April 19, 1998

4/19/98 Thomas Knob Shelter

16.3 miles (480.4 total)

Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain - that is the word for today. Had a little trouble getting out of camp because Samson and Smiley are late sleepers. But I did get out before the rain started. Got to the next shelter, followed by Godspeed and Layers, then Samson and Smiley. Then who shows up going southbound - Longstride, Ol’Crawdad and Veto, all slackpacking. Ol’Crawdad took my poles back to Damascus to see if I could get a new one. Discovered a couple of miles down the trail that I had again forgotten my water bottle (Smiley gave it to me at this shelter). It really didn’t matter because stopping for even a few seconds, you got cold quick. The rain never really let up all day.

Smiley and Samson warm and dry

About 2 miles from this shelter, I went for a "swim." The whole trail was a stream today, with some water pretty deep. Well, I’m hopping from rock to rock, slip, and end up on my back like a turtle in water a foot deep. I struggled a lot with my pack to finally get myself up. I’d laughed at myself earlier because of the efforts I went to keep my feet out of the water, when I was pretty wet already. After taking my swim, I realized I could get wetter! It was really too bad about the weather. I could still tell the scenery we were walking through was beautiful. You just couldn’t enjoy it being so wet. Smiley, Samson and yes, Ghandi are up in the loft of the shelter listening to it rain. Hopefully the weather will break by morning. It would be nice to dry things out tomorrow.