July 8, 1998

7/8/98 Big Branch Shelter

15.9 miles (1644.0 total)

After a very late night at the movies, struggled to get up this morning. Ate breakfast at the almost empty Quality Restaurant. Had a few last minute things to mail home, most notably my penny-whistle and glasses. The forecast was for rain, so I wasn’t surprised by the overcast sky. Started to follow Bluegrass out of town but he got a hitch too fast for me to catch him. About 10 minutes later a woman picked me up as she was headed home, about 5 minutes past the trail. She was from NJ but moved here 3 years ago as a school teacher.

Caught up to Bluegrass on Bromley Mountain

Bluegrass was waiting for me at the trail parking lot off the highway. The terrain moved steadily up but the rain held off for a few hours. Part of the trail went up a ski run on Bromley Mountain. The peak was all fog when we reached it. After Mad Tom Notch, the rain began.

No views on top of Styler Peak or Peru Peak because of the weather. Made pretty good time to Peru Peak Shelter for lunch. Both Bluegrass and I got cold sitting out of the rain. Lots of bog bridges today. And the mud was tolerable but I almost did a face-plant anyway.

The rain let up a bit as we headed back out on the trail. Heard a few song birds, and saw lots of ferns and moss amongst the trees. By the time we got to Baker Peak, the clouds broke just enough for us to see the valley.

Bluegrass taking a journal break

Found the girls from the Goddard at Lost Pond Shelter. The trip was going well and they’d taken trail names - Chewbacca and Skywalker. Finn had left some very strange messages in the register. But it seems Groovin’ Moose is traveling with her. Said our good-byes and headed for the next shelter. No one else at Big Branch. The river’s loud running in front of the shelter. By the time we had finished dinner, the rain started again. Bluegrass and I have our tents set up like sleeping nets. A grandfather and his grandson, Max, showed up for the night. His granddad is hard of hearing so its difficult to talk to him. The mosquitoes are getting bad so its time for bed.