J: Tonight in Blue Mt Shelter. Met Trail Snail and Texas Turtle from Austin TX. After we got a small fire going to chase off the chill, the girls would say 'I hate rabbits' to chase the smoke away (Fox didn't have a left-handed smoke shifter with him). Loops of rope are called 'assholes". Oh, learned how to do a Pack Flip: grabbing the pack from in front and flipping it over the head so the shoulder straps slide in place. Pack pain is setting in - I have zits along my shoulders and upper back from the arm straps and pads. Front Seat Finn came thru, ate, and wandered on! Ranger Smith (tn) wandered in just before the storm arrived. Thunder -- could be a good storm. We've tacked several sheets of plastic sheeting across the open face of the lean-to, keeping the blowing rain mostly at bay. It looks like a LOT of rain. Could stay over, could make Tray Mt. S. Trail is a bitch of a hill from the topos -- only 7.7 from here. So far, I'm not too off of schedule.
Might hit Blueberry Patch after Tray for a break. Heard it's good food and times. Most everyone I know is behind us now - Nice one, the Johns, Sherbear and Jettbutt. Guess I'll get some sleep and dream of calzones and boston creme.
Journal entries by candlelight. Journaling about the hike and the amazing number of random trains of thought that occur simply while walking through the woods helped me appreciate what I was experiencing. Ironically, trying to write down in English the feelings flooding through me -- feelings ill-defined by our very language -- helped digest them.
Many of the entries were about trail conditions, or my body, weather, sights, sounds, smells, and other hikers. Some became philosophical, and with each passing day on trail, I was re-evaluating why I was out there. This night, as the rain and winds beat against that plastic front sheet, I tried again to note down fleeting thoughts before sleep overtook me.