7-12-12

AT miles hiked today: 17.4
Total AT miles hiked: 750.4

I'm tenting at Story Spring Shelter tonight, downwind of the smelly privy.

Last night around 10pm, after we had all gone to bed, we heard somebody whistling loudly. This whistling went on for nearly twenty minutes and didn't move away. Then a man started calling out, "Hello? Helloooo...." I waited to see if he would say what he wanted, but he didn't. The reason I didn't answer is I was already a little spooked by the whistling and the shelter is near a road and I thought the guy could have trouble planned. Besides, I'm a woman and it didn't seem wise for a woman to answer. What is interesting is that nobody answered and there were five women and two men either in or tenting near the shelter. The whistling and hello-ing stopped after a while and I fell asleep, a little worried about serial killers and local rowdies who might want to mess with hikers.

This morning we hiked down the shelter trail to the AT and I saw a tent set up right there at the junction. Then I felt bad, but somebody said they had heard a dog and thought he was calling his dog. Rockin' Robin talked to him though, and it turns out he's a novice hiker, who got scared in the dark and thought he heard bears in the bushes so he was whistling and calling to them to see if it was other hikers instead, which it probably was us making the noises he heard. Also, he was trying to find the shelter, but he never said so. Rockin' Robin told him to be more forthcoming next time with what he yelled and realize hikers are more careful and paranoid around road crossings. So, no serial killer. Or was he??? Just kidding.

There was a lookout tower on Glastenbury Mountain and I climbed it because I climb them all. It had a nice view, but it was hazy so I didn't take pictures, but I enjoyed the breeze and the break from the bugs and biting flies. We took a break at Kid Gore Shelter, which had a nice view but a nasty privy, and said goodbye to Blazer who we have been seeing every day. He stayed there and we went on, so we don't expect to see him again.

It was a long day and it was after 7pm and getting late but I had to take some pictures at a pretty pond we passed. Eagle Eye realized at that moment that she was missing her "purse" bag and it had probably fallen out of her pack at our last break site. She left her pack and ran back down the trail as I took pictures. After about twenty minutes I started to worry. Should I leave both packs and go find her? Take my pack and leave hers? Take my headlamp because it's less than an hour until dark? I got my headlamp out and put away my camera and started down the trail, but I only got a few feet before I heard her coming back. She had found it but we had come further than she had realized and she did run on the trail to get there and back faster.

We got to the shelter around 8pm, with just enough light to set up my tent. We treated water and ate in the dark and I was grumpy and stressed and so tired I actually started to cry a little. Who knew I was such a baby when I'm really tired? I realized that I really hate coming into camp late and I'd rather get up at 5am and hike all day with minimal breaks if it means I have time to do my chores at night before dark.