We were shooting for a 20 today, off to War Spur shelter. We didn't get moving until 10:15. Emily hadn't been sleeping due to extremely sore hips and muscles. We also hadn't received word from Bambi so we weren't sure how her slack packing had gone and if we would meet up with her at the end of the day.
After hiking six or so miles we stopped at Pine Swamp Branch Shelter. It's currently closed to overnight camping since the gypsy moths have eaten many of the trees which fall and may crush sleeping hikers. We took a long lunch (after a short hike...) with Dean, Redeye, Turbo and Patch. We didn't start hiking again until 2:30. Our 20 mile day was looking pretty unlikely.
*Tyler's horn shaped blister
We hiked over some actual flat ground for a bit, which so far has been extremely rare. Soon, afterwards, we hit a big uphill covered in gravel and boulders, which slowed us down to 1.5 mph or so. Here we ran into Bambi having just struggled over the same rocks. She did make her 20 the day before, but didn't finish until just about 10 pm and then managed to get a shuttle from the nearby hostel. So, today, after the harrowing experience of yesterday, was not to be a big mile day either.
*bear bag trouble
We stopped four miles short of War Spur and set up camp in some soft grass, that we have dubbed cloud grass. Turbo, Redeye, Patch, and even No Chill trickled in as the evening went on. We all showered Sir Barks a Lot with love.
We got to have a longer night than usual around the fire. The next day, we wanted to try again for a twenty, but it was unlikely that the others were going to try as well. It was nice to have a long night possibly because it might be the last night we would be together for a while.