WhoooooooshWHAP! WHAP WHAP WHAP!
I thought the tent was going to fall over even with me in it.
It was really really really windy at Bull Gap. It also got quite cold. I was worried about Longcloud who was sleeping in just a plastic emergency shelter and 45F sleeping bag, but there wasn’t much I could do, I only had a tiny 1 person tent myself, and I was wearing all my clothes to stay warm. He said he didn’t sleep much, and that at 7am it was 32F…I guess it was even colder before. Well, when it’s cold, the best solution is to get moving. Again I played leapfrog with the German lady as well as seeing some other guys I’d met previous days. At some point I passed them though. Really was feeling good energy that day. A bunch of hill types and I was just powering up them, not as fatigued as I usually get.
The question for me that day was where I would stop. There was a really cool place called Enota Mountain Lodge or Resort or Something which was an organic farm with work for stay. I heard they had a trout pond where you could catch your dinner, and even a waterfall! However, it wasn’t 100% clear how to get there from the trail, and my phone using Sprint towers via Ting wasn’t getting much reception in the backcountry. I decided to go as far as I felt I was able.
The day went on and I was still doing pretty good. I took a longish break at Hogsback Gap to get water from a meh source. Also had my new standby meal, salami with “nutella” (Dark Chocolate Almond + Sea Salt, courtesy of Barefoot + Chocolate- thanks guys!) That stuff revved me up I guess since I just powered on through the afternoon. I got a little tired on a ridge as I was getting closer to Blue Mountain and stopped for some plantain chips and the chocolate spread. A few minutes later Coral marched on up the trail. She was from Victoria BC and had been training in the mountains up there and really was a powerhouse, she left an hour or two after me apparently. I felt a boost in having someone to talk to even though I had also really enjoyed hiking solo so far to be able to hike at a pace comfortable for me. There was a campsite a mile or so beneath the summit of Blue Mountain that I probably would have stopped at if it was just me, but she pointed out there was no water source there, so we trudged on the mile up all sorts of rocks to Blue Mountain. It was a pretty nice shelter though and I even managed to snag a spot in the shelter. I already liked sleeping in the shelters as I think it’s marginally warmer there (this one sure was, it had a tarp rigged up in front) and more importantly it saves time in the morning. I don’t have to worry about drying out a wet tent or even packing a dry one.