7-11-12

AT miles hiked today: 13.1
Total AT miles hiked: 733

I am tenting tonight at the Melville Nauheim Shelter.

We got a later start this morning and left the shelter around 8am. I have been eating subs for every meal so they won't go bad. Also, each half sub weighs about 6 ounces and I'm happy to drop my food weight by eating yummy food. I think Rockin' Robin really wanted a bite of my sub, but she didn't ask and I greedily devoured the last one for breakfast. We stopped at a stream and soaked our feet while eating lunch and getting water. Whoop and Resource hung out with us there, too. It was a nice spot and my feet were happy, but I think it took us almost two hours to leave there. The Sawyer filters are taking longer and longer to filter the water. They are obviously getting plugged up and backflushing doesn't seem to help much. I wanted one at first, but now I appreciate my Aqua Mira drops more and they actually take less time than the squeeze filters do.

Collecting water at the shelter tonight took forever and it is tea colored. Getting and filtering or treating water takes a significant amount of our time these days. It wasn't like this in the early days of my hike but, unlike Virginia, at least we can still find water. We went down a long boulder stepping stone obstacle course going down into a gap or notch where we crossed the road to Bennington, VT. My feet hurt! At least I didn't fall again today. I can feel that I let myself get dehydrated again and my lips are chapped. It just takes so long to get the water and clean it and it's so heavy to carry that even though it's very hot and we're working hard and sweating, I just don't want to drink or carry much of it until I'm near the next water source. I need to be better about drinking a large amount when I'm at the water source so I don't have to carry as much but I can still stay hydrated.