June 11: mile 827: The Priest Shelter

We woke up from stealth camp and ran into the previously missing Duck and Mishap who had stealth camped just up the mountain from us.  We all resolved to hike 14 miles and to meet up at the Priest Shelter.  I hiked alone experiencing a very low energy day due to the oppressive heat.  The hiking and moderate hills were easier than average, but the heat really saps your endurance.  I wasn’t the only one suffering.  I would pass a hiker laying in the shade, only to be passed by him while I lay in the shade.  Rince, repeat.

We finally all made it to Priest Shelter where we were met by swarms of biting flies so ferocious that no one would sleep in the shelter.  It is traditional to sign the log at this shelter with a contrite confession i.e. “Forgive me father but I have not been digging cat holes for all of my shits in the woods” (true).  Or, “I do not always step off the trail to piss” (also true).  And my favorite: “forgive my drunkenness and gluttony out here on the trail.  All that I ask that any penitence be meted out after we get by the Devil’s Brew Pub.” 

If you are interested in my confession, come on out to the shelter in the Priest wilderness, George Washington National Forest.  Happy trails.

PS we will hiking hard tomorrow to get to the aforementioned Devils Brewpub where there is free camping for thru-hikers.  Ah, the life.

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