7-24-12

AT miles hiked today: 12.4
Total AT miles hiked: 884.7

We are at the Fire Warden's Cabin on top of Smarts Mountain. We meant to hike up to five more miles tonight, but the climb on the rocks was pretty intense and took a long time, and then it rained on us for the last half mile. There is no water up here, so we ate dry dinners. I ate my dark chocolate peanut butter with strawberries and cream instant oatmeal. It would have been better with powdered milk and water mixed in, but it was yummy, though dry. I had to sip water just to get it down.

My ankle did have a hard time today, and my knee is pretty painful, too. I think I just bruised my kneecap but it hurts bad. Still, I really enjoyed climbing on the rocks today until it rained. Then the fog came in and blocked the view from the Firetower. I took off all my wet clothes and shoes and we crammed a bunch of hikers in this cabin. What luxury, a cabin with four walls, a door and windows! Plus nails all over the walls to hang our stuff on. I love it up here. Now the rain has cleared up and I have to go to the privy but I don't want to get out of my sleeping bag.

We met the ice cream man today. He gave us ice cream sandwiches, sold us a soda for 50 cents, gave us free water from a spigot and let us use his bathroom. Thank you! He also tried to get us to play croquet in his yard but we were in too late with too many miles planned over too big a mountain. This stretch of trail is dry for eight miles, the worst since Virginia, but we hear that once we get to the White Mountains we won't have water trouble any more. I hope so.

Update: 8:49pm
I got up to go to the privy and I can see my breath in the cold wind. I noticed a hint of color in the sky through the trees, so I decided to go up the firetower and take a look. The moon is rising above the orange and purple clouds and it is a beautiful sunset. I wish I had brought my camera, but I'm thrilled to have seen it either way. Also, I figured I would have a cell phone signal up here, but I don't. Odd. Anyway, it's hiker midnight and time for bed. 5:30am comes early.