Murder Shelter November 13, 2015

Short night sleep.  Got up at 2:30 am to find out I couldn’t get back to bed.  So I packed up my bag, grabbed a couple spoons of oatmeal, and hit the trail by 3 am.  The “Rough” climb was actually not bad at all.  After three miles I came to the opened faced side of the mountain.  Boy oh Boy it was freezing.  I had all my layers on.  If I went any slower, I would have had to set up camp and wait it out to the morning.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to.  I kept moving on the ridge till the sunrise.  It was a perfect time to take a break and enjoy the morning for a couple minutes.  Got back rolling to have a big day.  It wasn’t too long after before reaching Rice Field Shelter.  Not long after I fell all the way off the mountain to a sewage plant.  The rotten smell was so potent that it felt like my nose hairs were being burned.  Had only a half mile to get thru that and a measly hill to climb and drop into Pearisburg.  The town was just far enough out I didn’t want to waste my time hitching in and out of town.  Angels Landing was a solid climb straight up.  Nice view from the top.  The next four miles were the rockiest ones of the day.  I came up to spring expecting to fill up water and was completely out of luck.  The spring was completely dry and I only drank 1 liter for 25 miles.  Made it to the first shelter and took a brief break.  Time was getting short and I still had 10 more miles to Wapiti Shelter.  On most of the declines, I would run to make it to the shelter before dark.  The miles came fast even though I had to stop to filter four liters water.  Got back on trail knowing the shelter was close.  Came to the shelter with a crew of 4 hanging out with a blazing fire.  Couldn’t have been any better.  Nice crew of old guys from across the country that meet up over Veterans Day each year to hike pieces of AT.  Sounded like it all started in college at Auburn.  Pretty cool and interesting folks.

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