June 23, 1998

6/23/98 RPH Shelter

18.7 miles (1406.4 total)

Ten Penny was at the pavilion along with the tents of 2 other hikers who were taking care of a sick dog. They were gone all day and didn’t get back till after we were all in bed. Had to quit the journal writing because the mosquitoes were too bad. Even going to sleep was hard with them buzzing all around my head. Two more guys came in late. But by morning, we had left before the late arrivals had gotten up.

The sky was overcast and the trail was a roller-coaster of steep ups and downs, twists and turns. Since Pennsylvania I’ve been seeing these rock-wall fences, today seeing a lot . One was 4 feet high but 6 feet thick. Later, we actually walked on a similar wall for over 1/2 mile. Turns out it was a small road used by mules to haul stuff from iron mines in the hills.

But after Campers Lake, the trail became more rolling terrain. At one point, the path wound its way down a rock wall lane. I was trying to imagine if people lived here once. And maybe someone walked down this same path, maybe a young couple.

Got to the RPH Shelter, which is really a converted garage with a few bunks and a porch. Angel Fire is here also. I met her last in Hot Springs, NC. She quit at one point, took some time off to visit family but decided to return to the trail. She was in New York, so decided to get back on the trail at Bear Mountain. She’s anxious to see all her old hiking friends again - Veto, Crawdad, Moondaddie - sound familiar. EWOS is only on for 2 more weeks but I’m not sure I can catch him and not kill myself. They stopped here for a break yesterday.

The 2 guys I met in Vernon are here tonight, also. They were the late arrivals at the Friary last night. Headed for the Telephone Pioneers Shelter tomorrow with a much needed stop at the grocery store in the morning.