The after-dark bear bag went up the first try. Dang, I'm getting good at this.
Shorter day after yesterday's 15 miles. Eckville Shelter is a converted garage next to the caretaker's house. It is not typical for shelters to have caretakers. For the most part, they're just little shacks in the woods, often a quarter-mile off the Trail, then another quarter-mile to the water source. Accommodations are often shared with mice and spiders. Mostly I sleep in my hammock, which I planned to do today as well. I asked the caretaker where I could set one up. He gave me a look and said, "Across the road's tent sites. I don't want it looking like a campground here." Ummm...... "I don't see where...." He said, "Didn't you read the map?" (Big map on a sign at the turnoff to his yard.) "Yes, but I guess only for this side of the road." So I went back to the map and then across the road. Beautiful grassy tent sites appeared but no trees until the woods began, quite a distance away. I went back and checked out the shelter more closely. Wow! Carpeted bunks! A "bathhouse" with a flush toilet and solar-heated shower! Water out of a spigot! OK, I'm in.
A list of "Frequently Asked Questions" was posted on the door, presumably so we wouldn't have to ask. "Where can I pitch a tent?" was listed twice. Another sign asked hikers to sweep when leaving but it didn't look like anyone ever does. I swept the place out and got 4 dustpans full of dirt off the cement floor. Then in the bathhouse I found spray cleaner, and cleaned the table in the shelter, which had soup and sticky stuff all over it. So far I was the only one there.
There had been thunder all morning, and when it started raining, hikers started pouring in. We ended up with 6 of us and a real good time. As usual, I was the only woman. Where are the girls in this adventure? Still down south, I guess.