May 28 - Nice temps, easy trail
Warm night in the hammock. I was up and on the trail early with another beautiful day beckoning. This was the hiking I think I expected. Warm sunny days and a dry and easy trail. Oh there were ups and downs, there was rock and root and some mud but all in all it was not as painful as some other days.
Strange noises during the night. I couldn't fall asleep for some reason until near midnight. It was eerily dark too and the wind was rubbing and banging tree branches together and they creaked and moaned. I thought maybe it was the Blair Witch come to pay me a visit.
Then around 3:30 a.m. I was awakened by the most God-awful noise. No idea what manner of creature it was. It might have been a bird as there was an owl booting in a strange way at the same time. A territorial fight? I grabbed my iPhone to record it. I've heard so many strange noises at night I've taken to leaving the voice recorder as the last app used so I'm ready when they present themselves. No luck this time, though, as whatever it was was gone.
These noises are not frightening for some reason and I think it's because I accept strangeness in strange surroundings. Instead of being frightening, they're merely a curiosity.
I hiked farther than planned thanks to a re-taping of the feet and a change of socks with a good dose of Gold Bond. I watered up at the shelter I had planned to stop at but decided to head on. It had some good camping options but the house flies at last night's shelter made me head on in the hope of avoiding a similar onslaught.
I hung my hammock far away from the shelter last night but the flies found me anyway. After dinner I lowered the tarp wings and after packing things up came back to find 30 of the buggers in the space between the netting on the hammock top and the tarp itself 6 inches above it. I shooed them all out and got into the hammock but they came back and I was forced to listen to them banging their heads repeatedly into the tarp for the next two hours.
So I walked on for about a half hour when the sky grew dark and rain drops began falling. I climbed a slope and strung first tarp and then hammock. Once the tarp was up I was able to work out of the rain. I got everything ready and then made dinner sitting in my hammock with the tarp rigged in porch mode as the heavens opened and the thunder boomed. A real A.T. moment. :)
Ramen noodles and tuna dinner.
Burning off the excess fuel. No baby oak trees were harmed making this dinner :)
My set up before the rain began in earnest.
Distance: 15.8 miles