Distance: 7.3 miles
Weather: Warm, cloudy, turning downright cold by evening
After 2 miles of pasture hiking, grass thigh-high (tick city), I stopped at a road crossing where I sat and waited for Steve.
At the Cove Mountain Shelter there were tooth marks on every wooden edge, from gnawing porcupines. I'd love to see one. I've only ever seen 2, and they were both roadkill.
There were 2 people at the shelter when we arrived. A man and... a younger man? Teen boy? Young woman? We weren't sure. After a while, they let us know they were husband and wife. Except they're both men. "I'm the wife," said one of them. Now that they were "out," they lifted restraints and didn't hesitate to hug each other, call each other "Babe," and generally be affectionate. Even a kiss. ~Sigh~ Whatever.
There was also a young fellow from Switzerland. I slept outside, in my hammock. The Swiss man slept in the shelter with the, uh, couple, who shared a bunk and even their sleeping bag "because it's so cold," which in fact it is.
During the night I heard my "burglar alarm," the garbage bag covering my backpack under my hammock. Something was rustling it around. I yelled, "Hey! Shoo!" and whatever it was left.
Whippoorwills sang us to sleep. One repeated his song 142 times in succession before taking a break. 142.