The truth sets in

Day 2-5
Weather: rainy; cold, rainy, and windy; rainy into sunny; hot sunny
Distance travelled: 21.1 miles

After Jeff’s setback, I hooked up with two new hikers: Rich (Grey Wolf) who is my age, and Ken who is 71 (no trail name yet). We all realized that our eyes were bigger than our muscles, and we are basically some of the slower folk on the trail right now.

Day 2 was crappy weather, and we were all feeling the effects of the previous day, so we stayed put that day. The next day we moved on, though it turned out to be and even crappier day. Between the rain, the chill, and the three stooges, we ended up only making it roughly half way to where we wanted to be. We made the mistake of camping in a gap (Cooper’s Gap) which means stopping in a wind tunnel. Thirty to fifty mile an hour steady winds, combined with rain and almost freezing temperatures made for a rather uncomfortable night. We were saved by some trail magic when a local car camper took pity on us and gave us beverages and food, and even a hat that night, and returned the next morning with hot coffee.

The next day we reached the shelter we were originally aiming for on day 2.

Finally today, day 5, we got the exact opposite weather, being unseasonably hot. Beautiful views, but dehydration was hanging over us. We ended at Woody Gap, far short of where we wanted to be again, and beat, decided to stay in a hostel. A subway sandwich, a hot shower, some cleaning, and a decent night sleep (hopefully), ended this part of the journey.

Right now we are averaging about 5 miles a day, which is well shy of the 8 to 10 a day planned on, but we are still plugging along. I shed most of the gadgets I brought along. They did not really work as I hoped, and are not worth the 15 extra pounds the are loading me with. I will still blog, and take as many pics as I can. It just won’t be as often as I envisioned.

Incidentally, my current trail name is Rotund.