Just got back from an overnight on the Appalachian Trail with my german shepherd. We did 6.5 miles in, camped, and then 6.5 miles back out. Pics added. Some things I learned...
- If it's raining hard enough, your pockets WILL fill up with water and mess up your phone - even when it's in airplane mode and only playing music.
- Hiking solo without music sucks... but it's worse when you had it and then the rain messed your cellphone up.
- Beware time/space distortion. Going in, I was asked by this hiker "how far to the next shelter?" I muttered something about how I'd been hiking uphill forever and wasn't sure, but thought maybe 45 min? On way out, I marked time from that spot... beyond all the trail sections I didn't remember (at all), it was 2 hrs, not 45 min. I felt bad.
- When wet, dry clothes are a godsend... I wish I had taken some with me.
- My dog did great but struggled with the downhill sections moreso than going up. I was looking at the german shepherd breed, and they were bred and are required by the AKC-equivalent in Germany to be able to trekk 50 miles a day. So... I feel much better now.
About 2 months ago, I did this section with fellow ZSer NYKH... it snowed/sleeted/rained. Not to be outdone, it torrentially rained this time with a tornado alert going into effect just as I parked. I waited for a bit and contemplated "for what purpose am I doing this?" Then I remembered, my standard answer for all rhetorical questions - babes, glory, and treasure. The rain is how I learned that normal cargo shorts' pockets can actually fill up with water faster than the water can drain. NYKH - at some point, I'd like to do this section without extreme weather events.
Here's the BOB poncho and waterproof earphones, sadly the waterproof earphones were connected to the not-at-all wp cellphone in my pocket. It recovered. It was raining so hard turtles and frogs were everywhere, which while cool, made me feel like I was in the Finding Nemo movie.
NYKH, you'll be pleased to know that our hammock site is not only intact, but has actually be improved upon with more stones in the firestove, etc. A stray dog wandered into our camp around 830 pm... which was the only real problem. Loki did awesome except when he almost killed this dog. The dog finally backed down and they became good friends. I was going to take it back with me and drop it off at a police station but at 11 pm it became going apeshit, so I cut it loose in case it finally remembered where it lived.
Yay, improvised clothespins. Sadly, between the rain and humidity, nothing actually dried... even a bit.
Woke up the next day to sunshine and massive humidity and mist. It was a bit intense but made for a surreal hike out. NYKH, remember the Compton Gap Shelter and the "spring"... in spite of all the rain, by the time I got there and set up, all the water had run off already. There were about 10 other hikers there all wishing for water. I got some shale and dug a hole and it slowly filled up with water. Filter worked great, but... even into the next day, this was the ONLY water we saw all the way back to the parking area.