What a morning I had. About 3:45am the sky flashed and the thunder clashed. For about two hours, thunderstorms loomed overhead. I cannot say I have ever heard thunder that rolled for minutes on end. A few lightning bolts were directly above my head that it felt as if it shook my tent! By 6am, the water was flowing into my tent and it was definitely time to pack up and leave this place!
Once I was packed and ready to hit the trail, the rain lightened up to a mere drizzle. It was a misty day for the most part. A few moments of sun poked her head out but she didn’t last long. Actually for me, the weather couldn’t of been better. The mist kept the climbs cooler and the downhills were fairly tame so I didn’t get sweaty.
My Dawgs are Screaming
My feet are another issue. Arg, my dawgs were yelling at me today. Early this morning my feet were content, but by noon, they weren’t too happy with this constant movement. There is always the break-in period somewhat like dating. You meet your new partner, you try ‘em out and you either work through the quirks, or you move on. I’m feeling like I’m working through this fact. Silly me, had a pedicure right before I left for the trail and my over zealous technician took away all my callouses. My feet are tender and really mad!
I found a creek, took off my shoes and socks, and my little footsies were submerge in fairly therapeutic, freezing water! I wasn’t feel any discomfort from the watery grave that I entered. I could’ve stayed much longer but it was time to head to camp.
On my way to camp, I met a maintenance guy named Steve, who tends to the trail. He was getting prepared to paint new white blazes on the trees. He has a stencil and latex paint, and covers each blaze with two coats. These blazes are what keep hikers orientated to the right course. There are blue blazes that indicate water or a side trail. There’s double blazes which I believe show an intersecting trail and then there’s the slightly offset doubles blazes that tell you there’s a turn coming up.
I’m sure you’re wondering if thru hikers are that dumb and need all these blazes? Well I would say yes, we are. These trails out here are much different than anything on the west coast. There are trees, and more trees that look virtually the same from one bend to the next. So these blazes keep you safely on the trail and hopefully not lost in the woods. And even with these perfectly painted blazes, there are still hikers that get themselves in a world of hurt and lost off-trail.
The Trail Provides
When I got to camp tonight, there were several hikers that I had met along the way. Pepper, Michelle, Elijah, the Brothers and the Couple. I was hoping there would be enough room for my tent and to my surprise, the place had several spots available. I headed over to what appeared to be a level spot and somewhat dry from the rain last night. As I’m walking around, clearing my potential new plot of dirt, I found a single tent stake laying on the ground. I was floored. I somehow was one stake short when I pitched my tent last night. Last ditch effort, I had to find a rock and improvised.
My growing list of things I planned to pick up at Mountain Crossings included one single tent stake! But as we say, the trail provides. Just when you need something, you find just what you’re looking for. Incredible and glorious luck or fate, whatever you want to call it, it was mine for the taking. So now my tent is properly staked and pitched and I’m ready for bed.
One thought on “Day Two: April 16, 2022 Justus Creek to Jarred Gap Elevation Profile +2947/-2031 14.2 miles; Total 26.3 miles”
Missing your callouses, lost and newly found stakes, blazes painted to guide you….. Your adventures could become a book of analogies for the christian walk!