07 September 2016

Helveys Mill Shelter to a Campsite North of Jenny Knob Shelter (AT Day 6, Fall 2016)

Appalachian Trail, 13.6 miles

Long, lonely, hard day. (Do you see a theme here?) Saw three southbounders; that's it. Very few milestones in the data book; this makes it even harder mentally, because there's very little to look forward to throughout the day. It was also very dry again today; there was no water till nearly 10 miles in, which made it that much more difficult, mentally and physically. I had to carry a lot of water from my campsite last night, just to avoid panicking about a thirst-induced death.

My feet were super sore this morning, but by mid-day I was in a good groove and decided to push on past my intended stopping point (which was originally Jenny Knob Shelter). I ended up going about 13.6 miles today instead of 9.7, which will help take the edge off of a long day tomorrow.

I love my campsite. I'm at a beautiful rocky spot just off the trail. I love the fact that I can hang my hammock without worrying about finding a flat spot without rocks or roots.

Sleeping in the hammock tonight will be good for my feet. They really need to be elevated. When I took my boots off tonight, it appears that I might be blistering under the nail bed of both big toes. Not much I can do about that. I might end up losing those toenails from the trauma of so much climbing and descending. My feet are definitely taking a beating. This happened once before after a particularly taxing trip; one of my toenails ended up falling off a few weeks after I got home.

I had some issues hanging my food bag tonight. I got my rope and the attached carabiner stuck in a tree, so I had to cut the rope and leave the carabiner and rope remnant behind. :( My first casualty of the trip. After about six more attempts, I finally got a rope slung over a dead tree limb... only thing is, I'm not totally convinced it will support the weight of my food bag till morning. I hope it doesn't break in the night; I certainly have no Plan B!

There is a beautiful half-moon tonight, so bright that it is casting shadows in the trees even at this late hour (10pm).

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