Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tenting near mile 394.6

Started at Overland Shelter
Ended on ridge near mile 396.8
17.8 Miles today

We awoke this morning with the other hikers and it seemed like everyone was having oatmeal and talking about how they make it so good or how they need to make it better. We had the deluxe version with flax, cinnamon, honey, raisins, and walnuts. A thru hiker named David (trail name Jesus, but pronounced the Spanish way) gave us some cranberries and now is the boys new best friend. We also had breakfast sausage to complement the meal. All that was missing was the orange juice.

The hike from the shelter was up, and we had some great views down on the shelter and all the tents next to it. The sky was sunny and we crossed a few awesome balds. We even got cell phone reception on a few. The picture is Sydney with Roan Mountain in the background.

In this picture you can see the trail going up the hill behind Pete and Harvey.

After the great views it was time for a steady 3 mile downhill to US 19E. Lots of cars were parked at the trailhead, and lots of signs saying it wasn't safe due to vehicle break-ins. Once over the road it was clear most people hiked the other direction. The first 2-3 miles were overgrown and we stopped to check for ticks often, but never found any. 

At one of our water stops the kids washed off the mud they had accumulated on the trail since the shelter. It was a challenge to stay out of the mud, but the boys especially enjoyed jumping over and around the mess. Sydney was more business like and just avoided it like she hikes muddy trails all the time. 

The boys are excited to get home and start a rock band. Harvey on drums and Pete on guitar. Harvey said he had the better voice, but Pete said Harvey couldn't sing because the drummer never sings. The song they are working on is called "I rock the ice age". It is about someone leaving Alaska after winter. Some potential lyrics include "winter is gone and the snow has fallen and the ice is cracked". They worked on it for about 30 minutes. 

It was getting late so we played "Don't let Dad catch you". They all took off and I would try to catch them. They made really good time and I thought we would get one of the camp spots in my book, but it was getting late so instead we just camped at the first flat spot I could clear off. Surprisingly it worked out great (so far). The ATV we can hear is a bit annoying, and the shooting guns finally stopped, so I think we might sleep good. 

I gave the kids a massage and inspected bumps and scrapes. Everyone is in good shape. I'm the only one with any problems. A rock got in my shoe and worked itself down to my toes. Before I could get it out I stepped on some rocks and really dug the rock into my foot. It is a little tender as I write this but it should be better in the morning. 

I felt bad pushing the kids so hard, but usually you can find a good camp spot every 1-2 miles.  This section has had very few camp spots. I'll try to time things better and/or stay in shelters.

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