Jenkins Shelter (578.8) to Jenny Knob Shelter (602)
The hikers at Jenkins Shelter started to stir early. I looked at my watch, 6am. The majority of hikers seem to rarely make a move this early. Encouraged by the noise I opened the flap of my tent and commenced my morning routine.
Without getting out of my sleeping bag I crank up my stove to boil some water for my coffee and oats. I ready my coffee and oats while waiting for the water to boil. If I have time I pack my small items such as all my electronics into their zip lock bags. Usually I eat breakfast inside my tent while wrapped up in my sleeping bag and laying on my comfortable mattress.
When the eating is done I sip on my coffee while packing my sleeping bag and mattress. If it’s raining I pack everything into my backpack while sitting in my tent. Always leaving my tent as the last thing to be packed. This routine can happen as quick as 30 minutes but normally it takes me 45 minutes.
I received a text from Delicate Flower and Shogun. They camped about 3.5 miles behind me. I’ll take it easy so they can catch me around lunch time.
I stop at a water source after only 4 miles of hiking to get some water, have a snack and wash my dirty socks. I’m ready to hike off when a dude walks past with his external speakers blasting annoying music. Instead of hiking off I wait another 10 minutes for him to get far in front of me.
It wasn’t long before Shogun (No Balls) and Delicate Flower caught up to me. Arrangements have been made to get off trail tomorrow and return to Damascus for Trail Days. A friend of Delicate Flower is driving there so we both have a lift. Shogun is not going to Trail Days so we said ‘See You Later’, and he was on his way.
For the rest of the afternoon Delicate Flower and I strolled along the high ridges of the Appalachian trail. We made a quick stop at a highway where a new business opened up. They just got approved to operate as a business a few hours before our arrival. We helped ourselves to Hot Dogs, Dr Peppers and Ice Cream. In the future I suspect this guy might make a small fortune. He has a pizza oven and a grill for burgers and more which should be operational in a couple of days. All right on the trail, well, 25 yards from the trail.
Around 6.30pm we set up camp at a shelter. There was only one other hiker there. Most hikers are now off trail making their way to Damascus for trail days. The biggest gathering of long distance thru hikers in the world. Over 20000 smelly hikers are expected to attend. I normally dislike such large groups of people but this is an exception. I’m going to Trail Days.