August 12, 1998

8/12/98 East Branch Lean-to

20.6 miles (2093.4 total)

The rain yesterday showed me how little I have in reserve mentally. At one point the tears just came down. I think it was because even with a full shelter, none were thru-hiker friends.

More rain last night. Got an early start because Ultralite is an early riser. The day didn’t start out so good. Fell twice walking back from the privy. Plus leaving the shelter, took 10 minutes to find the trail. Mostly overcast skies with some drizzle.

Ultralite and I kept comparing falls (and cuts and bruises) all day. Had to ford the west branch of the Pleasant River, knee deep and cold because of the rain. The trail up to the next shelter never really felt up. Passed lots of southbounders, including SAM and his parents from Texas. Met them way back in Virginia.

A cold crossing

We did 10 miles by noon, but White Cap was still ahead. We made steady progress over the four progressively higher peaks. On the way down, fell and broke another pole. The sun kept peaking out from time to time. Nice to see a shadow. Weather reports for the rain to move quickly out.

Did the math again. If I do 23+ tomorrow and 25+ the next day, I can catch Tort and Hare before the 16th. Seems doable since I just did 20+ over White Cap. Left Ultralite at the last shelter while I headed to the next one.