It was interesting to listen to the others talk as they prepared. None of them seemed very happy to be facing a 20 miles. They wanted to be at Port Clinton by Friday, so they were going to have to pull some big miles at one point or another. It seemed like once one person in the group had made the decision to crank out a long day, the rest felt compelled to follow. Poor Aunt Marty did not look pleased last night when Pixie, her daughter, announced that she'd be doing 20. Aunt Marty had just arrived at the shelter, looking pretty tired, when Pixie piped up about her plans for the next day. Aunt Marty's expression was none too happy, but off she went this morning. I'm sure it was a long day for her, mentally and physically.
After everybody else had left for the day, I went back upstairs to try and get a little more sleep since I felt so tired. Michael was still sound asleep and I don't think he ever even stirred during all the commotion. I was still feeling wiped out and wanted nothing more than to sleep for two days straight. I just couldn't seem to fall asleep, which has been happening a lot lately. It's so maddening to feel so bone tired and yet not be able to fall asleep.
I was laying there all frustrated and trying to will myself into dreamland when from across the room came those dreaded, nightmarish sounds--zippers opening and closing over and over, plastic ziploc bags crinkling and folding, the hiss of nylon on nylon as a sleeping bag is stuffed in its sack..... I was ready to kill, and poor unsuspecting FireBall was just trying to get his gear put away as quietly as possible. After about 15 minutes of me silently cursing hime and wishing his arms would fall off, I threw my sleeping bag off, unzipped my tent door all in a huff, and stomped off downstairs with fists clenched muttering dire threats under my breath. I think FireBall just stood with his mouth open as I disappeared around the corner of the shelter. Talk about being a morning grump....
I was losing it again and after sitting for a while, I decided that today was going to be a day off for me. I just needed it. My body needed it and my mind needs it. I've never stayed over more than one night at a shelter, but this seemed like an awful nice one to do it at and the forecast was calling for rain.
So, we spent the day at the Peters Mountain Shelter. FireBall and Michael played with fires all day-- little camp fires, big camp fires, smoke pots for the bugs,.... You name it and they tried to build it. They even talked about trying to knock together a swing for the shelter. I sat and sewed patches on packs, read, wrote, played my flute, and cooked up one heck of a dinner--chicken chunks with stuffing and corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, and dinner rolls too. We even had the traditional s'mores dessert after our meal.
It turned out to be an enjoyable day and in return for me making dinner, Michael and FireBall made the dreaded trip to the spring. They had continued down the trail to the spring another 1/2 mile and came to a camp for kids, Camp Hebron. There they called my mother to tell her our itinerary had changed slightly and they managed to haul back soda, candy, and icecream with them on the return to the shelter!! The Haagen Daz icecream bars were an absolutely awesome surprise!!
Woke to rain that continued as a fairly heavy downpour most of the morning. We decided the quickest way out was on a side trail to a nearby highway. Left the shelter around 11, hit the road by 11:30 and began a 4+ mile roadwalk to the nearest store. There weren't very many friendly people out. Lots of cars passed us, but it was more than 45 minutes of road walking before anybody offered to give us a ride.
We stopped at a little store in Dauphin, PA where I called my Mom and asked her to come get us. We sat around for 4-1/2 hours waiting for her arrival. More rain during our wait.
I'm planning on going home for at least 4 days. Originally I had planned on not heading home until tomorrow, but I just need to get off the trail. I'll be finishing the preparations on the remainder of my maildrops while I'm home, visiting some relatives for the 4th celebration, and just taking care of things. It will be so good to see my other two dogs, Tullie and Scrapper. I miss them terribly.
I hope to be back on the trail around Sunday, July 6th. I'm not planning on doing any journal entries during my days off.