Day 96 – Tom Leonard Shelter

23.2 miles, 61,558 steps, 508 stories climbed

1536.2/661.8 miles/left, 3,984,823 steps, 34,369 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moments: 41
 96-Hiking along the ridge
Today was a tough and long day.  It started off nicely enough, some hikers that came in to the campsite late last night (late like after 8:30) got up while I was packing and gave me a whole bunch of fresh cherries to start the day. I thanked them and we spoke briefly before I decided to run from the mosquitoes and start my day.
96 crossing into MA
Shh…crossing into enemy territory!
The weather was very overcast and damp.  It never really came down but everything was wet and slippery and much of the hiking was on rocks up or down hill.  I was slipping and falling all over the place and the terrible conditions meant for some slow hiking, probably close to 2mph.
 96-so many rocks!
2 miles in to the hike I crossed in to Massachusets, finishing state number 10, only 4 left!!!!  Today was a bit of a change of pace, one minute I was hiking next to a river with the occasional small waterfall, the next I’m climbing rocks, then I’m up on a ridgeline with views (covered in fog sadly) all around then I’m slipping down rocks and walking through huge forests.
 96 sign
Today was also the first time I had to use the new mosquito net.  Midday I walked through a field of overgrown grass.  Once I crossed a road and entered a forest I stopped to check for ticks and suddenly noticed a whole bunch of mosquitoes cover my arm.  I started swatting and hiking fast when I was enveloped by a black cloud of them.  I hiked faster and faster as I donned my net.  It was nice to not have to slap myself in the face over and over but I was still being eaten alive on my arms and legs. Damn you, mosquitoes!!!
96-Hiking along the ridge
The weather also changed and it turned out to be a nice day with the sun shining and the temperature pretty moderate.  With all the rocks faced today I was tired by the time I hit the shelter.  It seemed like it took way longer than it should have to get there.
 96 Trail
It took a while to find a spot, the shelter was empty but I’d be bug bait there and most of the good tent sites were already taken by the weekenders.  Once I settled on a spot I quickly erected my tent, grabbed my water and hid inside.  So. damn. tired.
96 falls
Good night!
My new tent has a skylight!
My new tent has a skylight!

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