21.9 miles, 62,368 steps, 719 stories climbed
1779.2/418.8 miles/left, 4,666,559 steps, 40,253 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moments: 54
Another rough day on the trail. It rained heavily overnight and my tent once again disappointed. There was a plastic sheet left at the shelter that I used to place under my tent and footprint but a small amount of water still soaked through the floor. I think that is less the tents fault and more the ground saturation.
The fact that the sides of the tent were soaked and muddy, even under the rainfly, I blame on the tent. I even made sure the rainfly was pulled as taught as I good on the sides (which I failed to do last time) and still no good. Anything inside the tent that was up against the sides ended up getting wet. I never had that problem with the old tent.
I packed the wet tent and got moving. The mosquitoes again were just brutal. I spent less time using my trekking poles than I did slapping mosquitoes. I must have killed at least 100.
The trail wasn’t quite as much of a roller coaster as yesterday but there was still a great deal of very steep climbing.
A few miles before the really steep climb of the day, I came across Bill Ackerly’s house.
Bill Ackerly is another true trail angel, right up there with Fresh Ground, Bob Peoples and the Cookie Man & Woman. He is known as the Ice Cream Man. His house is right off the trail and he has a porta-potty for hikers and allows hikers to camp on his lawn. He offers free use of his hose for water, his outlets for recharge, free wifi and he gives hikers free ice cream!!! He also has a game of Croquet set up and typically plays with the hikers.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to talk with him. He wasn’t there when I got there (but he made sure you can access all that stuff whether he is there or not) and he just pulled in o his driveway when I had put my pack on and was getting set to leave. He was an older man, in his 80’s and happy to see hikers. He immediately went inside and grabbed a box of crackers and started handing them out and talking to people.
As much as I enjoyed my time at Bill’s I had my first real run in with a tick there too. I found him climbing on my leg, luckily he had not found a spot he liked for feeding yet. I quickly grabbed my tweezers, pulled him off and stabbed him. Then of course I was paranoid the rest of the day.
What annoys me the most is that I found him on my gaiters first climbing on to my leg. It annoys me because my gaiters are permethrin treated, which is supposed to kill ticks when they come into contact with it. Not happy about that.
Afterwards, it was time to make the steep climb up to the cabin. It was rough and slippery but I pushed on and made it eventually. I quickly hung my tent up to dry and then hit the fire tower to check out the view.
The shelter is a fully enclosed cabin. It’s a bit run down but it’s always nice to have four walls and a door. It’s a bit cozy, with a bunch of hikers staying here but it’ll keep the place warm and with the temperature supposed to drop to around freezing up here that’ll be nice.