The shelter got moving at around 7, but we saw the cloud we were sitting in and stayed situated. Especially because everything we needed to put on was still soaking wet. It wasn't exactly raining, but it was difficult to tell since everything was bathed in cloud. We got moving around ten and made it 1.5 miles down to Walker Gap to get water. When we got out of the cloud, the pervasive wet had stopped, but the drizzling continued. The rain was supposed to be at least as bad as yesterday, so we kept checking the skies and felt like we were getting away with something with no downpour. Tyler and Emily started picking up the pace to made it to Jenkins Shelter, though Bambi kept a more relaxed pace. We hauled the 10.7 miles and just snacked along the way so we could eat lunch at the shelter. Creaking trees in the wind made it seem like the trail may want to murder us.
We made it with no real rain to speak of. Success! When we made it to the shelter, there was one corpse in the corner (turns out it was Monty taking an afternoon nap). One guy had set up his sleep mat in an awkward position across the shelter in an arbitrary position in the middle of the shelter floor. It was a familiar face from a shuttle in Gatlinburg, and perhaps not the most welcome face, taking up an arbitrary amount of space so that of more people slept in the shelter, and it rained, one person would get all the rain. Oh boy.
Ten minutes after we arrived, the rain started coming down. Sadly, Bambi was still in it. She arrived forty five minutes later still looking rather chipper. We kept thinking about heading out but whoever was controlling the rain was turning it on and off like a madman.
Some new faces, which as usually means real fast people, showed up. Nate, unnamed since he started on April 28th and hasn't really seen anyone twice, Patrick, who's had a bunch of names but is waiting for something new and also hits twenties daily, and Mountain Goat (now Mountain Bee) who did 33 miles his first day then sprained his ankle the next day after trying to do the trail two years ago but stopped after lighting his bear bag on fire in the hundred mile wilderness on a sobo.
Emily changed Mountain Goat's name to Mountain Bee after hearing his story about getting stung by bees, needing emergency care, and now having to carry an epi-pen. The shelter was supposed to fit eight, but the rain means make room for everyone. Monty even went to his tent during a break in the rain. Dude is a hero.
Bambi had to get in business mode when Patrick, the poor person relegated to the foot of the shelter was getting soaked in his sleeping bag, and Bambi rearranged some of the sleep monster despite his protests.
We ate some mountain house beer stew and instant mashed potatoes, a wonderful combo, learned more about the mysterious Mountain Bee and his car salesman past, and headed to a snug, dry, slumber.