Sunday, 21 April 2013

At Plum Orchard Shelter

Peter is in for the night at Plum Orchard Gap shelter, at mile 74.1 for the hike. Today was a long one, and he felt beat up, not wanting to eat much or drink water. It was mostly all climbing today. The first big climb was Kelly's Knob, one mile up, which took more than an hour to hike. He tried walking 50 paces and then resting but it didn't always work out. On the vertical places, there's really no place to rest or take your pack off, so you just keep going. As a result, he has sunburnt forearms and blisters just starting on his heels - the skin has separated from the substrata. Maybe with bandaids or moleskin, he can avoid a full blown blister.

Sometimes, he tried walking just 25 paces and then having a brief rest, especially on the uphill when he noticed his heart over 180 beat per minute. It was also tough walking downhill. Even with laces tied tight, he felt his toes being jammed into the toe box of his shoes.

By the time he texted me, he was thinking all he needs is some rest. He's hoping the wind dies down, but in the Gaps is where the wind tends to howl through and that's where they tend to camp. I suggested he try his jacket around his feet overnight but he said he has been wearing it in the hammock! I should have known he would do whatever he could and my suggestions are lame. But you know, you just want to help.

Here is the trail leading to Plum Orchard Shelter. At least it's pretty and there's sun!


  1. Sounds like a brutal against mountain...the kind of day that might make him wonder why the hell he's doing this. I hope he's exhausted enough to get a good night's sleep regardless of the wind or the noise or the temperatures, and that he feels better tomorrow.

  2. Yah... well I'm having a cystoscopy procedure tomorrow morning and THAT's no walk in the woods! Google that Peter and you'll almost be happy you're there and not here!

  3. Sounds great, learning to pace. Easy does it. Rest up. It's not a race. get in the zone. Great blog too. wish I could follow it on my Tumblr where it pops up automatically. (probly can,somehow. will figure it out)

  4. Hey Gronk,
    A wise man once told me that ” When Eating and Elephant, Do So One Bite at a Time". You’re reaching the 100 mile make or break mileage mark. Those that hit the 100 miles have a higher percentage of completing the whole thing. It will take at least 30 days to fully acclimate to the day to day routine. Try different lacing patterns to take the stress off the toes. You said you have wide feet, like my feet, when I buy a new pair of shoes I throw away the shoes and wear the box they came in. Try relacing your shoes so you skip the first set or two of eyelets and then cross lace after that. That will give your shoe the ability to spread out at the toe box and still hold the heel in the rear of the shoe.
    Enjoy the hike, perhaps this is not the best analogy, but you’re like the dog that someone forgot to close the gate on. You’re free to run!!!
    Good Penny

  5. Sounds like you had a rough day Peter. You will feel much better if you get a good nights rest. I hope tomorrow is a great day for you.

  6. Lots of good advice and encouragement in the comments! Peter says thank you! I say thank you too!