Mist, then rain
Wildlife – 4-leaf clovers!
It will be a long time before I sleep in a shelter again. The hard, straight floor was uncomfortable but, with my foam pad, not a deal-breaker.
It was the noise.
Bull Moose had warned us that he snores. When someone gives that warning, look out. Houdini had given no warning.... maybe he thought Bull Moose would drown him out. But together, they snored Sousa Marches. They even provided percussion, in the form of loud sound effects from whatever they had been eating. Now I'm not a prude, and I've been around, but I've never heard anything like this. It was truly astonishing, even if they'd been eating rehydrated beans. Maybe they'd been foraging skunk cabbage.
Coach was in the bunk above me, and jumped down in the night to go to the bathroom, which caused me to gasp and jump up, thinking she'd fallen. This scared her, which annoyed her. She was already mad at me for hiking a “supported hike” while she has to carry everything herself. Well, so do I. Steve brings me food, saving me from having to hitchhike into town, but I still have to carry everything I need between meet-ups. Coach was going to have her leg looked at in Boiling Springs. She says she didn't sleep all night for the pain.
Today's hiking was ridiculously easy. Flat dirt (actually mud) paths around the edges of big fields. It rained. I got to use my $40 Go-Lite Backpacking Umbrella. I love it. Covers me and my pack, weighs about as much as a stick of butter, has no metal parts so I'm not carrying a lightning rod.
Two thru-hikers passed me. One told me he'd started at Springer March 5. He's already at Boiling Springs. If he keeps it up he'll make it in 4 months.
I found a patch of clover with a whole bunch of 4-leaved ones. Abundant good luck!! I picked 6 or 8 to give as gifts, then made a little sign pointing to them for other hikers. Realized they weren't as obvious since I picked a handful; hope that doesn't give me bad karma. There were more growing, just not as obvious. I've found that where there's one 4-leaf clover, there are usually more. The mutant gene gets passed along, like extra toes in cats.
I've got really sore feet. Deep-tissue blisters, underneath the tough outer skin. Too deep to drain, and they keep irritating themselves. I don't know how to solve this. In addition, my left metatarsal area is really painful, started shortly after Boiling Springs. I slipped in the mud and tipped my right ankle a little, hardly enough to hurt, but I can't remember my left foot hurting before that. I'm limping on it. Probably some kind of tissue strain or bruise (from yesterday's rock climb, maybe?) but my ye-of-little-faith mind is wandering towards “stress fracture.” No. I don't want to go there. So far, preparing for this hike and hiking it, everything that could have gone wrong has gone right. I missed a turn right off and God sent me a real angel, Trail Angel Mary. I do not have a stress fracture.
I was supposed to meet Steve about 4 miles past Boiling Springs, but was in enough pain to call him for an early bail a couple miles before it. No sense pushing on when I'm in pain – since I'm doing a “supported hike.”
Later: Not only my feet.... I hurt all over. I'm taking tomorrow off.