Stover Creek Shelter to Gooch Mountain Shelter (13 miles)
Today was a good day. I thought there would be rain in the AM but it never surfaced. Last night was a pretty big storm, lots of thunder and even some lightning, but I was nice and dry at the shelter. Would’ve got up earlier but I thought it was still raining from the rain dripping down off trees on the roof.
Otherwise mostly smooth sailing today. About a mile out of the shelter I saw some crawdad looking thing on the trail. I was too lazy to take a picture, was mildly confused about what it could be, and could only think, “LOBSTER STICKS TO MAGNET!!!” APPARENTLY, that critter was a scorpion. Whoa. It was only about 2.5 inches long. I passed some people from the Stover Creek shelter off and on all day, but they mostly were not at Gooch. The few that were got there a bit later than me.
I saw Martin again who was in good spirits. Martin walked into Stover Creek shelter yesterday in jeans and a windbreaker that were completely soaked. He looked like he was in rough shape then but he decided to head on despite the rain. I guess he had things figured out at some point and made camp. Oddly enough when I ran into him (when it was NOT raining) he had on his Frogg Toggs poncho.
The rest of the day was pretty chill. Apparently I passed over Sassafras mountain without knowing what it was. I was a little slow going up Justus mountain but that was short. Ended up for the night at Gooch Mountain shelter, hilarious ridgerunner here named Lord Gooch. Nice talks with interesting people, including an older German lady thru hiking by herself.