11-9-12

Days since my thruhike began: 205
AT miles hiked today: 6.3
Total AT miles hiked: 1838.6
Miles to complete my thruhike: 345.6

I'm in the Byrds Nest #3 Hut with my tent inside the shelter. There is a fireplace inside the shelter and we built a fire, which warmed it up a bit, but we didn't find any more wood and had to let it die. There are mice in this beautiful stone shelter and there is snow outside. We hiked through ice and snow which had softened in the sun after the cold broke. It was actually a nice day to hike.

I am breaking in my new waterproof shoes and I didn't get the blue super feet insoles to fit in these bigger shoes. My feet feel the difference and are sore, but okay. I'm happy with the break we took in Luray. It was just what we both needed to get ready for the last month of hiking in the winter weather. Kathy made us eggs and toast and coffee this morning. She was great and Chuck was fun to talk with. Maybe I'll do something with Outward Bound after I'm done with this thruhike, who knows. They drove us around and I shipped home my Brooks Cascadia 7 shoes which are not waterproof, plus my Dirty Girl gaiters and a few other things. I will miss them. They have been perfect so far, but just won't do for hiking in snow. Thank you to the trail angel who gave me an early birthday/Christmas present that allowed me to get this new gear.

We hiked up to Mary's Rock and stopped for the view in the cold wind. I met some nice people there, but it was too hazy for good pictures. We hiked on, towards the shelter, and I saw an adorable little grassy spot with a firepit and a view of the mountains. The haze was turning golden as the sun lowered in the sky, so I sat for a few minutes in the sun and then I took pictures. I knew I had a long walk for water, so I put away the camera, but as I walked away I looked back and the sun was setting into a pinkish sky and I had to come back and take more pictures. I am excited about these pictures, plus the ones I got from the shelter of the red sky and the city lights. Is it Luray? I made it to the shelter just as it got dark, and took more pictures of the sky with the city lights below. It is beautiful and cold up here.