May 8, 2000

Thunder Hill Shelter, Va 14 Miles Hiked Today 750 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Bryant Ridge Shelter - 2 1/2 stories14 miles even. Enough to keep fairly busy but a bit of a break. Last night Caveman came back with a six-pack of Coors Light, Powerade, ice, each person's favorite snack (I requested a Butterfinger), and two bags of Sun Chips. When added to our normal food, it was a feast! The other good thing was that we didn't get rousted by the police or rangers, which we were warned may happen, as we were on the fringe of illegal camping.

Back to today. Luckily, the temperature broke and the high was about 85 degrees. Of the 14 miles, about 10 of it was uphill, though. So we stopped and had both a long morning break and a leisurely lunch. The lunch would have been better had not these gnats driven us crazy. They were out in force! Luckily, they walk around on you for quite a bit before biting, so you have plenty of time to smash them. I had (until I washed/rinsed off this afternoon) about a billion bug parts mashed on me, I'm sure. I even had the pleasure of eating one today at lunch. It flew between my hand and mouth as I was throwing in some GORP. I probably need the protein anyway.

The green trailWell, it looks like Caveman and I will be the only ones here tonight, which is cool. It will be nice and quiet. Oh yeah, saw a Garter snake and an owl today. The owl was on the ground and took off on silent wings for the tree tops when I approached.

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