Flashback – AT99 – March 27

Double Spring Shelter – 16.0 miles today!   Not much to write.   With all the snow last night, and highs of 35-40 today, the trail turned into a mudpit.   Plus, with the traffic the trail gets, it’s about 3-12″ down below the ground level, meaning that by midday it’s a stream, too.   The nice thing is in the morning when your boots are still frozen solid, you can bend them around your feet, frozen, then walk on the frozen slush and make good, dry time.   Eventually your body heat melts your boots and you’re wet, and eventually the sun warms the slush, but you get an hour or so of good hiking.

It sucked, because my boots totally leaked and sucked all day long.  Death, I say.  1 pair of socks is drenched, the other might be dry by A.M.   I’m wearing my strategic reserve socks right now.  The problem with 20-30 degree nights in a 45 degree bag is that I don’t sleep.

Twelve of us here, pretty much packed in.  I’m cooking & eating in my bunk slot since there’s really no room elsewhere.  Caught a few people today though, continuing my theme of outhiking more than I’m outhiked – Tamarck & Slow Buffalo, and a few others.   The heat of the Whisperlite priming is wonderful on my hands.  And people laughed at me carrying a whole liter of fuel – fuel for dinner, and cocoa, and a hot water bottle.

Man its cold, and being wet sucks.

But tomorrow is Clingman’s Dome.   Only a 13.8 tomorrow, so I reckon a slow morning will get me there at dinner time, thus avoiding the get-there-at-2-pm-and-freeze-until-morning problem.  Only a 2700 feet tomorrow too, better than the 3100 today.

Damn I hate wet feet.



About smokebeard 141 Articles
Smokebeard has hiked the 2652 mile Pacific Crest Trail, the 2160+ mile Appalachian Trail, the 73+ mile Great Glen Cycle Route, all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks, the 78+ mile Rhode Island North/South Trail, and the Saranac Six. He is also a certified Leave No Trace Trainer. A former MATC Caretaker in the Piazza Rock/Saddleback area, he’s passionate about applying Leave No Trace as an ethical system. His latest adventure was a 3 week thruhike of the 273 mile Long Trail in Vermont.

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