Days since my thruhike began: 231
AT miles hiked today: 14.6
Total AT miles hiked: 2118.1
Miles to complete my thruhike: 66.1
A hiker came up to the shelter before we left this morning. His name is Scarecrow and he looked familiar. We had met him before in Caratunk, Maine, at the Sterling Inn. He is one of the slackpackers with Hobo. It turns out that yesterday he and Silly went the wrong way on the trail from the very first step. Whoops! Today he was headed south and later we met Silly and Hobo headed north. I think their plan will work better today.
I stopped to take pictures at Kelly Knob, because I don't know how many more views I'll get to see in the next few days. The trail turned back into rocks and some tricky ridge walking on slanted rocks, like Pennsylvania and New York. It was sunny and nice as long as I was out of the wind, but cold in the wind.
We hiked into the night again and I had trouble finding the trail in the rocks in the dark. Then I rolled my ankle again. This time I didn't fall, but it hurt badly. I took off my pack and shoe and put on the ankle brace. I haven't worn it since I got my first blister, which has gotten bigger and multiplied, and I've been taping the blisters so I didn't want to complicate the situation, but now I didn't have a choice. The brace really helped my ankle, but I slowed way down due to the pain and the rocky terrain in the dark. The temperature dropped below freezing and we argued from our misery. I know I was dehydrated, and we hadn't stopped for dinner, thinking we would get there faster than we did. Then we couldn't find the spring where we meant to get water before the shelter.
We finally made it to the Bailey Gap Shelter at almost 11pm and cooked some noodles, then around 1am, after getting water, we crawled into our tents which we set up inside the shelter. What a miserable night. I should have at least eaten more but instead I hiked for hours feeling dizzy, dehydrated, and in pain from my blisters, my ankle, my knee and my right foot that I crushed between two rocks. I can't wait for this night to be over. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. It's a hard push to the finish line and I am trying to finish on Sunday, Dec 9th. We have a party planned at the dojo in Bastian, and we don't want to miss our own party.