Enough of the bouncing around this way and that way, time to make tracks south with noooo deviations… But with poison ivy. Ugh.
Today was not the ‘sleep in’ day I envisioned – by 8:10 am I had pancaked and was already at the Urgent Care clinic for a very quick diagnosis of the dreaded poison ivy, and a prescription for Prednisone to get rid of it. Relief is in sight, but not here yet! Still itching and heavily band-aided tonight. Takes time. I figure I must have got it somehow while trying to negotiate some of the slowdowns on trail.
So, Urgent Care, then pick up the last two boxes at the post office. I spent a good chunk of morning sorting food and gear – sent a final box of food ahead to a town five days off, shipped some gear home.
The hostel owner and I did not get along so well, and I was actually very glad to see the last of this hostel. He thought I was treating him like a taxi driver, and I was taken aback, because usually shuttles within town are included in the price. Anyway, I added some extra money after he showed me a sign that had been hidden behind a desk, about encouraged (read: mandatory) donations for town shuttles. Glad to be gone! I hit the trail about 1 pm.
I only planned to go about 5 miles to the next shelter – later I wavered and considered doing 8 to a campsite, but this shelter is so beautiful, I stopped here, even though it was only 3:30. Looks like I have the area to myself, too. Nobody in the shelter, and I am tenting. It is going to be a cold one again tonight, down to 42. Thank God and Doug for a warm sleeping bag!
Okay, a few words about the blasted bear pole. It is just a tall pole with several arms coming off that 32nd in upward curved hooks. There is also a pole with a u-shape at the end that you put your food bag on, then lift it up to try to catch the food bag loop on one of the metal hooks up top.
I stink at it. Both the food bag and the pole are heavy to lift and wobbly, and it is impossible to hook the bag. Eventually, tonight, I resorted to tying my bearbag-hanging cord around a rock and throwing it over an arm of the pole, hoisting the bag up, and tying it off. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Tonight, after a delicious meal of freeze-dried beef stroganoff, I lie in my tent, listen to Mill Creek rushing by, and feel very content. Except when my legs itch. Tomorrow should be a 15 miler.
I hike on!