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AT Day 40 – Sun and Magic

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25th May

19.9 miles

Geocache Camp (676) to Bushcamp (695.9)

I woke to a loud bang overnight and the words, ‘what the hell was that’. A baffle on Delicate Flowers’ air mattress had popped. I only woke one other time and it was still raining.

The weather started to clear in the morning but it wasn’t long before it rained, again. Is it just me or is this year a bit wetter than normal. Some hikers are going bonkers with all this rain. Some hikers are suffering gear malfunctions as their tents leak and their sleeping bags get soaked. Others are just miserable. I wonder how many have quit so they can be at home in their climate controlled house. It certainly is wet on the Appalachian Trail. I’m going to stick it out.

Around lunchtime the trail followed a high ridge. The sun made a rare but short appearance. I took a tumble on a steeply sloped rock in the same place the girl in front of me fell. Delicate Flower fell in that spot too and several others. I’m going to get a nice sized bruise on my rump. Hope I can sleep tonight.

The views on the ridges looked down into the two farmland valleys on either side. Often there is little in the way of views on the Appalachian Trail so when they appear I take a while to let the beauty sink in. Some of the forest hiking today was also wonderful with the low cloud adding to the mystique.

Late afternoon and we descended from the high ridges to find a lovely couple with trail magic. Pork sandwiches, chips, soft drink and much more. I watched as several miserable hikers arrived only to have forgotten how hard the trail was or how miserable the rain was. Old Goat And Granny, the providers of the trail magic, were a little ray of sunshine to everyone. They have provided trail magic three times to random hikers on the Appalachian Trail, all on a very tight budget. Thank you Old Goat and Granny.

A large group of hikers were on route to stay at one of the shelters. Rain was forecast. Most of them would surely be disappointed. I wanted to bushcamp as I prefer sleeping in my tent surrounded by nature. Delicate Flower wanted to stay dry. He headed for the shelter and I camped about 10 minutes walk past the shelter. As I erected the tent, right on que, the rain started.


Next : Day 41 – Best Views On the AT

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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