Hiker Hostel again!

4-23-12
AT miles hiked today: 10.5
Total AT miles hiked: 31.7

7 am

I got up about a half hour ago and tried to put together a box of stuff to send home, but who knew packing tape would be so loud in a house with wood floors? Sorry fellow hostel occupants! Now I'm drinking coffee and waiting for people to wake up so I can finish. I'm curious how much the box will weigh. I couldn't fit the liner for the Ursack in, so I'm donating it to other fearful hikers. Maybe somebody will use the aluminum for something else. My backpack should have much more space now and weigh less. Here's hoping. Breakfast smells so good! French toast, eggs, grits, oatmeal, OJ, coffee. Yum!

11:22 pm
It's cold! And there was another wind advisory for today, and I can see my breath inside my tent. Brian and Josh took a zero day and stayed at the hostel another night. Josh was concerned about the cold and I kind of scoffed because he is from Florida. Of course he has a 45 degree bag and mine is rated for 15 degrees so I am better prepared for this. They were smart to stay, but even though the hostel is full at Mountain Crossings, I am okay in my tent. I think. I'm wearing my rain gear over my nano puff, inside my silk liner, inside my sleeping bag on my insulated neoair all season inflatable pad. I'm also wearing gloves and socks and my wool beanie. I'm on the cool side of warm, but warm. Thank goodness I'm not wet, too. That would be dangerous. I hope Slingshot (another hiker I've met periodically over the last couple of days) is okay out there under his tarp. He built a fire to make some coals to get warm next to. With the wind it makes me nervous, but I don't think he'll get much sleep tonight. I might get more, if I just tried. I keep sliding down to the bottom of my tent on my air mattress, because I'm on a hill.

I hiked from Woody Gap, where the shuttle dropped me off, to Neels Gap, where the hostel was full. I expected that. I had called ahead and they are first come first serve. They didn't think I'd have trouble but I knew a lot of people were heading their way, and I was the last one off Blood Mountain at 7:45 pm, just as it was nearly dark. Slingshot hung my bear bag because he didn't have rope for his own, so we shared my rope and I still haven't hung my own bag yet. I didn't need to hang the Ursack but now it's gone, wahoo! I sent home 5 pounds of stuff this morning and my load was just over 40 pounds total, with food and 3 pounds of water. It must have been flirting with 50 pounds at times. Yikes! My neck and feet and back hurt anyway, after my longest day so far. Hmmm, what else can I live without? That silk liner I put in the box to ship home but pulled out at the last minute? The one saving my butt right now? Guess I'll keep it for a while.