I set my alarm for 6am and begrudgingly started to pack up. I could already hear the guys awake at the shelter and chatting. By the time I ventured over there, only one was left. The two others wanted to get an early start to the finish line and beat any potential rain.
I planned to hike 22 miles to the Spruce camp. If done, I would climb up and over 6 mountains/ peaks. My first one was Jay’s Peak and I wanted to get up and over it before any mid-morning storms. It was 1.4 miles to the summit from where I was camped. It was a steep climb up the side of the ski slope. Towards the top, it became very rocky and I was socked in. Although it was raining, I felt a lot of moisture in the air and I was soaked. My hair felt like I had just taken a shower.
The downhill was just as rocky and wet. Next I had three little mountains/domes to climb in a row. They were steep, muddy, rooty, and rocky.
I slipped and landed on my left quad and left arm. Instantly creating a bruise on my arm. I cracked my water bottle camp but everything was still in tact. It hurt. I kept going and later on my foot slipped off a bog board into the mud. This happened several times but on a log.
I didn’t pass anyone until just before reaching the Hazelton camp. No one was interested in having a conversation and I headed off towards haystack mountain.
I ran into this girl who told me about camping at the tower the night before. She filled me on some quicksand ahead and we chatted for a bit. I finished the climb and started to descend towards Tolleston shelter. The camping did not look promising. This was 14.5 miles and it was around 3 o’clock. Although I wasn’t moving slow, I just couldn’t walk any faster given the terrain. I told myself if someone was there, I would stay. Most likely in the shelter because the tenting was not good.
I was feeling frustrated at this point. Why couldn’t I still do 20s. I planned my food for 20s and wanted to finish in two weeks. I filtered my water and heard voices. Could it be?
A found a couple inside the shelter and they were just passing through… just my luck. We chatted for a bit and I expressed my concerns. They told me there were some tents already at the tower. At least I wouldn’t have to camp alone. Camp spots were limited up there but I took the risk pushing the 2.7 up and .2 to the summit. The guys were still tented there. Another couple was there too but they were headed for the next shelter, where I could have stayed.
I set up my tent in the next available spot. Little did I do the guys camped set up…packed up their tents and were gone by 7. Who does that? Looks like I’m camping alone…