Yesterday we went a little over 24 miles. The sky started misting at us a few minutes after we left camp around 8 am. Standard procedure here on the AT to walk all day in the rain. And we did. I stumbled into camp completely exhausted but semi-dry just before 8 pm. As fast as I could I pitched my tarp and got under it. I was almost too tired to eat but managed to choke down a pot full of stuffing and bacon bits. I wasn't in my sleeping bag more than 5 minutes before the skies opened up.
It poured all night. Not just a mist, not a sprinkle, a constant downpour. I was tucked away in my sleeping bag as soon as I heard the first drops hit my canopy. I woke up about an hour later and felt around for my headlamp so I could get a drink of water. It felt wet. As soon as I turned it on, the realization that I was trying to sleep in a mud puddle was all too obvious.
What could I do? Nothing. Just tuck back away and try not to move. It continued to pour well through the morning. In the daylight I could see that the floor that is supposed to keep water out was holding it all in. The bug net around me was holding every bit of mud flung at it by the wind and the splatter of the drops in the puddles. What a great way to start your morning. Every piece of gear I had was covered in mud. It seemed to be raining underneath my tarp. I slammed some coffee and a muddy pop tart and threw everything into my bag and was off in wet clothes and a bag full of mush.
The silver lining behind every cloud is the Dutch Haus B&B. A little place a few miles off trail offering a free lunch to all AT thru-hikers, no strings attached. After 9 days of hard miles I was unsure if I wanted to stay or eat and go. This morning made my decision for me. Stew in a bread bowl, coffee and cinnamon cake was on the house. They gave me a bathrobe to wear while They did my laundry and I couldn't feel better. A chance to dry out gear and rest my legs and mind is what I needed.
I could say more about the previous days but really nothing much happened. I woke up, walked, pooped, ate, jumped off the James River footbridge, walked some more and slept.
In a week I'll be in northern Virginia with Ruthie for a vacation from my vacation. Hope to see lots of friends in that time.