Day 49: Pine Swamp Branch to Laurel Creek

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Howdy y'all!
So quick poll question, how many of you had to wear your rainjacket to sleep last night cause the roof was leaking? Hopefully if you did then you have a repairman already on the way!

So it rained last night, most of the night, and my tent officially STINKS (well, more like LEAKS) but in any case it was raining down on my head. What a miserable feeling... Sitting upright in your tent with your headlamp on, watching the water drip down on your sleeping bag, pack, extra clothes, etc. And really nothing you can do short of wishing it to stop raining.

With the rainjacket over my head, at least I was able to get some sleep, and that's always really important. In any case morning rolls around much too fast.  The first exciting thing today was salamanders!! I saw 5 in the first hour. They were of the red and orange variety... Really neat! They seem to come out only on the really wet steamy days. Saw one last night too under the same conditions. Amazing to see so many after not seeing any until this point!

The first climb was 1500 ft and it was hard because of the humidity, basically felt like the rainforest. To the point where your body is sweating everywhere but none of it can evaporate because the air humidity is so high!

Had a snack at Baileys Gap shelter then walked the ridgeline up to wind rock for a nice midday view. Also ran into a bunch of Canadians from Ontario, nice people that had a lot to ask us about the trail and stuff.

So today discovered a couple things: need new tent, my hat can actually cause me to overheat if I'm not careful, also bought the wrong kind of liner socks in town, they actually make my feet more soggy. 

Lunch shelter was after 13 mi and I was pretty exhausted, partially due to the opressive heat (88 and humid!) so I spent 2 hours there during the hottest part of the day. Good decision because the last 6 miles were up over another mtn, nearly 2000 ft. The climb up was brutal and I felt pretty dehydrated despite drinking about two liters of water for lunch.

View from Kellys Knob was awesome especially as this storm was starting to brew and the wind was trying to blow me right off the rocks.

Have a spot in the shelter tonight so it should be a dry one... It's the simple things in life! I've been poking around other peoples tents here thinking about which one to get. Wish they weren't so freaking expensive.
Until next time!
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ma on

Hi sweetpea! I am in Singapore and am just today catching up with your blog. It is cool (I mean hot haha) to be here. Mike and Mimi picked me up at 1am (today?) I don't even know what time it is. I had a packed flight to Tokyo and then a half full one to Singapore so I had room to stretch out for the last 6 or so hours. It is very hot and humid here...I can't imagine climbing a mt. today! I will go down to the pool and then head to SAS to see where Mike and Mimi work.
I'll pay for your tent if it's the cost that worries you!! Can"t stand to think of you being rained on in your sleep! Yikes!
Stay safe. I'm here til saturday May 8 and then on to Bangkok. the internet is great, makes it all so much easier. Miss you hijo! Brazos!

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