Monday, 25 June
|Destination: Flint Mountain Shelter||Today’s Miles: 17.3|
|Start Location: Log Cabin Road||Trip Miles: 309.3|
Three hikers who were at Elmer’s Sunny bank on Friday came on last evening during the thunderstorm ⚡. They were planning a shuttle back to Hot Springs because they said the forecast was for rain all day. This made me consider staying an extra day at the Hemlock Hollow Inn.
We got a horrendous thunderstorm around four in the morning. I was really thinking about staying. It finally stopped raining a little before six. I walked down to the store to get a WiFi signal and check the forecast. It looked like the storms had passed so I decided to hike. I had a choice of either a ten or seventeen mile day to get me to the next hostel for resupply on Tuesday. I decided to do the ten miles, assess the time and weather, then decide on the seventeen.
The store opened at seven. I had some coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The kid with the bad knee was picked up by his father who had driven all night from Illinois. I got a ride back to the trail and was hiking by 7:45. The morning had a 2,400 foot climb and went over Big Firescald Knob. That consisted of lots of rocks, some rock scrambles and a nice view. Saw lots of hikers today including a Boy Scout troop.
I got to the first shelter for lunch and decided to go for seventeen miles and the shorter day tomorrow. The weather held up until about three, then started to rain. After a while it turned into a good thunderstorm coming down pretty good. I got to the shelter about four and soaked. There was one thru hiker in the shelter. We chatted and I set up my tent during a break in the rain. Finally, it stopped raining. The weather is warm enough that the wet clothing is not a problem. The hiker I had met yesterday, drying his shoes on the bridge came in while I was cooking dinner. He and the thru hiker are staying in the shelter.
Even with walking in the rain today, I made the right decision on seventeen miles. I am warm and cozy in my tent with dry clothes. I do not think the wet stuff will dry but I will be doing laundry tomorrow at the hostel. That makes things more bearable. I should be into the hostel early tomorrow afternoon with only having ten miles.
I went over three hundred miles today. Since I have about one hundred sixty miles to go, I may start counting miles left instead of miles completed.