I'm slowly falling into pace with life on the trail. As I followed around the bend into yet another gap I saw the shelter ringed by camp sites and hearing the water source (a stream), I thought about my day.
My day began at Neel's Gap with Mountain Crossings Hostel. I woke early to shuffle my gear. I hear a coffee pot drip and I drank of it. Soon others were up and lights came on. The shuffle is always the first thing either at camp/shelter or hostel. Last item of the morning was to eat breakfast.
After a quick last minute swing into the out fitters I headed up the mountain. Most the day I hike alone. I'd stop for a power bar every now and then. At every water source, drink. Today was a bit thin on the water. At Hogpen Gap, I stopped for an actual break and Butterscotch stopped too. A moment later a couple with a dog bounced down. They offered water. They offered water, ice cold, dripping wet from their pickup. We drank and drank.
On up yet another mountain. The trail is always going up, even when it's going down it's up. I took a picture I'd the of the only flat spot I've seen longer then a hundred yards. There were no views but out of Neel's.
Once in camp, the chores begin. First is to claim a spot either a tent or shelter. This takes more then throwing a pad down. Next comes setting gear out, sleeping bag, cook kit. Finally, I get water, filtering and bringing it back from either a stream or spring.
Sometimes I'll write or cook. Cooking is simply boiling water and soaking freeze dried or noodles. I also make tea. Conversation abounds with every topic from blisters to where folks hiked from. Sometimes we actually talk about what where we are from or what we do. Some know I sell insurance.
The days get called early. Early is sun down. Once it gets dark folks bed down or finish chores. Seldom is anyone up into dark. If one is, the headlamp goes around the neck just before dark for those who do.
It's good to see familiar faces at each shelter. Tonight I'm with Gentlemen Jim, Butterscotch, Stitch, Birdie, Doc, Puzzle, Gamer, and a few others. If someone you don't know shows pretty much someone knows them unless it's a weekender. Though tonight is w weekend, no weekenders.
PS - You may not see pictures with the entries as my app clogs on the save.