06 September 2016

Jenkins Shelter to Helveys Mill Shelter (AT Day 5, Fall 2016)

Appalachian Trail, 13.5 miles

No bears visited last night.

Today was a hard but good day. I packed up and got going pretty early because I had lots of miles to cover. My knee is feeling a little sensitive still, but STABLE!! Woot! The homemade brace and the Advil are helping.

Today is Joe's first day of 11th grade and I am not home to see him off to school. Jay texted me a picture and I was grateful to be at the top of a peak where I had enough of a cell signal to receive the text, but then of course it made me cry.

I saw only two other hikers today, both southbound.

The trail followed a road for about a mile and a half today. It was gravel, so very hard on the feet. There were other stretches of trail that were pretty, though. A few nice lookouts and a cool rhododendron tunnel.

Today's mileage was plenty long enough, but to add insult to injury (literally), the shelter was .3 miles from the trail, and the water source was another .3 miles down a side trail (one way!). So really I did closer to 14.5 today. I'm super tired but happy to be in the home stretch. Tomorrow I will hit the 600-mile mark.

The shelter tonight had a lot of mouse poop in it, so I hung my hammock. I'm getting pretty good at it, and fast. Luckily I've had no rain to contend with. But I think now that I have the hang of the rain fly, I'd be okay even if it rained a bit. In fact I kind of wish it would rain because the streams have been so dry.

Tomorrow I have 9.7 miles on my itinerary but I might push a couple miles more to a campsite instead of stopping at the next shelter. This will cut some distance off of Thursday, which might be a good thing.

I did some yoga on the picnic table in front of the shelter when I got here; that felt good.

I'm really feeling homesick. I miss my peeps.

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