a lunch break today at the Green Mountain General Store, where I got hot coffee and a cold soda, plus a barbecue sandwich and chips. Eagle Eye and I sat outside on the picnic table in a drizzling rain to eat our yummy lunch. Just before our lunch break we had come across a deer carcass on the trail and a few minutes after that I saw another one in a white kitchen garbage bag on the side of the road. I think poachers are active around here. I have my blaze orange vest on, and Eagle Eye bought a blaze orange ski cap at the general store, so now she does, too. Hopefully nobody will shoot us, plus it makes it easier to see each other on and off the trail. Now I can always spot her off in the woods having a bathroom break.