Day 71 – Campsite near Rausch Gap Shelter to Hertline Campsite

23.2 miles, 60,256 steps, 352 stories climbed

1207.8/990.2 miles/left, 3,108,684 steps, 28,203 stories climbed
Today was a much better day.  I had a bit more energy than yesterday and the mosquitoes weren’t nearly as bad today.
  
Today the main nuisance were inch worms.  I kept walking into their webs and they kept falling on me and crawling all over me and making webs on my pack.  It was as if they were trying to put me into a cocoon.  Still, I would prefer them anyway to the mosquitoes!
  
Today, again, was a bit short on views and such but I did make it to this sign:
  
Now you might be wondering what is so special about this sign well, this sin sits exactly 999.9 miles away from the summit of Mt. Katahdin a.k.a. the finish line!!!  Less than 1000 to go and as you might have noticed I have started a mileage countdown to the stats at the top of the page.  So exciting!!!
Not too much further from the sign is the 501 shelter.  The 501 shelter is an awesome example of trail angels.  It is a massive shelter somebody built on their property with 4 walls, doors, windows, a huge skylight, a porta-potty and running water!!!  Not only that but it’s close to a road and town so some restaurants deliver to it!  Time for some more pizza!
   
After finishing a whole large pizza it was time to slowly walk the next 5.6 miles to the campsite while digesting all that food.  It took me a while to get there but I made it and quickly set up my tent.
  
At the camp two older ladies, Shadow and Junebug were already there and relaxing.  They took a look at my legs and commented about how sweet I must be for the bugs to love me THAT much.  (The back of my legs are covered in mosquito bites from yesterday.)
I spoke to them briefly before deciding to hide my “sweet blood” in my tent from the bugs.  Junebug is just doing sections right now, she did the beginning to Fontana Dam earlier in the year and is now doing the Pennsylvania portion.  Shadow finished the southern half last year and is now trying to finish the northern half to complete the trail.  
  

 

I love seeing the older people out here.  These people worked their whole lives and deserve to be out here living and enjoying the rest of their lives.  I hate hearing stories of people working so hard and never getting to enjoy their retirement either because they weren’t around long enough, never made it to their retirement or just didn’t have the energy, ability or money to enjoy it.  That’s one of the main reasons I’m doing this now.  Maybe I’ll have to retire later in life because of it but at least I got to enjoy life.  I don’t want to say “I’ll do that when I retire” because who knows if I’ll make it that far.  Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one so from time to time I’ll worry about saving for tomorrow but from time to time I’ll also worry about living today. I’m trying my best to find that work-life balance. 
  

2 thoughts on “Day 71 – Campsite near Rausch Gap Shelter to Hertline Campsite

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