Sunday, 7/19

AT Miles = 19.7 / 1522.4
Other Miles = 0.2 / 51.8
Total Miles = 19.9 / 1564.2

Whew! Finally, I made some miles. I guess I can thank the mosquitoes! They were unbelievable today, and the only way I could cope was to hike full speed ahead. Once the trail came down off Jug End, it crossed a big low lying, wet area before climbing back up ibto the hills. The trail was fairly smooth, thankfully, and I could put the hammer down and try to outrun the hordes of mosquitoes. It seems that whenever I let my pace slow below about 2.5 mph, the swarm would descend. With negative reinforcement like that, I kept my speed up! I cranked out the first 7 miles, to where the trail crosses Rt 7, in a bit over three hours. There I stopped at a garden center type place that has some cold drinks and snacks for sale, and is friendly to hikers. I spent a half hour there drinking a cold Pepsi, eating chips, candy, and crackers, and availing myself of the luxury of a flush toilet. Then I filled my water bottles and headed back out to do battle once again with my pesky little opponents. Th
ere was a sign where the trail left the road saying that the trail was sometimes flooded and dangerous and if so describing a detour to use. Well, that's useless information. Tell me if the trail is currently flooded and if I need to use the detour or not.

As it turned out the trail was fine, and I again hiked at top speed and made the next 7 miles to Tom Leonard Shelter in another 3 hours, at 2:00PM. Here I stopped to eat lunch, and left a long entry in the shelter register for the Boy Scouts I shared camp with last night, as I knew they were bound for Tom Leonard today. I hope they coped with the mosquitoes okay. I really enjoyed their company last night.

Tomorrow I will be heading for Upper Goose Pond Cabin. I have been looking forward to this since I started my hike. At Upper Goose Pond Cabin the caretaker cooks blueberry pancakes for breakfast every morning. Yummy!

Have I mentioned the camera dilemma yet? I think I did tell you all that I killed the display on my old camera back in New Jersey, when I let the camera sit in a few incles of water. So Jodi bought me a new camera and brought it with her to Kent last Sunday. While we were in New York City I charged up the battery and played with it a lot while checking out all of the features, and I took a bunch of photos while we were in the city. Then when I got back on the trail I used it some on Wednesday, and when I next tried to use it on Thursday the battery was dead. I should have thought to recharge the battery after playing with it so much in NYC, but I didn't. Duh! Yet again, I am the victim of my own stupidity. I won't be able top charge the camera battery until I get my bounce box in Dalton on Wednesday. So of course now I pass something I want to photograph at least a dozen times a day.

Oh, Jodi told me that Alberto Contador won the first mountain stage in the Tour de France! Good going, Alberto! I must admit it would be nice to be sitting on the couch in front of our 60" plasma TV watching the Tour in HD with Jodi at my side. Ah well, choices must be made, and with choices come consequences.

"Home is where I hang my food bag"

Allen Freeman