Velvet Rocks Shelter, Day 14, 41.8 miles

Sorry for the vertical video but this is my log for the day:

I didn’t end up keeping a video log because I ran out of room on my phone storage which was a real bummer.

A couple more notes on the day:

Some of the hikers who stayed at the hostel last night told me about some more blowdowns on Smarts mountain. Not going to lie, the warnings of NOBOs frankly were kind of cute at this point and after. They’ve been hiking on easy trails for the entirety of the trail and spit out these warnings to SOBOs who don’t have a bit of clue what an easy trail even looks like. So when they told me about the uncleared trails a few miles south I didn’t really take them seriously. But this time they weren’t kidding. It wasn’t horrendous but it certainly made for some slow going.

Today was by no means a flat section of trail with 12000 feet of elevation gain but the trails were dirt and smooth, the climbs were gradual, and the trails were mostly clear. But more than anything, I think the reason the hiking came easy is because it wasn’t raining. At this point rain had just turned into an emotional barrier for me. I was sick of it. I was tired of being wet, tired of slipping on the rocks and sliding on the mud, and really wishing I had brought a real rain jacket for the first couple weeks. And I wish it wasn’t raining the most it had rained in 130 years. But while that was out of my control and my emotions were within my control, I didn’t do a good job of handling my side very well. Today, though I was carefree and hiked shirtless for the bulk of the day with warm temps and low humidity.

I stopped at Velvet Rocks Shelter for the night rather than going into Hanover. In hindsight I should have just done the extra mile into town to get a meal to help me recover from the big day. But with no place to stay in the hostel free town and knowing I would arrive around 930, I didn’t want to end up pulling a hobo and sleeping under a bridge or something. Had I started earlier this morning it wouldn’t have been a problem. But I wasn’t doing the best job making this trip easy on myself so far and while I was learning, I still had some more mistakes to make.

Continue reading: Day 15

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