June 9: mile 795: Punchbowl Shelter

I woke up st tent city pretty early and took a shower in this one person stall they had rigged up behind the shelter– very nice.  I then went to a little laundromat across the street and enjoyed a quart of chocolate milk while washing my cloths.  Went hit back yo tent city I ran into Dirty Duck who had just hiked in for resupply.  We shopped for some food, hung out until the Italian restaurant opened and grabbed a sandwich for lunch as well as a sandwich to hike out.  I joined Dirty Duck, Mishap, Sun, and Catfish in hitching a ride in the back of a pick up back to the trail head.  

We planned on hiking only ten miles but over two horrifically high and steep mountains.  The weather was nice but hot.  The climbing was relentless; 2500 feet over three miles and 1500 feet over a mile and a half.  One climb was very steep and was over loose scrabble.  It was definitely one of the hardest we’ve done so far.  We finally got to the shelter well after eight o’clock as the sun was setting.  Because the shelter is close to the road, we had to contend with several families also camping there.  Suffice it to say, all of kids did not hold hiker bedtime hours; running around hooting and hollering, tripping on my tent cords.

I’ll probably try to hike with these folks for a while, at least until waynesboro (70 miles).  White Beard, Caretaker, and Viking have all flamed out and are off the trail.  Blue Stem is even farther ahead of me and is having knee trouble.  There are a couple of hostels coming up that might look promising.  Happy trails.

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