9-13-12

AT miles hiked today: 16.8
Total AT miles hiked: 1348.2
Miles to complete my thruhike: 836

For some reason I chose to tent on the lovely grass here at this very cool RPH Shelter. It has almost four walls, a covered patio with a picnic table, windows and bunks. Wait, why did I tent? Oh yes, privacy. I like my wet wipe baths and to stay up working on my blog on my phone until I fall asleep and drop my phone on my face like I did last night in the shelter. That will wake you up.

I am not even in "my" tent exactly, but the loaner tent is perfect and the same style as my own, though slightly different colors. I don't know if I said before why I needed my tent repaired but twice in Maine I woke up in the morning to find that the zipper on my rainfly had split apart in the night. Luckily it did not rain either night, but I sent a panicked email to Lightheart Gear and they have been wonderful.

It's strange to be in a tent so like my own, but with a slightly different color and without the added wedge/awning I had added to mine. It's kind of like being in an alternate reality that has only very minor, but still visible, differences. What else might be different in this reality? For one, we ordered pizza to the shelter (it's New York! We had to get pizza!). For another, the shelter is in somebody's backyard and cars are driving by all around us. Coming from empty, isolated Maine to New York is a little bit shocking, just because there are people everywhere here. Also, my phone is working and has service. Strange. I don't even turn it on much anymore, having gotten out of the habit after so many weeks of spotty to no service. I now want to use it because I can, but I still have to conserve battery power. Despite that, I put it on airplane mode today and listened to an audio book for the first time this trip. It was awesome! The miles just kept passing, my pain was hardly a thought, and somehow I didn't get lost where Toe Knee and Rockin' Robin did, even though I was distracting my mind. I will do the same tomorrow, hoping I can charge my phone at the monastery where we plan to stay. I sure hope they have electricity. Monasteries can have electricity, right?

It's 10pm and somebody is hammering next door. Also, I heard fireworks or gunshots a few minutes ago. It's all very strange. Nuclear Lake was beautiful this morning, with mist rising from it in the morning sun. However, I didn't dare get water from there. Based on the name it just seemed like a bad idea somehow.