Well I thought it would be spring today and I’m sure it was somewhere nearby but since I was over 4000 feet all day, it was winter. I slept with my puffy jacket, hiking pants, and rain pants on last night in addition to my normal sleeping gear. It was too cold to stand around and eat breakfast this morning so I put a bar in my pocket and decided to get going to warm up and eat it in a little bit. Know what’s fun to do before breakfast? Climb 800 feet up a steep icy slope in a mile. I know I’ve done that elevation change before but this one felt way steeper than the others. The ice and slick packed down snow stayed around all day, except for a few select portions of slushy mud. We were barely making a mile an hour before stopping at Muskrat Creek shelter for lunch. Luckily after that the sun came out and it was relatively flat so we were able to go a little faster.
When I came down to Deep Gap there was a little family of day hikers getting ready to start and they shared apples and cliff bars with a few of us. They tried to give me more fruit and water but I’m already oversupplied so I had to say no thank you. We got going up Standing Indian Mountain, which I thought would be a difficult climb with its peak at 5500ft but it was actually a nice, slow climb. Coming down was also gradual and took longer than I expected so I didn’t get in to Beech Gap campsite until 5:30 after 8 hours of hiking. My knee was doing okay during the hike but now that I’ve stopped, it’s stiff.
12.1 miles today and I was in my sleeping bag at 7:30. It’s still light out but I’m cold and tired. Hopefully will fall asleep soon.