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[at-l] Ready's Journal:: June 22 Friday TD 17



>
>During the night, the storm came in with a vengeance.  The large church 
>group, who'd been sleeping under the stars next to our site, made a noisy 
>bee line for their tents at the other end of the camp grounds.  The 
>thunder and lightening crashed and flashed, and I....slept through it 
>all!  Spur told me all about it in the morning.
>
>We snuggled as we awakened to the continuing sound of rain.   We discussed 
>making some hot chcolate and coffee and making a leisurely breakfast out 
>of the  situation.  We opted to cuddle some more, instead.  I'll bet lots 
>of newlyweds carry out more hot chocolate than they thought they would.
>We fell asleep, awakening again near 9 AM.  This time we did get up, since 
>the rain had stopped, and thruhikes - we'd reasoned - don't get 
>accomplished by napping.  Well, usually... right Datto?
>
>It was slow getting out of camp - 10 AM!  The only real climb of the day 
>came early, and it wasn't so bad. I had tons of energy and charged up it, 
>while Spur lagged behind, listless.
>
>We hiked this way for the first hour - me with energy to spare and Spur 
>feeling lethargic.  We stopped for soda at the Washington Monument.  There 
>we also checked our email and I learned that my pocketmail device has some 
>apparent defects. We'll be working on that soon.
>
>An afterschool program from the Frederick County YMCA was enjoying a field 
>trip to this site; I enjoyed watching the wonderful interaction between 
>the kids and counselors. This looked like a really solid program and I was 
>very impressed.
>
>Over an hour had passed, and we had now only gone 2 miles in 2 
>hours.  Hmmm.  'Made us reconsider our plans to do a 21-mile day.  We 
>decided instead to walk and simply see what we wanted to do as the day 
>unfolded.
>
>We stopped at the monument, itself, just off the trail. It is an urn 
>shaped stone structure erected by the people in the area to honor George 
>Washington. We climbed up its narrow staircase to the overlook on top and 
>enjoyed a splendid view, in spite of the haze.
>
>We continued hiking at a moderate pace. Spur was still feeling low on 
>energy and had eaten virtually all of his snacks in an effort to gain some 
>get-up-and-go -- with little success.
>
>The trail today was very rocky, and very slick, due to all the 
>rain.  There was evidence everywhere of flash flooding. To make matters 
>even more difficult, poison ivy was almost everywhere - even on the trail, 
>itself!
>We came to one particularly rocky climb, and I too began to lose stamina. 
>It must have been a combintion of yesterday's high mileage - 16+ miles 
>after 1:45 PM and the extremely high humidity today. Our energy was sapped.
>
>We stopped to eat lunch at the Pine Knob sheler. We rested some more, read 
>and signed the log book, and studied the map. We determined that we should 
>cut our plans short, heading for the Ensign Cowall shelter only 8 miles 
>farther up the trail.  This would bring our mileage to about 14 today, 
>instead of 21 - much more manageable for our tired bodies and minds.
>
>We pushed off again. We passed '98
>thruhiker, Seeker, on the way out of the shelter. We chatted a little and 
>he offered to take our trash out for us.  We handed him a teeny ziplock 
>bag of mostly candy wrappers - we hadn't generated much trash yet.
>
>He was eagerto know if any of the '98 thruhikers that we knew were among 
>the ones he'd hiked with. No common ground there. This exchange made me 
>acutely aware of how much a former thruhiker must miss the experience of 
>being on the trail, and all the more grateful to be experiencing it now.
>
>
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